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Audio and full text: Don Cherry, Rob Ford speeches at City Hall

In Canada on December 8, 2010 at 14:05

Audio and full text: Don Cherry, Rob Ford speeches at City Hall

Brett Gundlock/National Post

Brett Gundlock/National Post

Hockey commentator Don Cherry helps swear-in Mayor Rob Ford on Tuesday.

  December 7, 2010 – 4:34 pm

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry helped new swear-in new Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Tuesday afternoon. A recording of both speeches is below:

Full text of Don Cherry’s speech:

That kiss — is that the kiss of death that they give like, ah, I guess that’s what they do around here. Well actually I’m wearing pinko for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in.

What’d you expect, Ron Maclean here, to come here? But, you know, I have to, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing coming down with Rob, and I was gonna do this here and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’m been being ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.

You know, it’s funny, in those articles my church was, I was made fun of because I go to church. I’m easy to do it that way. I was called maudlin for the troops because I honour the troops. This is the kind of, uh, you’re gonna be facing, Rob, with these left-wing pinkos. They scrape the bottom of the barrel.

But again, I was asked why I was asked. And I asked Doug, Rob, why? And they said we need a famous good-looking guy, and I said, I’m your man, right? Right off the bat.

You know I was asked why, why, why a landslide. And I was in their corner right from the start. I phoned, they phoned me, Doug phoned me, the morning, you’ll get a landslide, and why? Because Rob’s honest, he’s truthful, he’s like Julian Fantino. What you see is what you get. He’s no phony.

And I could go on right now, all the millions and thousands of dollars he’s gonna save and everything, but I’d just like to tell a little story that was in the Sun, I think it was in the back pages. This is a little thing. [City Ombudsman] Fiona Crean, for 18 months, has been trying to get something done with City Hall. And then the story, I think some of you know the story, that there was a little old lady and all of a sudden she got banged on the door, and two guys were there and said, “We’re cutting your tree down.”

You know this is a little thing, but this is to me is a big thing. “We’re cutting your tree down.” And she says I don’t want it, that’s my favourite tree, a hundred year old. “No, it’s down. Cut it down.” And then they give her a, send her a bill for $5,000 for cutting it down. And for 18 months, her son and Fiona were, “City Hall, City Hall, please help us.” Thirty, 40 calls. Unbelievable. Nothing. Laughed at.

Rob’s in the mayor one day. Apology comes, and a $5,000 cheque. And that’s why I say he’s going to be the greatest mayor this city has ever seen, as far as I’m concerned, and put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks. Thank you very much.

New Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was sworn in on Tuesday. His first speech to Council is below:

Full text of Rob Ford’s speech:

I’d like to thank Don for coming today. He says with me what you see is what you get. Obviously with Don what you see is what you get and I can’t thank him enough. I’ve been a fan for many years, as many of you have, for Coach’s Corner. He’s a straight talker and he always speaks from the heart and I admire his honesty. So thank you very much, I really appreciate that.

This is an exciting day, ladies and gentleman. Many of us here in this chamber have been looking forward to this day for a long, long time. It’s a day that we accept new responsibilities and begin new roles. It’s a day full of hope and anticipation. It’s also a day I’d like to say thank you. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Toronto for putting their faith in me. It is an enormous honour and privilege to serve this city as your mayor.

I’d like to congratulate each and every one of the 44 councillors here today. You each engaged with your communities and won their confidence in a long, difficult campaign. Victory on Oct. 25 marked the end of those campaigns, and now the real work is beginning.

To new members who are joining us for the first time on council, I’d like to say welcome. I can say from personal experience being a councillor for 10 years on the job, your beginning is one of the most difficult, but yet it’s one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have. You’ll have an opportunity that few people would ever enjoy. It’s an opportunity to engage the people in your communities, to answer their calls, to understand their challenges, to walk in their shoes and to help them succeed.

When people ask me why I return every call, the answer is simple: It’s respect and it’s good customer service. I learned that from my father and my mother, who is with us today. Unfortunately, my father is not with us, but he is with us up above.

The truth is that it feels great to help people. I get to share in their lives in a tiny way. That’s an amazing privilege. I encourage you to enjoy it. When you help someone out, the feeling is tremendous.

To the returning members of council, I’d like to say welcome back. Things are the same, but much has changed and more will change.

To the people of Toronto, who came out on election day in record numbers, I’d like to say thank you. You were engaged in this election on a level we haven’t seen in generations. You spoke with a clear, strong voice. Every major candidate in the mayor’s race ran on a platform of change. No matter who you cast your ballot for, you voted for change. That’s a sobering reality for those of us on council to remember.

It’s worth taking a moment to think about that, to put it in perspective, to understand where we as elected officials fit into the equation. Today we are united in celebration. But in the days to come this chamber will be the forum of many heated debates. Every time that happens, I believe it’s important to remember one thing: The debate is not about us, it’s about the taxpayers. It’s important to remember that this council is not supreme, that the taxpayers are supreme.

As leaders of Toronto, we do not draw our power from the court. We do not draw our authority from the Crown. A higher level of government did not appoint us. We were elected by the taxpayers. The people are the source of our power and the taxpayers of this great city are supreme. Whenever we are in doubt, we should remember that. The people spoke loudly and clearly. They’re fed up with government leaders who feel entitled. They can no longer afford annual tax increases. They can no longer tolerate wasteful spending. They want that to stop, and that is what this council will deliver.

We have listened to the taxpayers and our government will focus its agenda on four core priorities:

Our first priority is customer service excellence. We will build a strong culture of customer service across every city department and agency. Customer service will be number one. All it takes is leadership and leadership starts at the top, right here in this chamber.

Our second priority is to make government more transparent and accountable to the taxpayers, to the people, to the businesses. Hundreds of thousands of people engaged in our political process during this past election. They want a transparent government that is accountable, ladies and gentlemen. They want government to be effective and efficient.

Our third priority is to reduce the size and cost of government. Toronto taxpayers expect wasteful spending and annual tax increases to stop.

Our fourth priority is to create a transportation city plan. Transportation is not just transit. We will expand our focus that will include people that use transit, and also motorists, commercial vehicle operators, cyclists and pedestrians.

Delivering on these four priorities will meet the expectations of the people of this great city. It’s an ambitious agenda and we will depend on this council for leadership. As members of city council, we must lead by example. We must understand that every dollar we spend, whether it’s on firefighting, police services, is a dollar earned by a taxpayer.

People work hard for their wages. As their government, we must work harder. There is no bottomless pit of money. Every time we charge a tax, every resident must give up something we need or want in order to pay our taxes. To lead by example, we must be willing to give up some of our perks, privileges and the nice-to-haves.

For years, we’ve asked taxpayers to give us more, three per cent here, three per cent there. Now it’s our turn to give more. We will reduce our spending at council and across all city departments. It is only fair and just. It is time city hall shared the burden we impose on taxpayers.

In closing, I’d like to add that Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, was a bit of a rebel. He was a colourful character who was not accepted by the establishment because he fought against privileged and for the little guy. My plan is to be more successful than he was.

Today we have a strong team of councillors committed to moving forward and working hard and doing what’s right for the taxpayer. I encourage each and every one of you, whether you’re elected to office, a leader in our community, or you’re just a passionate resident of Toronto, to join us in this cause. After all, we are all in this together, ladies and gentlemen, and together we will succeed to make Toronto the best place to live, work and play. Thank you very much.

Thanks to Twitter user @jkozuch for audio of both speeches.

Posted in: City Hall, Posted Toronto  Tags: ,


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