Rob Ford doesn't stand for WorldPride ovation
Questions about whether the mayor is homophobic re-emerge
Several councillors aren't impressed with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's decision to remain seated during a standing ovation for WorldPride organizers at city hall earlier today.
While Ford applauded, he didn't stand up during the moment of recognition for some of the people behind the city's recent WorldPride festival, a celebration of LGBT rights.
This raised further questions about whether the mayor is homophobic.
"You guys have asked me this question for 14 years, OK? And you know the answer," Ford responded after the council session. "I'm not homophobic. I'm not homophobic."
Ford was previously accused of being anti-gay when he was recorded using homophobic language. He also has not attended any Pride parades during his tenure as mayor and city councillor.
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam said the mayor's behaviour didn't surprise her, based on his past actions.
"From trying to rip down the rainbow flag, from not attending the Pride marches, he has done everything he can to destroy his relationships with the LGBT community, and I think he's done so quite effectively," she told reporters.
Wong-Tam said that Wednesday's episode was just more of the same.
"He just couldn't even bother to stand up. He couldn't even fake it, which just tells you this is the kind of guy he is," Wong-Tam said.
Criticized on Twitter
Some of her colleagues criticized the mayor on Twitter.
"As council and city staff stand to congratulate Toronto's WorldPride organizers, Rob Ford remains sitting and silent," Coun. Josh Matlow tweeted.
Coun. Mike Layton tweeted that Ford's behaviour was "disgraceful."
After the standing ovation, Ford did not appear to clap further as Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly singled out specific individuals for recognition.
The mayor was recently in rehab for about two months for substance abuse. He returned to Toronto the day after WorldPride ended.
When Ford came back, he issued a statement that included an apology "to everyone who was hurt by my words and my actions."
Well ahead of this year's parade and before he decided to head to rehab, the mayor had indicated he would not be attending the Pride parade.
With a report from the CBC's Jamie Strashin