By: dan kellar
Ford Fest, usually a once a year political outreach event, hosted by the Ford family and primarily held in Etobicoke, has had its reach expanded this summer after Doug Ford took the BBQ on the road to Scarborough, Windsor, and in the evening on Friday September 8th, to Bingemans, a park in Kitchener. There was a by-election in the Scarborough—Guildwood riding shortly after the Scarborough event and there will be a by-election in Kitchener-Centre in January of 2024.
Protests are planned at the entrances and outside the venue where Ford Fest is to take place. Bingemans is in the Waterloo riding, which is held by the NDP’s Catherine Fife, and the property borders the Kitchener-Centre riding, and the Kitchener Conestoga riding which is held by PC MPP Mike Harris Jr. One of the groups organising a protest at Ford Fest is the Waterloo Regional Labour Council. CKMS News spoke with Jeff Pelich, the president of the Labour Council about the many grievances Ford will face from the public at Ford Fest, including the anger over the Green Belt development plans, the cost of food and housing crises, and the underfunding of public services such as education and health care.
CKMS recently spoke with both Clancy and Chapman about Ford Fest and the Conservatives, and both have called Ford Fest a distraction from the growing Green Belt scandal and for Ford to take accountability, return the Green Belt lands, and step down.
For the full interviews with Chapman and Clancy, visit radiowaterloo.ca/news
When contacted by CKMS News for comment on Ford Fest in Kitchener, the office for MPP Harris sent a statement from Harris which included “Ford Fest is a free, non-partisan community event hosted by Ontario’s Ford family.”, and Harris added “Ford Fest offers a unique opportunity for attendees to connect with their elected representatives.”. Harris then reminded folks that the event is free, and will include food, concluding “so bring the kids and come hungry!”. No comment was given before this piece first went to air on the calls for Ford to call a full public Inquiry or to resign over the Green Belt land deals..
This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Heritage Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.
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