TORONTO, May 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's media union says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has once again embarrassed the city with another out-of-control attack on the media, this time escalating into what appeared to be a threat of violence.
According to eyewitness reports, the mayor rushed a Toronto Star reporter early last night with a raised, clenched fist, because he thought the reporter was "spying" on him. The reporter was on public parkland behind the mayor's home doing a story on the mayor's application to purchase the land from a public agency.
It was only six months ago that the mayor called 911 because well-known comedian Mary Walsh, dressed outlandishly in her comedic persona as reporter Marg Delahunty, approached him as he was getting into his vehicle at his Etobicoke home.
"Here you have the mayor of Canada's largest city, larger than some provinces, going into hysterics at the mere sight of a reporter," noted Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 87M President Paul Morse. "Someone who chooses to take part in public life should not be flying off the handle like this, making violent gestures, against the city's media because he is suddenly the centre of public attention. Everyone in this city is demeaned by his behaviour."
Last night's incident is the latest in a series of controversies that have involved the mayor and the police. And he refuses to speak to reporters from the city's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star.
Morse said the mayor needs help in both media relations and anger management, and suggested that a mediator be brought in to help heal the rift that's developed between the city's chief magistrate and the men and woman charged with the responsibility of reporting on city affairs.
"The mayor still has more than two years left in his mandate and this situation is getting worse rather than better," Morse said. "It's time the mayor realizes that he cannot control the media and has to work with them like a responsible adult."
CEP Local 87M (Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild), represents 3,000 journalists, sales staff, press staff and other employees in Ontario's media industry, including employees at the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Sing Tao, Ming Pao, NOW Magazine, Macleans, World Journal, Korea Times and the Toronto Sun.
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President, CEP Local 87M,