Thursday, July 26, 2012

Whatever Happened to Jon Latvis?

UPDATE: The following response was issued by mayor Ford's press secretary and originally published on Warren Kinsella's blog:

July 26, 2012

Statement from the Office of the Mayor

An online blog today posted a picture of Mayor Rob Ford meeting a citizen during the 2012 New Year’s Levee at Toronto City Hall. The blog alleges the man posing with the Mayor is a member of a hate group and has a history of making racist, hateful and offensive comments.

The Mayor of Toronto meets, and poses for photos, with thousands of residents each year. Over the past two years, the Mayor has hosted two New Year’s Levees. These events welcomed over 800 visitors to City Hall, and 700 to 750 of them were personally greeted by the Mayor who posed with them for photographs.

While having his photo taken with the Mayor, the gentleman in the photo requested a meeting with the Mayor to discuss issues of concern to him as a constituent. The Mayor routinely receives these requests from members of the public and makes every effort to accommodate them whenever possible. In March 2012, the gentleman met briefly with the Mayor to discuss his concerns which primarily focussed on transit issues.

During both the Levee and the March meeting, the gentleman identified himself using a name different from the one attributed to him in the recent blog article. Once the photograph was posted online today, Mayor’s Office staff recognized the individual as someone who had met with the Mayor at the Levee and again in March.

At no time was the Mayor aware of allegations that this individual had made racist, hateful or otherwise offensive comments, nor were any such comments made during his meeting with the Mayor. Mayor Ford is a strong supporter of Toronto’s Jewish community and strongly deplores anti-Semitism in any form.


George Christopoulos
Press Secretary
Office of the Mayor
City of Toronto
P: 416-338-6642

You know, the lead guitar player for the White supremacist band RaHoWa who later went on to who went on to what we might generously call a solo career:

Hanging out with Toronto mayor Rob Ford apparently.

Uhm, is that an SS uniform, Jon?
Man, the years have NOT been kind to Jon.

Now we really don't believe that the mayor is a closet Nazi, Latvian SS supporter, or fan of RaHoWa, but god damn! Doesn't he have people looking to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen?

If you were a handler, if you see a guy in funny uniform waiting to have his picture taken with the mayor of the nation's largest city, perhaps you go talk to the guy? See what he's about. Get his name. Google it. And, if you learn that he played lead guitar for a white supremacist musical group with ties to the Creativity Movement and the Heritage Front, quietly ease him out of the line and suggest that it might not be a good idea to have his picture taken with the mayor now. Or ever for that matter.

Use your heads people!

We found this and a couple of other photos last night. Sent them to a few friends to get some confirmation that this was who we thought it was. Evidently, at least one of those friends sent this picture to someone who sent it to someone else (letting the cat out of the bag so to speak), and we were scooped as a result.

Hey, Warren....

You might not know us, but you owe ARC members a beer for this.

So do you BCL.

And we don't mean that Heineken or wine cooler garbage. We expect Guinness at the bare minimum.

In light of what his press secretary has stated, if appears that Mr. Ford was also deceived in that Latvis didn't tell him his real name and, thus, Ford's team was unable to determine who Latvis was about.

We take the mayor at his word and thank him for the clarification, as well as his condemnation of antisemitism. 


Unknown said...

To be fair there is a photo of George Stroumboulopoulos with some nazi boneheads out there too. Is Strombo a closet nazi? No, I highly doubt it. Sometimes people ask for a photo and you don't have the time to google them.

However this did make me laugh. Jon Latvis is an idiot. Always has been, and it seems always will be

Kurt Phillips said...

Oh no, I agree with you. Our issue is that this is yet another example of Ford's poor judgment. Since there were a number of people at this particular event, it seems likely that Ford's people could have done a better job of screening.

But yeah, Latvis is a piece of work.

bigcitylib said...

I will buy you all a beer, unless there are more than 6 of you, in which case you will have to split six beer. Bottles too. Not pints.

Kurt Phillips said...

Well, a beer is a beer, even if we do have to share.

Luckily, as the lead writer I get two. The other members will have to share.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine if a Muslim wearing a "Peshawari Topi",( the kind of headgear favoured by Afghan and Pakistani Males) were to approach the Mayor for a similiar photo-op, would the good Mayor and his staff have been so obliging? I am sure they would have contacted the RCMP, CIA, FBI, name it!!!

Anonymous said...

What constitutes a "funny looking uniform"? In a city where multiculturalism is so celebrated, I would think singling someone out for wearing another country's military uniform would be worse than having this picture taken. Ok, yes, I know the nazis were bad, but that kind of crowd control is ridiculous to expect. If he was wearing something clearly marked as hate gear, yes, kick him out, but to be as discriminatory as you suggest may create bigger problems. Nothing about his uniform says white supremacy to the average person, it simply looks like a WWII era uniform to me.

This is just a picture at an event. It's not like they are fishing on his private boat and enjoying a laugh.

It was an interesting article up until the 'you should have been more discriminatory based on the way someone looks' part.

Anonymous said...

A dangerous idiot.