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
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.
Office of the Mayor
City of Toronto
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.
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.
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.