TORONTO, Ont.- Going through my shots this semester I found these gems. This year was municipal elections across Ontario. I went out and covered a lot of local politics, but the one event that stuck out was a mayoral debate in Toronto.
I needed one assignment to kill for News and I happened to be in the area. So I asked a friend who was working on Olivia Chowscampaign team if she was out and about. Turns out the day I was in town she would be doing meet and greets in North York. I attempted to track her down with schedule I was given, but alas I couldn’t find her.
So in defeat I was about to head back, then I saw the Toronto Star tweeted there would be a debate later on that day in North York. I contacted the media liaison for the debate in North York but he didn’t get back to me in time, well fuck it I figured to myself and showed up to the Anne and Max Tannenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of North Toronto an hour before the debate started.
When I arrived, a huge crowd had already gathered in the front of the Academy. Already there some political dilemma going on between mayoral candidate D!onne Renee and one of the event organizers. Apparently she has been going to debates and attempting to partake in them as a forerunning candidate. She was almost barred from the door, but was eventually let in.
Soon I arrived to the Media Desk and talked my way in, I signed in under Freelance and grabbed my pass. Going in I began to realize this was a good place to meet working photojournalists as it turned out the Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun and the National Post were there. It was cool getting pointer from them and suggestions where to go after I finish photoj class.
Turns out the shooter for the National Post Colin O’Connor went to the same photojournalism program I’m currently in and used to be a tree planter. He was telling me that there are jobs in the news industry, you just have to supplement your income with commercial work. Also he mentioned that 95% or my peers won’t end up shooting news, but move onto different photography or end up doing something else. I later found out that he’s getting out of the game and into teaching high school.
Anyhow the debate eventually began, and you got to see the three highballers Olivia Chow, John Tory and Doug Ford, and the fourth place candidate Ari Goldkind. Most of the debate revolved around Tory’s smart track plan and how it won’t work. But things really took a turn when Rob Ford arrived to support his brother.
The entire room started to focus on Rob Ford rather then the debate, eventually his presence leaked into the debate. Goldkind brought up the anti-semetic remarks Rob Ford had said during his term as mayor, Doug Ford in turn tried to distance him self from these comments but wound up saying some controversial remarks as well.
“You know something: my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer my Jewish — hold it — accountant. We’ve learned, our family — can you please, please let me finish?” stated Doug Ford in the debate. The entire crowd started laughing, but eventually it turned into boos in the middle of this statement.
The debate finished up and the scrums began. I tried to get ascot of Rob Ford but he bolted out of the door, the entire media scrum tried to keep up but he ran into his vehicle with his wife and took off. “Doesn’t matter, if doesn’t want to comment, he doest want to comment, not a big deal” Andrew Wallace(from the Toronto Star) told me. I shrugged and got into the scrums with Tory and Chow.
So all in all I learned how quickly you have to file when doing news. The Star was filing shots and posting them on their website as the debate was going on. O’Conner said he had half-hour to have his shots in by, which would be around a dozen photos. So this was a great experience and a lot of fun in the end.