Tight security expected at Ford Fest barbeque
Published Friday, September 7, 2012 6:03PM EDT
Security is expected to be tight when as many as 5,000 people join Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his family as they host their annual Ford Fest barbeque in Etobicoke Friday night.
Though the barbeque, hosted at the home of Rob Ford’s mother, is an annual affair, police say they have conducted a security assessment of the night’s festivities this year.
Recent events, including a shooting at a public barbeque on the east-end Danzig Street in July and another shooting during Quebec premier-elect Pauline Marois’ victory speech, have police taking extra precautions.
“There are some indications that there may be people there that want to put forward an agenda other than having a good time at the barbeque, so we’re prepared for that,” said Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner.
A Facebook group started last week also said that it would organize a backyard pride parade at the Ford’s barbeque, after Mayor Ford has refused to attend any Pride Week celebrations since he took office.
That group has promised to be peaceful.
The Ford’s have hired a private security firm to staff the event and four paid-duty officers will watch the street.
For his part, the mayor’s brother, Couc. Doug Ford, said he hopes everyone just has a good time.
“We’re going to have the place rocking tonight. We’re going to have the Ford Nation going full steam ahead,” Doug Ford told CTV Toronto Friday afternoon.
The cost of the party, including food, drinks and entertainment, is paid for by the Ford family.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Natalie Johnson