Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Star: Free cookies, pizza for councillors — courtesy of Ford

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By DANIEL DALE, Toronto Star

A week after Rob Ford finally won his long, lonely battle to eliminate free food for councillors, he arrived at his first lengthy council meeting bearing a surprise gift: free food for councillors.

The taxpayer-funded edible gravy train may be kaput. On Thursday, it was unexpectedly replaced by a Ford-funded substitute that included, according to Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, “shortbread, tea biscuits, and some kind of wafers, I don’t know what was in them.” Ford also ordered pizza for council when the meeting carried into the evening.

Councillors cheered when speaker Frances Nunziata announced the existence of the snacks earlier in the day. Ford laughed. When Nunziata said, “They’re homemade, I believe,” Ford incredulously denied the suggestion.

Nunziata then said: “Oh. Councillor Carroll’s motion — Councillor Carroll’s cookies — are homemade.” Councillor Vincent Crisanti provided an Italian Christmas bread, Holyday reported, and Shelley Carroll brought in delectable “Christmas cherry jewel bars” whose main ingredient she said was “crack.”

Councillors got a lunch break, and they did not seem especially grumpy. The only inconvenience, Carroll said, was that staffers had to “run up and down stairs bringing us our caffeine.”

Indeed, the fantasies of Ford supporters who imagined councillors lining up at the City Hall cafeteria will probably never come to fruition. Holyday said he was going to arrange for the cafeteria to bring to council a snack cart councillors could buy from.

Until that happens, the mayor’s treats will be appreciated. “It was thoughtful of him,” said Councillor Josh Matlow, “and I look forward to see what he brings to the next council meeting.”

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