Political Blind Date is gently amusing public service TV
The Show: Political Blind Date, Season 1, Episode 2
The Moment: Doug Ford rides a bike
Former (and future) politician and subway proponent Doug Ford took (then) NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh, who favours all public transit and bicycle lanes, to the Toronto designated streetcar route he calls, repeatedly, “the St. Clair disaster.” Now Singh is taking Ford on a bike ride.
“These are the death mobiles?” Ford says about the Bike Share Toronto cycle he’s offered. “Waste of money.”
They do warm-up circles, because Ford “hasn’t been on a bike in 35 years.” Then Singh leads Ford from a separated bike lane that’s protected by a barrier — “This is the gold standard, this is where you’re going to feel the safest,” Singh says — to a lane that’s just lines on the road, followed by a road without any lane.
Ford admits he’s nervous: “I did a lot of criticizing bike lanes,” he says, “but you can’t criticize something you’ve never done.” He also admits, “My legs are OK, but my ass is as sore as anything.”
Heaven knows if this exercise moved either Ford or Singh closer to one another’s positions, but it sure makes for gently amusing public service TV. Elsewhere in this six-part series, pols including Adam Vaughan and George Mammoliti debate safe injection sites, housing and climate change.
It’s hard to imagine anyone being as popular as Ford, though. Many passersby wanted a picture with him, old, young, men, women, Black, white. “Everyone comes up to Doug,” Singh says, shaking his head in wonder.
By the way, Singh doesn’t wear a helmet. I know it’s his legal right, but tsk.
Political Blind Date airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on TVO and is available at TVO’s website. Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments. She usually appears Monday through Thursday.