Although Margaret Atwood didn’t attend Thursday night’s marathon Toronto city council executive meeting to address the city’s budget deliberations, she was there in spirit and in swag (scroll down the Torontoist’s impressive live blog to see an Atwood button and references to photocopied face masks of the author). Although Atwood has become a symbol for library-devoted Torontonians thanks to councillor Doug Ford’s stated inability to recognize the country’s most recognizable author – even the Guardian mentioned it – several other authors waited patiently for their turn to speak to city council.
NOW magazine reports that Thom Vernon, author of The Drifts (Coach House Press) told the room, “We are not for sale … The KPMG report is a work plan to transfer public wealth to the private sector.”
Children’s author Vikki VanSickle expressed her concerns about the budget at around 4:30 a.m. After being asked the title of her book, Words That Start with B (Scholastic Canada), mayor Rob Ford is heard on video muttering, “I can think of another B word for her.”
This morning, the Twitterverse was filled with support for VanSickle, who tweeted, “Rob Ford thinks I’m a bitch, but I think he’s a bully.” There’s no response yet from the mayor, although joke account Hulkmayor tweeted, “WAIT! HULKMAYOR NO CALL LADY B-WORD! IS MISUNDERSTANDING.”