At last Saturday’s anti-lockdown protest in Toronto, a surreal sidebar story emerged. Namely, Jim Kerr, owner of the Bubble Bus, was the subject of a sting (!) by the Toronto Police Service.
Gracious! What crime did Mr. Kerr commit? Drug dealing? Pimping? Gun running? Hardly. Jim is an easygoing, peaceful guy who likes to drive his bus around Queen’s Park Crescent playing music and blowing bubbles. But apparently, Mayor John Tory hates music and bubbles… although he has a soft spot in his heart for the Tamil Tigers terrorist organization. Those cats were actually demonstrating at that no man’s land known as Yonge-Dundas Square earlier this month. (Anti-lockdown protesters get arrested here, whereas the city rolls out the red carpet for the supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the name of… diversity?)
Anyway, my cameraman Alex and I witnessed the pickle Jim was in, and we quickly hopped aboard the Bubble Bus, ascending to the vehicle’s rooftop to get a bird’s eye view of the takedown. Police were out in full force, using their cruisers to block the bus from moving. But Jim refused to exit the vehicle (surely a good move: Jim had his thumb broken by a cop when he was arrested at Yonge-Dundas Square back in January).
And that’s when the chatter became surreal. For example, there was talk of a heavy tow truck being dispatched, as well as the Emergency Task Force! Yeah… the cops were thinking of sending in the SWAT team to take out those deadly bubble-blowers on the Bubble Bus! Welcome to the “new normal” in Tory’s Toronto.
What ensued was a Mexican standoff. And the police got pretty damn petty, not accepting Jim’s digital documents — meaning someone had to go to a Kinko’s to get paper documents produced. The standoff lasted more than two hours before the police changed course and allowed Jim to go on his merry way. (Of note: we believe our presence atop the Bubble Bus had a lot to do with the cops’ flip flop; after all, having the ETF take down protesters and members of the media alike would make for absolutely brutal optics.)
In the aftermath of the Bubble Bus takedown, we must ponder this: will Jim be invoiced for the absurd amount of police resources that were deployed for absolutely nothing? After all, that’s what happened to Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson Barbecue, when Tory literally sent in all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to shut down a… restaurant? Skelly was sent a bill for $187,000, in what was surely meant to add insult to injury.
By the way, gun crime in Hogtown has increased threefold during Tory’s tenure as mayor. Good to see John has his priorities in order, targeting a bus that blows bubbles...