Alan Lenczner, Mayor Ford's defence attorney, is a damn good lawyer -- arguably the best litigator around. And he did a bang-up job in court on Monday during Rob Ford's appeal hearing in downtown Toronto. His argument is a legitimate one -- but his argument won't work. That's because it is a policy argument and not a legal argument. Appeal Courts, in general, are not there to reconsider facts -- just law. The appeal will fail.
The outcome was inevitable and predictable. Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was found in contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Whether one is a supporter of Ford or not, Justice Charles Hackland's decision reinforces the importance of two issues -- governance and trust. What went wrong in this scenario?
Ever since that first tender cry of Rob Ford, a sound that can only be described as a siren being sped up through a yak bak repeated by a smarmy parrot yelling at you through an intercom -- shrill and persistent and hammering down on your senses -- we were suddenly all awake, galvanized to this frothing renegade on our radar. Everything he did was newsworthy, on all the national front pages. The whole country was paying attention to Toronto, some saying we finally got what we deserved. Ford was, in his own fumbling toward ecstasy sort of way, successfully rallying the entire country.
On November 26, 2012, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was found guilty of breaking provincial conflict of interest law, and has been ordered to leave the mayoral office in 14 days. He can and will appeal the ruling, and likely will. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from the troubled and short reign of mayor Rob Ford.
On November 11, 2012, Rob Ford was officially removed from office for violating the Municipal Conflict-of-Interest Act. A humble leader would have simply paid back the money before it became an issue. A careful leader would have taken the time to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations, before taking the highest office in the city. Rob Ford has truly been the master of his own demise, and his pathetic downfall was not due to any left-wing conspiracy -- it was simply the last, wheezing gasp of a mayor who tried to do one too many end-runs around the rules.
A court ruling booted Rob Ford from his job as Toronto Mayor, declaring he violated the Municipal Conflict-of-Interest Act. In just another example of Ford putting football before politics, the charge arose because of a council vote to recommend Ford repay donations he solicited for his private football foundation using official city letterhead. Many Toronto citizens (and a particular media outlet) have a contentious relationship with Ford, whether it be over his decision to repeatedly ditch the city's gay pride parade, his questionable driving habits, or his explosive temper. While some may be mourning, many more are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Here are some reactions.