Either way, with all of his other scandals in mind, if this video proves to be true, Ford must leave office. But the fact that he should leave office as a man in need of help, and not a morally bankrupt criminal (at least for potentially using crack), remains. Unfortunately, the lingering effects of the Drug War likely will remain as well.
Living in Vancouver, I'm no Rob Ford fan. I'm not even sure what that is. Media outlets across Canada and around the world reported on what the Star published while their reporter Robyn Doolittle has gone Hollywood. Drug dealers, no video proof, there's nothing right about this whole thing. Folks, prepare yourself for the new normal.
Fordgate is a classic example of new media leading the old. U.S. producers are smart enough to realize that Canadians represent a major chunk of the North American consumer base, and there's very little commercial downside in giving them what they want. Especially when their own media won't. With the Gawkers of the world happily pillaging their readers, revenue, and reputation, decency debates are a luxury Canada's old guard media establishment literally can't afford.
What's troubling is that the homophobic and racially slanted comments allegedly made by Rob Ford have received little or no scrutiny. The biggest stain this scandal brings isn't the possible addictions of a well-known politician. It is the fetid stench of acceptance and normalization of blatant bigotry that stinks to high heavens. Have we become collectively complacent in the face of bigotry?
The obvious question is, if Mayor Ford is charged with possession of crack cocaine does he then lose his post? The short answer is "no." Absent imprisonment, there is really no way to remove a mayor who is charged with an offence.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster for Canadians who follow the news. Lost in the shuffle were two stories that were of no particular importance, relatively speaking, to Canadians. One of them is about the way well-heeled Manhattan moms have worked the lineup system at Disney by hiring a disabled person to be a "family member" for the day.
This is how the entire situation boils down: You are giving your money to a website so they can give your money to a member of a gang which wreaks violence on your city so that they, the website, can make money for themselves. Does this make any sense to you whatsoever? If you don't like Rob Ford, fine, don't vote for him. Smear him all you want. Insult him at every party. Call him a fascist Michelin Man. Frankly, I don't give a damn. But for the love of God, please don't give money to drug dealers.
This week was so full of disillusioning news that it was hard to keep an optimistic outlook. In Belize, thousands of years of history were razed when one of the country's largest Mayan pyramids was bulldozed. In Toronto, Gawker and The Toronto Star published details of a video alleged to show the city's mayor, Rob Ford, inhaling from what two Star reporters who saw the video say "appears to be a glass crack pipe." Meanwhile, in Ottawa, expense scandals led to Senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy leaving the Conservative caucus. What's a defeated HuffPost reader to do?
Near midnight last night, the Toronto Star detailed the video of Mayor Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine. But while they're the ones questioning Ford's fitness to lead, they're also the ones who are primarily responsible for this mess -- them and our arcane electoral system. The first past the post system made it harder for the non-top-two candidates, including Sarah Thomson, to stay in the race. If we'd had a ranked ballot method of voting, they may have stayed in. I was livid at Thomson quitting, leaving us with two crappy choices. It's no wonder so many of us either didn't vote or seriously considered not voting.
The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition has been an emerging right wing voice in municipal politics since its birth in 2010. According to the group, it advoca...
Toronto's business leaders like to think that they are helping to build a great global city, but casino building is city-ruining of the highest order. A downtown casino will tear holes in Toronto's urban fabric, create more costs than benefits, and send the message that Toronto is on the wrong track.
Exploiting society's most vulnerable citizens, the modus operandi of revenue-generating gambling, is regressive taxation. Gambling is a gateway drug; a city that enables and promotes it violates basic principles of conservatism -- notably, to draw on evidence from other jurisdictions, and to put social problems to heel before they reach metastasis.
Every time it feels like things can't possibly get any worse, Toronto politics finds a way to stoop to a new low. Rob Ford is engaged in yet another race to the bottom. Nonetheless, it's interesting to examine the attacks on Sarah Thomson, and the painfully-flawed logic behind them. But it's really worth examining the true meaning of the statements, and what it says about how sexual assault claims are treated. Exactly what burden of proof do we require before we believe a woman who claims assault? It seems that the court of public opinion requires a higher burden of proof than any other court in the land.
It should go without saying that Sarah Thomson's allegations that Rob Ford groped her must be investigated -- even though she herself has bizarrely refused to press charges thus far. Perhaps she was/is still shocked by the incident and fearful of the repercussions of a legal battle, but it is her duty as a woman -- moreover as a woman with a public profile -- to take the next step and get law enforcement involved.
If Sarah Thomson was groped by Rob Ford, she should have gone to the police and pressed for charges to be laid against the Mayor. Instead, she sought to embarrass Ford publicly. Perhaps to bring him down a notch. Maybe even to boost her public profile. All under the guise of promoting women's rights.
Thrilling as the #Fordcourt ride was, we're back to where we started. Ford Nation -- such as it is -- can enjoy its little victory lap. All I ask is that the Ford brothers set aside the slogans, the catchphrases, the childish vindictiveness, and the belligerent, tribal ignorance that's characterized public discourse in Toronto for the last two years.