Rob Ford smoked crack. So what? Oh, and he plans to run for a second term as Mayor of the Greater Toronto Area in the Fall 2014 election. Really? Here is a prescription for six actions that would be good for Toronto in 2014, even if by default they result in four more years of Mayor Rob Ford.
2013. Wow. Could you be more proud of how this country chose to treat its most recent 365 days?
One of the corollaries of our governing WASP culture is a loathing of animal appetites, an emphasis on self-control at the expense of, well, everything. Which is why it's great to see Rob Ford pour beer, crack cocaine and oral sex all over this carefully built myth of false gentility that means "Canada" to the outside world.
2. Healthcare.gov. The part this poorly-designed site played--or failed to play for that matter--in the introduction of Obamacare was damn-near disastrous. We live in a world where babies know how to use iPads. Figure it out, America.
What can we expect in 2014? Here are five themes I touched on this year which will continue to receive greater attention in the New Year.
The Canadian press has been offering no shortage of year-in-review columns as of late. What's my pick for top story of 2013, you ask? I don't know if I have a headline per se, but I do have a theme: the decline of Brand Canada. If there's one thing Justin Trudeau, Rob Ford, and the Senate scandal have in common, after all, it's that they all prove, in different ways, that Canada is not nearly as serious, respectable, and mature of a country as we often like to believe.
Welcome, friends and lovers all To the Newsverse Christmas ball Hop a bus or Citibike Grab a cab or hitch a hike There'll be lots of caviar The Rollin...
With all the talk of politicians, drugs and government spending, now is the time to take a hard look at reworking minimum sentencing guidelines for individuals arrested with small amounts of illegal drugs.
If what Rob Ford has been saying about Daniel Dale is untrue, as Dale insists, then I don't blame the reporter for initiating legal action in an effort to protect his reputation. However, I do take issue with his insistence that it's fine for him to remain on the city hall beat for the Toronto Star while he does so. A reporter should be as impartial as possible, which means at a minimum he should have no obvious conflicts with the subjects he's reporting on. And there are few conflicts more obvious than being on the other end of a lawsuit with someone. Dale can't provide objective coverage about Ford at the same time that he's suing him.
I don't like when tax dollars are wasted -- whether at the provincial level by relocating gas plants, or at City Hall by tearing up LRT contracts willy-nilly, or even by the federal government straight up losing $3.1 billion (whatever happened to that scandal, by the way?). And I get that times are tough. Saving pennies matters to a lot of people these days, and it should to our governments, too.
Without a chance to brush up on my poor speaking or understanding of French, I was whisked away from LA to Montréal, Canada after an invite came into my inbox to attend the 3rd annual world music conference/festival Mundial Montréal.
There are hints that Ford's type of behaviour, and in particular his adamant refusal to resign, are becoming an ugly trend. Far too many leaders these days are in it for themselves. So will we be inflicted with a Prime Minister Rob Ford?
I go to the Newsana debate in Toronto. Headline for the gathering: "Toronto's Watergate? The inside scoop on how the media exposed Rob Ford." Up there on the platform is a fine balance of newspapers leftish, centreish and rightish. Here are some highlights, condensed and edited.
There's something about Justin Trudeau with his sideways smiles, V-necks and ladies' night that reminds me of smarmy men from my past. That connection is hard to break, even though as a friend recently pointed out, he's probably the politician who best reflects my views. As with our personal relationships, we are often blind to our favourite politicians' faults. We defend them when others bring up their shortcomings -- "You don't know the real Barack!" -- rather than accept the facts. That's why it stung so much when I recently read a piece in the Globe and Mail titled "From messiah to lame duck: How Barack Obama fell to earth."
Rob Ford, should you be legally allowed to run for mayor again, though I may not have the courage of many of my neighbours to cast a vote in your direction, I most certainly will watch delightedly as you sweat your way through a seemingly endless string of awkward hallway press scrums and barely-veiled bigotry. You have taught me to accept what I do not understand.
Though this pageant of greed and gluttony lasts four whole days, when all is said and done, even amidst the drunken family brawling, sometimes moments for reflection can still be found. And you can bet that this round-headed political comic has much to be thankful for.