What if one of the reasons Toronto is so prosperous is precisely because its Mayor is too befuddled and unimaginative to interfere in any serious way with the functioning of the city? What if Mayor Ford is great precisely because he does little to nothing?
Ford apologized for his alleged actions in the crack video scandal on Saturday, but his apology left a lot of people angry and confused. Where others want him to apologize for his shenanigans regarding drugs and drinking, I want him to explain and apologize for his consistent, uncaring attitude towards his office, his city, and the people who live here.
It's pretty shocking that after months of an expensive police surveillance, the most compelling evidence produced in the Ford investigation are photos of people acting suspiciously. Criminal investigations of serious crimes are always about obtaining direct rather than circumstantial evidence wherever possible. They're about tapes, paper trails and drug tests, not semi-useless photos of people with envelopes and plastic bags.
When the news finally broke about the alleged crack video being in the hands of the Toronto Police, the addiction therapist in me saw it as a blessing in disguise for Mr. Ford. I recall thinking "maybe now he will stop this charade, get the help he needs and get his life back on track." I don't know Mr. Ford personally. But what I do know is that his behaviour of late is very indicative of an alcoholic or a drug addict. If he's serious about wanting to remain in office, I think it is irresponsible of him to pretend as though everything is fine. It's not fine, and I base that only on what has come out publicly. I can't even imagine what we don't know about.
That the cries for Rob Ford's head would be so loud and unanimous after a week of damning bombshells is hardly surprising. That's a perfectly sensible opinion, but it's also an essentially arbitrary measurement of fitness for public office stemming solely from a subjective standard of morality.
People could probably get over the idea of the mayor of the country's largest city doing illegal drugs. The more significant problem is Ford's reaction when the story broke: He didn't come clean. What Ford's boosters have always valued about him is that what you see is what you get. He doesn't posture or spin or obfuscate like a typical politician. He tells it like it is, plain and simple. But he has not told it like it is when it comes to the video, even when the city -- at times it even felt like the entire Western world -- was asking for answers. It's that choice of attempted self-preservation over forthright honesty that will be the mayor's undoing.
Yes, October 31 began with unfavourable news for Rob Ford. But what made it worse was his poorly-planned response, rather than the news itself. The pictures and videos of him chasing reporters were not classy. These are his fellow citizens -- the residents of the city of which he is Mayor. And that was very rude behaviour.
Is there any doubt about who Rob Ford is? There shouldn't be. From the moment he first ran for office, Rob Ford has been about "Stop the gravy train," even if he didn't articulate it that way in the beginning. What does Justin Trudeau stand for? There is no clear picture of who Justin is other than a good-looking guy who seems bright, has lots of charisma and speaks in generalities. Often politicians will say they don't want to reveal themselves until election time because they just make themselves a target for the other parties. But there is a difference between defining yourself -- who you are and what you stand for -- and revealing your specific policies.
Should we then be asking Rob Ford to fire Rob Ford? At the end the mayor called the alleged action of the employee "a complete embarrassment and a black eye on our city." While I await the investigation of that particular city employee, I am convinced that the mayor is a proven embarrassment to our city.
The sandbox tiff between Toronto City Councillor Paul Ainslie and Mayor Rob Ford appears destined to land on the doorstep of the City's Integrity Commissioner (a position which has become, at best, an anachronistic Miss Manners). When it does, the commissioner would be well advised to reject the complaint out of hand.
The TTC has a branding problem. Let me explain. One morning, Premier Kathleen Wynne was late for question period. Why was she late? Well, why are any ...
Sometimes the worst of times may be the best of times in disguise. I repeat the caveat: sometimes. Case in point, let's look at four very different mayors from across Canada: Gérald Tremblay, Rob Ford, Naheed Nenshi, and Colette Roy-Laroche. They all faced different types of crises this summer, and their responses defined them in the public eye.
The summer is hot and it's not just the temperature. Each summer I dread the headline news of young black males heading to the mortuary, and this summ...
The week Jack died, I watched in awe as Torontonians came together to share their love for Jack. Our famously cold, unfriendly city began to bare its soul in chalk messages written all over Nathan Phillips Square. When thunderstorms washed away the chalk, the people came back and filled the square with writing all over again. I have rarely seen something more beautiful than that.
When I was 22 years old and old working as an assistant brewer for a major micro-brewery in Michigan, my boss told me his fundamental rule when it came to mixing alcohol with work: You have to keep it together. Unfortunately, this weekend Rob Ford excused his apparent public drunkenness at Taste of the Danforth with no recognition of how such public behaviour reflects on the people he represents: the citizens of Toronto. The circus that has consumed Rob Ford and the city of Toronto over the past three months is not how one goes about securing credibility or ensuring trust. It is, rather, a case study in shallow, arrogant denial.
Ford used his party time on the Danforth to seek the spotlight while posing for countless pictures. He knew all eyes were on him because he was smiling for the attention. He knows the cloud of suspicion that surrounds him is darkening the city's reputation and causing dysfunction within city council. He honestly doesn't even seem to care.