Gee's little absurdist play exposes the basic weaknesses of John Tory, as a political leader. In his effort to be a nice guy and everyone's friend, Tory has failed to take a firm and unequivocal stand on any of the important issues, affecting the city of Toronto, ie subways vs. LRT, the dismantling of part of the Gardiner Expressway, and the proposed Porter Air expansion.
Since the Second Intifada in 2,000, 1,227 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks and 8,549 have been injured. Additionally, the Shin Bet claims to have been able to prevent 190 terror attacks in 2013, 40 which were carried out by terrorists freed under the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, including 16 suicide attacks, as opposed to 112 in 2012.
I have followed Ford for over 13 years, especially when he was an obscure Etobicoke councilman. The guy has a big heart. He cares about his constituents. So when the ice storm struck, Ford naturally helped out on a daily basis. I predict that the 2014 Toronto Mayoral campaign is over. Ford is unstoppable.
There they sit facing each other in Toronto City Hall -- two very rich men of much more than considerable girth, strangely similar, radiating mutual admiration, screw-you arrogance and otherworldly chutzpah. This odd couple comes together last Monday on Vision's The Zoomer. It's never the widely advertised interview promised, because the Baron doesn't know how to interview. Instead, it's a chat between two obviously misunderstood innocents. So no tough, probing questions from the Baron to the Mayor along the lines of "have you no shame, sir? No decency?"
McGuinty sincerely believed in cancelling the gas plants. But he feared losing seats in Mississauga and Oakville. So he abandoned his principles for votes. That is pandering. What Ford did in supporting subways is not pandering. That is true democracy, a concept obviously lost on the Toronto Star, which appears to prefer rule by the privileged unelected few. And policymaking by non-partisan so-called experts, aka Metrolinx, who are clearly insensitive to the actual people for which they are working.
As we all watch in awe as the human train wreck that is Toronto mayor Rob Ford continues to unfold, let us take a moment to reflect on the very ugly role that racism is playing in the Ford saga. I think that many of the people who claim to be disturbed by the fact that Rob Ford does drugs are, on some level, actually disturbed by the fact that Rob Ford (allegedly) smokes crack with Somalians in Little Mogadishu.
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.
Tweets are brief. I get that. But Robyn Doolittle's response to my earlier blog post is telling. She failed to address the widespread concerns about her reportage, and opted instead for a straw man strategy starring yours truly. It's a familiar defense aimed at ending debate. Call someone a sexist, a racist, a homophobe. I've heard them all. But I've never used them.
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.