Over the past 20 years, the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) have quarterbacked 18 post-conviction exonerations of people convicted of murder here in Canada. As AIDWYC gets set to mark its 20th anniversary, there are appeals before the courts that could cause that successful case count to rise.
Throughout the drawn-out Rob Ford crack-smoking saga, one thing has been made abundantly clear: Rob Ford has very poor judgment. As a Mayor, as a person, and as a representative for the City of Toronto, Rob Ford has continually proven that his judgment is lacking. This, above all else, is the reason that he should resign immediately. As I wrote in previous articles about this subject, it's not his now-confirmed crack use that's even the problem. However, exercising terrible judgment in the consumption of crack brings a world of other problems with it, not the least of which is criminal association.
The current crisis in Toronto's city hall might well serve as a reminder that as a society, we have a long way to go in understanding the impact of mental health when lives go awry on the public stage. We also have yet to achieve consensus as to what might constitute a compassionate, pragmatic response in such cases.
Toronto is a rapidly growing city, one facing pressures on infrastructure, concerns about congestion of cars on roads, and the need for better mass transit. Toronto is a city beset by economic inequality. These are all issues that need to be seriously dealt with, not sidelined by the distractions of a mayor clearly unfit for office.
In a city where culture is rather nascent and there is no rich history of the arts, it's exciting to see parents educating their teens to appreciate the nuances of Verdi's masterpiece.
The daily, international circus that Rob Ford is circumventing so disastrously right now demonstrates why it's so important to have a Crisis Communications Plan and stick to it. In every crisis there is an opportunity to learn and to grow and to become stronger. Here's hoping that this week is a little quieter for Ford.
We decided it was time to coin a new political term. We'll repeat the definition we gave it, back in May. Wedgie: When a political party's "wedge" issue turns on them and instead of dividing the other party, begins to divide their own.
His tagline is facking hilarious: Toronto's most illegible bachelor. Good one, dude. It looks like he's at the top of Runyon Canyon in his profile pi...
So for those salivating for a Toronto reset, I suggest a more modest brand refresh -- one where an asterisk is added to our otherwise great city. Here we can note our city's mind-numbing congestion, condo lined waterfront, failed Olympic bids, overpriced housing and political mismanagement. All this without clouding the overwhelmingly positive attributes this city has to offer.
Statistics on moms, a reminder to get the flu shot, raising readers, a new place to shop and a very brief crack at the Mayor is what I've got this wee...
People keep saying "Toronto deserves better." But there's more to it than that. Ford Nation deserves better. Forget your politics for one second. Forget left or right or suburban or urbanite. This guy shouldn't be your guy, no matter which side of the fence you fall off of during a drunken stupor. Ford Nation should want better than Rob Ford, because Ford Nation should be better than Rob Ford. If our leaders are supposed to be shining examples of the people they represent, surely Ford Nation can find someone else. Not just for Toronto, but for themselves.
In the past 24 hours, the mainstream international media outlets -- BBC, NPR, CNN, to name a few -- have been running the story of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's confession of crack-cocaine use. But for those who do not follow Canadian (let alone Torontonian) politics, allow me to offer a primer.
In his second speech, Rob Ford made one particularly impassioned comment which has truly cosmic importance: "I'd do anything, anything to change the past." Really? You're expending all that sincerity on how much you'd like to change the past? Is that something you're close to being able to do?
Pamela Wallin admitted to accounting mishaps, paid back her loot and then cried "lynching." Mayor Rob Ford's family and fans referred to his well-deserved scrutiny as "a lynching." It is nothing of the sort. They have no right to compare their media scrutiny or professional strife to African slavery, the Holocaust or any other systemic international human catastrophe. Words can wound.
All this debate about Rob Ford smoking crack is irrelevant. He doesn't need to go to rehab to get elected. He simply needs to do the job he was hired to do: Disrupt Toronto, Delay Toronto, and Distract Toronto. All so that the people angry with Toronto can sit back and enjoy a good trolling.