A Toronto man believes the late Rob Ford — famous for waging a war against a municipal “gravy train,” among other things — deserves a statue.
Calling the former mayor a “tireless fighter for the people,” James Morrison launched an online petition last week addressed to Mayor John Tory, Toronto city council, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford has touched the hearts of many in the great city he represented. This man was a fighter until the end,” Morrison wrote.
Ford died Tuesday, 18 months after being diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. He was 46.
The public paid their last respects to former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who lay in repose at city hall on Monday. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
Morrison credited Ford’s “eagle eye” with ending the so-called “gravy train” — a moniker used by the late politician to describe and decry excess spending of taxpayer money.
“Rob Ford deserves a statue. Especially if Jack Layton got one,” wrote commenter Nickolas Tzavaras. Another praised Ford for being an “icon” who was a “real person who made mistakes and faced struggles but always had a good heart.”
But some disagreed, arguing the use of public money for a statue would be the last thing Ford would have wanted.
“Folks, that's a great example of not respecting the taxpayer's dollar,” wrote one commenter.
Morrison did not respond to The Huffington Post Canada’s request for comment.
“Rob Ford has touched the hearts of many in the great city he represented.”
— James Morrison, Change.org petition sponsor
If the petition gains enough momentum and moves through all the necessary bureaucratic hoops, there would be a total of two Ford family tributes in the city.
In 2010, an Etobicoke park was renamed in tribute to Ford’s late father Douglas Ford Sr., a former member of the provincial legislature.
Goodbye to an ‘average’ guy
Despite making international headlines for a crack video scandal and even appearing on American talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Ford often brushed off any notion of celebrity tied to his name.
“I’m just an average person that watches taxpayers’ money, returns phone calls and does what the taxpayers want,” he explained to media while signing bobblehead dolls made in his likeness in 2014.
Proceeds from the sale of those dolls went to two city hospitals where Ford was seeking chemotherapy treatment at the time.
A funeral will be held for Ford on Wednesday.
Also on HuffPost: