09/18/2014 02:34 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:58 EDT

For Once, Rob Ford Deserves Media Silence


Rob Ford is one of approximately 500 Canadians who got a cancer diagnosis today. None of whom will have anywhere near the level of media attention he does. Most of whom won't have anywhere near his resources, and will be legitimately dependent on the system of socialized medicine that, in a radio interview last year, Rob Ford said he didn't believe in since people who "want health care [should] pay for it."

I want a speedy and full recovery for Rob Ford, not just because he's a human being, but because as with every other part of his life he is a barrier to people who need more from the system than he does. As he is a barrier to a real political process in which the best people get elected. Doug Ford still hasn't released his platform; a debate got cancelled today; and there's the possibility of a kind of sympathy vote for the brother of an ailing Mayor. These things aren't good for the city.

Rob Ford is a man with cancer, but he's also the outgoing Mayor of my city.

So pardon me if, as I wish him well, I can't help think of those less fortunate than he, to whom he would deny the very care that he is depending on right now. And pardon me if I can't help but think of this city we still have to live in, for a full four years after this term is up, enduring yet another horrendous distraction from the actual business of getting people elected based on their merits.

The best thing for Rob Ford the Cancer patient is media silence. And the best thing for the Mayoral election is that this non-candidate for Mayor ceases to dominate the conversation. Let us hope that Rob Ford's cancer disappears along with Rob Ford's presence in the narrative of this Mayoral election. For the good of Rob Ford, and the good of all of us.

Here is a look at Canadian politicians who have fought cancer: