11.08.2013 09:20 AM

Toronto needs a mayor: it isn’t really about Rob Ford anymore

The amount of coverage is immense, and it isn’t showing any sign of abating.  I don’t have to link to anything – it’s everywhere, wherever you are in the world.  You can find it all on your own.  There’s great writing going on, and shitty, self-absorbed writing, too.

I’m not yet sick of reading about Rob Ford’s sickness – it’s hard to tear my eyes away, I reluctantly admit – but there actually isn’t any new news now: before last week, the whole thing was really about a video of him smoking crack. We now know from him that he did smoke crack, and we know from the cops that the video exists. So, a lot of people are just watching now to see if he dies or not – figuratively or literally.

Me, I’m watching Ford less, and those around him more.  Readers of this web site know that I have been highly unimpressed by the reactions/actions of the likes of John Tory or Karen Stintz.  But lots of others are being judged too, whether they know it or not.  Federally, provincially, municipally: sooner or later, politicians will be called to account for what they did, or didn’t do, during the great Rob Ford circus of 2013.

Not many of them will receive a positive review, I think.  What do you think?


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    Dai says:

    I am increasingly concerned that this is just the beginning of some sort of redemptive narrative (with help from Flaherty no less, the apologies – slowly delivered with blessings and god thrown in for good measure) and that this buffoon will not be taken to task for running roughshod (to say the LEAST) over the city. He has yet to apologize for the racism, homophobia, misogyny, and never mind the complete and total lack of understanding of the nuance, vision and spirit of collaboration it takes to be Mayor. He is a disgrace by every possible measure and is definitive proof Toronto needs a way to remove incompetent thugs like him from office. This really cannot stand. We deserve better.

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      david ray says:

      from dept of silver linings.

      i am now seeing this a sequel to something that might have been 100 times worse and as a warning to those who think electing populist right wing bat shit crazy politicians might be a good idea. Remember Sarah Palin? Of course you do. Imagine what she and her crazy family would have become had she been elected vice-president of the United States. In a way Ford is doing us a favour by blowing up here rather than on a larger and more dangerous stage. At least he doesn’t have the nuclear codes.

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    Pcase22 says:

    Nope, it is an utterly shocking lack of leadership and courage. Those public figures who stepped up to the mic for the last year and gave “the benefit of the doubt” need to be held accountable. That it had to come to what appears to be a death spiral to hear a peep out of them. What’s been happening, has been so completely evident, and these so called leaders in a fear of “Ford Nation” were to gutless to call a spade a spade.

    Yet still, you have the same folks so tepid lacking any courage to be unequivocal that this has to end now. To pretend like the what’s happened up to now does not go well beyond an offense that demands a resignation IS INSANE. It literally means we burning all past convention and the idea that public office holders have an responsibility to maintain a moral authority to maintain their position.

    You are right, our leaders at levels have to step up and be clear that there are no options.

    On a side note, and speaking of gutless, please for the love of god do not let Stephen LeDrew go near an interview of any importance.

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    smelter rat says:

    It’s obvious his whole family is dysfunctional. We’ve moved from comedy to tragedy in the space of 4 days. He is surrounded by enablers. The outcome is of all of this, is not going to be pretty.

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    Christian says:

    Totally agree with that Warren. And most of those who are being and/or will be judged are in the Tory fold. They (i.e.: Hudak, Harper, Stinz etc.) eagerly and gladly hitched their wagons to the Rob Ford Gravy Train Wreck. This despite all the evidence that here was a man who was wholly unsuited for the job as mayor or leader in both ability and temperment (his 10 years as a nut bar Councillor should have been enough proof). Watch them run and hide behind denial, finger pointing and crocodile tears. It actually kinda sickens me. I think its our duty to not let them get away with their opportunistic, destructive behaviour.

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    Steven Barry says:

    Bits x 2:
    I said this at the onset; he needs help, professional help. I think anyone who is honestly trying to get him into a program is doing the right thing and should be thought well of.

    It is a foregone conclusion in my mind that he is unfit for office so I think the opportunists in that regard are transparently self-exposing.

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    Joseph Krengel says:

    Rob Ford was an asshole first and an alcoholic second, the fact that people enabled the latter is a minor concern compared to the the fact that they ignored the former to either enhance their own agenda.

    Unfortunately however Ford has managed to completely obliterate the boundaries between personality and politics, rendering judgements of behaviour irrelevant. The right wing will hate Adam Vaughn because he’s a left-wing commie elitist regardless of how he behaves, and the same goes for everyone on the right. That is Ford’s biggest crime (if you ignore all of the actual CRIME.)

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    Matt says:

    But what can anyone really do for him if he won’t admit he has a problem?

    I’ve heard Mulcair, Trudeau, Hudak, Horwath, deputy Mayor Kelly all say he needs to get help. Jim Flaherty was nearly in tears yesterday when asked about Ford.

    His answer was Rob needs to decide what to do. It sounds like a cop out, but it’s the truth.

    What can be done? Kidnap him in the middle of the night and put him in rehab? Ford has to admit to himself he has an issue and WANT to fix it or rehab just won’t work.

    His reaction to yesterday’s video was “It’s extremely embarrassing. The whole worlds going to see it” But he still says he doesn’t have a problem.

    If public shaming and embarrassment don’t convince him, I’m at a loss to think of something that will. Sadly, I don’t think he’s hit bottom yet.

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    mooj says:

    Denzil Minnan-Wong has probably shown the most leadership since the scandal broke, but perhaps he just looks good in comparison to Tory et Stintz.

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      Matt says:

      He has his own mayoral aspirations. That’s what he’s looking out for.

      He’s going to ask the unelected Premier of Ontario to change legislation to forcibly remove the democratically elected mayor. That’s the only way he has even a remote chance of becoming mayor, and he knows it.

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        doconnor says:

        Like every other Premier of Ontario, the current one holds he position because she has the confidence of the majority of Provincial Parliament (and it hasn’t been as easy to get that as it usually is).

        The Premier of Ontario doesn’t have the authority to remove the mayor. That too would require the support of the majority of Provincial Parliament to pass the necessary laws. However, for something like this, I wouldn’t move forward without all party support.

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          bluegreenblogger says:

          Good point, about the all-party support. It might actually be a smart move politically to try and nail Hudak down on supporting the Fords (or not). As it stands, the PC’s have the option of ditching the Fords if the going gets rough(er). I say put Hudak on the SPOT and force him to stand by his man, or otherwise. Remove the option of ditching the Fords, or remove Robbie while alienating the Fords from the PC’s. Win-Win for the Liberals.

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    Dan says:

    Tory will be unscathed. I think you are making too big of a deal about his comments.

    I think the Federal cons will weather Ford -they have bigger issues now, and if he if Ford isnot relected it gives them another year of space from the issue.

    I don’t really see many people wearing this issue outside of Rob and Doug. Just solidfies the opinions people held leading into the mayoral election.

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      james Smith says:

      Under what circumstance are you saying Mr Tory will be unscathed? This gentleman has proven time & again that he has no decreeable leadership ability. If you’re speaking of his radio programme, well, you may be correct, but that programme is the most boring thing on the radio dial – in any time slot. So if he were to go from boring to even more boring, I guess that counts as “unscathed”.

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    patrick says:

    Curious, I’d reverse the opinion on the writing. Which obviously means you are wrong, obviously.
    Poor Rob, in a job he really didn’t want, is incapable of doing, is ridiculed every time he opens his mouth and having all his warts revealed and NO ONE close to him have had his best interests at heart until it become politically expedient – Dug suggesting it’s time for Rob to take a break today. For all those who have exploited Ford, from the drug dealers, pathological family members, cynical politicians, his best action would have been if he died. Then he could be blamed and accused, remembered falsely and with relief and used as a totem of the results of leftist evil and be free of any responsibility for his actions.

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      steve says:

      If he dies he will be Torontos equivalent of JFK. In our Camelot we do not have transit but we have dreams of transit.

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    Joseph Krengel says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, people always get the democracy they deserve. Torontonians are shortsighted and selfish, and we ended up the personification of Montezuma’s Revenge for mayor.

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      Tired of it All says:

      That is a money quote, Mr. Krengel. But it’s not just T.O., my good man. It’s all of Canada. We have a serious standards/public good deficiency. All part of the tiring of Western democracies, and no fun to be part of.

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    Mulletaur says:

    I don’t know what is a more pathetic spectacle – Rob Ford hiding under his mother’s skirts, or Conservative councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong running crying waa! waa! waa! to momma province to try and solve his Rob Ford problem. Toronto City Council is paid to govern, they should get on with their jobs.

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      MgS says:

      If there is no means to remove a mayor whose actions and behaviour have become the issue, then the province needs to intervene.

      The bigger question is whether or not council _can_ govern with Ford sitting in the Mayor’s office, and his off-campus activities are the focus of attention?

      Regardless of what you think of Ford’s politics, or the actions of his critics, the central issue is whether or not he is fit to hold the office. There is a considerable amount of evidence that suggests that he is not, and worse, his behaviour puts the ability of council to function in peril.

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        W the K - No, not Warren says:

        By any definition he is not fit to hold office.

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        Mulletaur says:

        Point to the law which states that a mayor can be removed because he or she is ‘unfit’ ?

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    steve says:

    Drunk, sober, tweeking or living with Jesus, Rob Ford will still be a monosyllable thinker.

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    W the K - No, not Warren says:

    He needs to go. And until he resigns (none of this step aside stuff) I will watch as much as I can and stand opposed. He’s The Mayor for God’s sake. This disastrous child is, to quote a Great American Film, still in the field commanding troops. It’s my obligation as a constituent to know how he’s doing his job, have an opinion about it, and be critical of him. Regardless of his condition I have expectations of ongoing media scrutiny until the second he leaves public life. Once he does so his convalescence becomes a private matter. I don’t want him back.

    I will also note who his supporters have been through this fiasco. But I’m more interested in the sons of bitches who, in 2008-09, thought it was a good idea for Rob to be mayor of Canada’s largest city. And organized to make it happen. I will want to know who they back next year. Those people scare me.

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      Mulletaur says:

      What, you mean the Toronto Sun ?

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      Michael says:

      Ford’s campaign team, coming to a provincial conservative party near you, soon.

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        Matt says:

        I don’t think anyone is still with him from the 2010 campaign. They all moved on after he was elected. Some right after, some when the crack story broke.

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    trick says:

    It reminded me of that book by Oscar Wilde– The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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    Tired of it All says:

    By the way, Christie Blatchford should be fired immediately. Her apologetic dreck is mind-numbing. As if the issue is the Star buying the story and ruining the sanctity of Canadian journalism. This, as opposed to the spectacle of watching an elected official get drunk and high on the job; ruin the integrity of the Mayor’s office; ruin the integrity of public office; and demonstrate there is no such things as a public role model.

    Joseph Krengel nailed it: we get the democracy we deserve. If we elect people we can ‘relate’ to, what does that say about us? I don’t know about any of you, but I’m not equiped to run a city of 5 million. Why would I vote for me? I want someone with gravitas and more than Fox News soundbytes relating to economic policy.

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      Mary says:

      She’s just fishing for page views. Stop clicking on her trash and she’ll disappear.

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      steve says:

      I cant say a memo went out to go after the Star for buying news, but it sure is quite a coincidence that such a facile argument is getting so much play. No the Mayor of the fourth largest city in North America going Tommy Boy playing Scarface is not newsworthy, move along people nothing to see here.

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    Matt says:

    Couple new tidbits:

    CFRB and the Fords have “mutually agreed to end their talk show”, aka they were most likely fired.

    Doug say Rob needs to take a 2 or 3 week break from city hall.

    No Doug, Rob needs a 30 or 60 day stint in a treatement centre, preferably one that will keep you and the family away from him.

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    patrick says:

    What have the politicians done in 2013 with regards to the Rob Ford circus that they need to be held to account?
    His drug use, his drinking? His association with drug dealers and thugs? Going to the press early would have gotten them shredded by the Ford friendly press. Besides the fact that general civility would have people talking behind closed doors if people were really interested in Rob’s well being.
    Council has no liability with regards to Ford’s behaviour. They behaved as best they could in the face of a wave of incompetence.
    Only thing that council is truly responsible for is their voting record – good by Stintz with her cynical Scarborough flip.
    Your narrative is something a potential mayoral candidate, an outsider, would spin to help with getting elected.
    Oh, wait…….

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    Kevin says:

    As someone from Ennui-on-the-Rideau who endured the Larry O’Brien fiasco, I started watching the Ford fiasco with amusement. No more. Ford’s a train wreck in slow motion, gradually being destroyed (by his own hand). Too sad. He does need to go. Too bad his family won’t help him – they seem to be too attached to the “mayor” title than to his health and well-being. That’s another thing that is too sad.

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    Eric Saxon says:

    Who’s Worse?

    Last night at the Chippendales-style Liberal meet ‘n greet, Justin Trudeau stated: “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China, ahh, because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green as fast as, we need to start, you know, investing in solar — there is a flexibility … having a dictatorship where you can do whatever you wanted, that I find quite interesting.”

    Of course the Trudeau Family has a long history of supporting dictatorships. Pierre Trudeau’s defense of Communists was broad: he visited China four times between 1960 and 1979 and was apologist to Mao Zedong and his heirs; in 1973, he defended Mao’s policies in Canada’s Parliament willfully blind to a system responsible for the deaths of some 80 million people. In 1981, Trudeau expressed sympathy for Poland’s General Wojciech Jaruzelski – he banned Solidarity and jailed or sent into hiding its leaders, including Lech Walesa. In 1983, Trudeau declared in Parliament that he simply “couldn’t believe” the Soviets would knowingly destroy a commercial airliner – this was after the Kremlin finally admitted knowing that Korean Air Flight 007 was a passenger plane, and justified shooting it down along with its 269 passengers because it was “spying.” And of course, Trudeau’s lifelong admiration and friendship with Cuban Marxist-Lennist dictator Fidel Castro is well known. Brother number one and two continue in their veneration of socialist supermen like Castro and Chavez.

    The press reported some months ago Justin Trudeau giving an autograph to a fellow airline passenger complete with “just watch me” – the allusion being his father’s implementation of the War Measures Act and the suspension of habeas corpus and the rule of law. Make no mistake. Justin Trudeau and his ilk do not believe in the rule of law or human rights. The Canadian Nation is viewed as a backward and recalcitrant anachronism that must be liquidated on the road to the Great Society and Maoism with Canadian characteristics. To the Gulag Gwai Lo running dogs!

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      Michael says:

      Eric there is only one thing I can say in response to your post.

      There are stupid people in the world, and some of them have computers and internet access.

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      steve says:

      Eric, if you look at his full statement you would realize you have been played. He ends the couple of hundred words with “and now the Sun can say I prefer China” And you palpably knew that already. With little logical traps like this by 2015 Canadians will not believe the Tories if they say the official color of Canada is blue.

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        Pat Stephenson says:

        Wrong. The Chinese State was brought about through violent revolution at a cost of 70 million + dead; therefore anyone that admires this “basic dictatorship” of the proletariat teaches or advocates the use of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Canada and is guilty of sedition (59.4). Once one makes the threat, they can’t explain it away as humor. Unless everything is 100% ghostwritten from here on in, the next years are going to reveal the utter contempt and loathing Trudeau has for Canadians. Make no mistake, this cabal wants NEP 2.0 – brainwashing the Fifty Shades of Grey set as to the utility of a “basic dictatorship” is one way to nationalize the petroleum industry – and the rest of Canada. Between Marois and her Quebec Charter and moonbat Trudeau, Quebecois supremacism is trying to wreck this country. Canadians can see through these vicious attempts at ethnic nationalism backed by Chinese Communist Party divide and rule tactics. This insurgency will be fiercely resisted and completely defeated.

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          Matt says:

          China is using their dictatorship to bring in green policies. He actually said that.

          China burns more coal every year than all other countries combined.

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        Matt says:

        Sorry Steve. It’s not just Sun News who know this was a major error by Trudeau. Watch the video.

        Why no, I actually don’t grant Justin Trudeau the right to take back his lamest statements by saying, “Sun News is gonna report this!” — Paul Wells (@InklessPW) November 8, 2013

        Cruel of Sun to report on Trudeau rambling incoherently. The man clearly needs to get help. — Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) November 8, 2013

        EXCLUSIVE: Clip of Justin Trudeau answering question on foreign policy! Must credit @acoyne! http://t.co/0dW9RzsGyO — Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) November 8, 2013. The clip is from the 2007 Miss Teen USA pagent where Ms. South Carolina provides a cluster#### of an answer to a simple question.

        But that wasn’t Trudeau’s only mistake. He seems to think the government of Yukon and the other northern territories are run by consensus rather than a party system. He of course is wrong

        From David Akin: @JustinTrudeau talks to leader of Yukon Liberal Party he says does not exist. #AskJustin pic.twitter.com/NacW154Q

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    Fred says:

    Yes Eric, and that’s why I’m voting for Mad Dog Mulcair.

    Seriously, tell Justin to shut up.

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    Bruce A says:

    I think Rob Ford is the meal ticket for his immediate family and the Cons in general. Without him, all is lost and they ride this horse till it drops. Both groups sees him as a ‘gravy train’ for their own political survival. The Fords are like the Jackson’s and the Harperite’s are conniving agents. Losing Robbie possibly means losing it all. Guys like Rob Ford don’t come along often but people like his brother are there in droves to milk every drop until the last moment.


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      steve says:

      I think Doug is performing a Roblotomy on his body politic.

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    Patricia Morfee says:

    I am not a resident of Toronto but this has made me so angry. I can’t believe that there are still supporters of this spoiled child man, who are enabling his actions as being just a private matter that he should be able to do with no consequences. While I don’t reside there, my Children and Grandchildren do and they deserve a better person as Mayor than Rob Ford.

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    Jake Rychart says:

    Ford is a proven winner!

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      Justin says:

      At scoring ‘rock’!

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    debs says:

    rob has been abandoned by he is biggest supporter…doug…so the game is over for robbie…rehab is imminent.

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