A press conference at 4pm Toronto time has taken place around 4:30pm and at that conference Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that he is not going to take a leave of absence in order to get his addictions under control.
Crack, alcohol, reading a book while driving, being over-weight, caught lying, and the list goes on – this right-wing politician has been under fire from the left-wing Toronto media more than any politician in my lifetime. Ford announced that he has kept these addictions under wraps from his family, his friends, his brother and from the councillors. Ford is going to stay on to earn back the respect of the public. At the end of the day if it makes him a better human being and a healthier one, then he needs everybody’s support, no matter what you think about his weight, or his political views.
He is a human. He has addiction problems and he needs our help.
Ford said he was elected by the people and if they don’t want him as Mayor, then don’t re-elect him in 2014. Democracy.
Imagine if the media paid as much attention to the billions of dollars that the Ontario government has wasted of taxpayer money – the services they delisted in order to pay for their mistakes and the lies, deception and shredding of documents that happened.
Or if Toronto was Montreal and there were 4 mayors in a short time frame and accusations of corruption and ties to the underworld. That too is horrible.
But this is Toronto, and if it’s okay for publications like NOW magazine to put Ford’s face on a naked, fat body (bullying some would say) and for Ford to be tailed, his phone’s tapped and people snapping videos of him walking down the street.
It’s a double standard that right-wing politicians have to be able to handle.
As a fiscal conservative – I’m all in favour of protecting taxpayers money and not raising taxes in order to cover up for mistakes, and Ford was the only choice in the 2010 election given the alternative was a candidate who was the deputy minister in charge of a portfolio which blew a billion dollars.
I have taken a lot of heat over my choice to support a fiscally conservative candidate vs., my support of Rob Ford. I appreciate the work Ford has done – the shovels are in the ground for subways which few other mayors were able to achieve, and garbage collection in the city is fantastic.
Any fiscally conservative politician might have been able to get this done…
But under the pressure from the press, and from the councillors who are getting tired of answering question after question about Ford, Rob has decided to not take a break from City Hall in order to get his life in order.
So what has the last 3-years of Ford’s leadership achieved for the city of Toronto?
Press and publicity for the city of Toronto. Press and publicity for the councillors who try to get things done in the City on a daily basis in (my opinion) the most backward way possible – ie, the $0.05 bag tax or LRT’s, St. Clair, etc. These guys and gals are famous. On newscasts around the world, and finally at the centre of attention.
If Ford steps aside, where will they get their publicity?
Will anyone care about the work at City Hall?
Will there be any checks into the spending of the left?
Those who will cheer with joy if Ford steps aside will be in their own #DrunkedStupor and will certainly take to Facebook again to criticize the man for his personal faults, and not for the faults of the position he holds.
Why would anyone with fiscally conservative ideals want to run for anything in this city?
In case anyone is wondering Ford’s decision, here are some other examples of politicians who have admitted drug use and have not resigned or have gone on to bigger and better things;
The former president famously admitted in 1992 to trying marijuana while he was attending Oxford University. “I didn’t inhale it…” was his famous comment.
Arguably the most infamous on this list is former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was arrested back in 1991 on charges of possession of cocaine. He’s even been called a “compulsive user of cocaine.” Well, D.C. residents weren’t fazed, because he was re-elected into office in 1994. In 2005, Barry pled guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from an IRS investigation, and during that hearing it was revealed that he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.
President Barack Obama:
Obama experimented with cocaine in his college days, and once commented that he used marijuana “When I was a kid, I inhaled often, that was the point.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted that he smoked some weed in his past when he said; “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”
Once quoted as saying that she too smoked marijuana.
Known to have been a wild partier – cocaine use – he was known to say; “I’ve made mistakes” and “We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don’t remember.”
The former vice president and climate change activist did admit that he smoked marijuana.
The Terminator and former California governor is actually smoking weed in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron.”