By macleans.ca - Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 0 Comments
What Rob Ford and Alison Redford have in common
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: thrown out of office over the consequences of using it to raise $3,150 for his youth football charity. Alberta Premier Alison Redford: not thrown out of office, and not likely to be, over her handling of a $10-billion tobacco lawsuit. Yes, the troubles of these oddly paired cross-country mirror images are very different in scale. But both, to some degree, have bogged down over conflicts of interest not just because of their actions but because of their very identities. One could argue that, like Shakespearean heroes, they have been undone by their virtues.
Ford, the single-minded, ebullient football coach, charged ahead and shrugged off warnings from the city’s integrity commissioner and the Speaker about his conflict in a council vote, leaving a judge with no choice but to punish him. Redford, a product of the ultra-small world of the Alberta bar, simply doesn’t seem to have imagined there would be controversy over choosing her ex-husband’s law firm to manage a massive tobacco lawsuit while she was justice minister of the province. As even her defenders observe, that’s just how business is done there. (Which would seem to be an argument for letting somebody from another province choose among bidders for giga-contracts.)
Toronto voted for Ford, by and large, because it wanted a renegade mayor who wouldn’t be a prisoner of city hall. Alberta voted for Redford, by and large, because it was tired of self-taught outsiders; it was ready to welcome back a premier from the right side of Calgary’s tracks. You buy the steak, you get the gristle as well as the sizzle. Continue…
By Emma Teitel - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 6:12 AM - 0 Comments
The Toronto Sun said it best:
“Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been punted from office, just days short of celebrating his second anniversary of being sworn in.”
Punted from office. What a way to go.
And what a tragedy.
I don’t really like Rob Ford. In fact I don’t like him at all. But I can’t deny that these are sad days for civic engagement. Not only is it becoming increasingly hard to identify any trace of integrity in our politicians, but–as Scott Feschuk points out– it’s nearly impossible to identity them at all. Say what you like about the guy, Rob Ford is easy to identify. And unlike this guy, everyone in Toronto, yes–even the most apathetic teenager, and the immigrant who arrived an hour ago–could pick him out of a lineup or catch him reading behind the wheel (doesn’t he get points for reading at all??)
Rob Ford is simply unforgettable.
Sure, he is mildly corrupt and mega boorish, but he made a statement. He gave us something to talk about, something to laugh about and deride together ( it’s also a sad day for civic unity). And boy could he move. Would it be better if Toronto had a mayor who wasn’t “punted” out of office? A mayor we could be proud of, someone with honour and respect and transparency and all those great things–someone who loves gays and bikes and gays on bikes, and gives heartfelt riveting speeches at City Hall? Of course.
But in the absence of charisma, I’ll take the fool.
And I doubt I’m alone. If you’re from Toronto, can you honestly say that you didn’t watch Ford’s eternal blunders and utter lack of remorse with a kind of private glee, especially when he was being challenged by the likes of Peggy Atwood and the allegedly famous ”Marge,” or hipster bureaucrats who went on and on about Toronto’s failed standing as a “world class city.” (I’m sorry but what isn’t world class about a monorail?)
The Toronto Star is also probably reeling right now from the loss of Ford, an editorial gift that keeps on giving. I know I am. He’s the reason, after all, that I have a job. This is the first column I ever wrote. It made me, much like Ford, a pariah among gay activists. But it got me noticed, and from that day forward if ever I ran out of ideas, I would fall back–as every Toronto- based columnist has for the past two years–on Rob Ford. That’s why I’m being so generous right now. You see, to you Rob Ford may be nothing more than an intellectually challenged brute with high cholesterol, but to me he is a never-ending wealth of material.
Rob Ford is my muse.
And unless he runs for mayor again, I’ll have to find another one.
Please join me in one last tribute to the “punted” Toronto mayor. May we remember him at his very best:
Raw Gatorade Shower
By Nicholas Köhler - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM - 0 Comments
‘I don’t recall,’ was the mantra during Toronto Mayor’s day in courtroom 6-1
There was this morning a certain Inherit the Wind anticipation in the atmosphere outside courtroom 6-1, atop Toronto’s 361 University Ave. courthouse.
Above the crush of gathered reporters, the Buddy Holly-spectacle-wearing blogistas with jauntily disheveled hair and ironic ties, and the just plain morbidly curious, there was the sense that cross-examination sparks would soon fly, that a great legal mind would scalpel the fat from the muscle of truth or that–just maybe–Mayor Rob Ford would unleash himself on Clayton Ruby, LL.B, LL.M., for the gleeful benefit of anti-swell fantasists and pro-willful-ignorance enthusiasts everywhere.
Spencer Tracy vs. Frederic March? Well, not in the end. Instead it was something like what the Scopes trial would have been had the monkey actually taken the stand.