Stinky TO

Stinky TOLast month, Catherine Solmes (@ccath on Twitter) wrote a guest blog entry here about Rob Ford and Jimmy Kimmel. She's written another one about Rob Ford she's titled "Stinky TO".

The following words belong to Catherine.

There is a bad odour in Toronto right now and it can’t be blamed on dog owners and the spring thaw. It’s an odour you can’t quite distinguish, but it’s distinctive and we can no longer ignore it. Like that bag full of orange peels, eggshells and coffee grounds you procrastinate over taking out to the green bin. There’s no smell at first, then it becomes a faint nagging odour for a few days until you walk into the kitchen and it hits you like a slap in the face.

The stench grew stronger this week with the pissing contest between the OPP and Toronto Police Services (TPS) - the OPP has backed away from the investigation claiming that, barring any new evidence, there is nothing to charge Rob Ford with and - get this - he may have been the victim of extortion attempts. The TPS’s lead investigator Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux, however, insists there is and that the investigation is on-going. Is there something rotten with our provincial and city police forces? Rumours abound - is the top echelon at the OPP squashing the case? Did the TPS bungle the investigation? Did they waste their chance of arresting Ford during their surveillance of him and Sandro Lisi exchanging mysterious packages? Does Ford have friends in high places? With the release of more Brazen 2 documents which continue to suggest Ford’s involvement in Lisi’s attempt to retrieve the crack video, Ford-weary Torontonians threw up their hands in disgust and frustration. While an arrest wouldn’t have solved the problem, it definitely would have felt like a confirmation of things we already know.

Ford’s lack of shame and sense of entitlement are stunning. The man feels that there’s nothing wrong with purchasing illegal drugs while in office, hanging out with gang members, getting into drunken stupors on a regular basis, driving while under the influence, urinating publicly, uttering racial and homophobic slurs, arriving at his office in the middle of the day without releasing his daily schedule, running away from reporters and lying extensively in the face of facts. And these are just the things we know about...

When the mayor’s powers were stripped after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine, it was because Council believed he was unable to make important decisions in an emergency situation. Ford’s ineptitude was apparent when he was MIA through much of the morning after December’s ice storm. His malice toward Council surfaced when he refused to declare an emergency while neighbourhoods throughout the city went as long as a week or more without power - all the while he handed out magnets and staged photo-ops while people froze in their dark homes.

More recently, Ford voted against motions to honour Nelson Mandela and congratulate Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes (this was not accidental - it was only after his staff apprised him of the furor his votes caused, 30 minutes after the fact, that he asked for a re-vote). Why is his suitability for public office still being debated?

What all this has proven is how ill-equipped we are as a city to deal with unfit leaders. But while council’s hands are tied, we can do this much: we can stop enabling him.

The reactions of the crowds that engulf him at sporting events and the nightclubs he frequents makes it appear that Ford is thought of as a rock star. But all the selfies, tweets and videos do not translate into votes and electoral support. Peer a little deeper, read the comments and captions, and what you see is a man who is the target of jeers, not cheers - people are laughing at him, not with him; they are goading him into further embarrassing behaviour. Because let’s face it - people like to see a train wreck. When have we become a city of enablers? Whether they’re true Ford supporters or Ford mockers, either way, they’re enabling him to continue on his downward spiral.

To Ford Nation: your unwavering support and defence of a man whose personal issues are affecting his performance as mayor is selfish. Your glee at the disgust and frustration he causes the “downtown leftie elite” ignores a man who is suffering from serious problems with drugs and alcohol. The Rob Ford of today is not the one you elected in 2010 (I would also argue that the Rob Ford you elected three years ago never really existed). If he gets worse, and all signs tell us he will, it will be on you. If he gets re-elected, he will get worse - look what the last 3+ years has done to him. You are enabling a deeply troubled man’s delusions that he can continue down the same road without eventually crashing.

To community and business leaders, and our mayoral candidates: your refusal to call him on his behaviour, to recognize a man that is out of control and refuse to comment on his “personal issues” - shame on you. You have the ability and position to speak out and say something but you choose not to do so. Is it out of politeness or out of fear?

Perhaps it’s because we’ve never had to deal with something like this before. Even Mel Lastman’s gaffes were tame compared to Ford’s. It’s going to take a collected and concerted effort, from Council to the media, to volunteers and voters, to take the garbage out to the green bin. Until that happens, we’ll have to live with the stench until October 27. Let’s not have four more years of it.

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Comments (29 - click here to join in!)

this guest

a finely

well said

there must be
a rabbit hole
that turns everything
inside out
in this entire

we R
Tammany Hall

April 8, 2014 @ 1:16 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Catherine is an entertaining read. Perhaps a bit long winded and I'm not really clear on her point, unless beating a dead horse is now required reading these days.
Ford stinks. You're mad. The rest of us enable him. We get it(and I only needed 10 words to make the same point).
This verbal diarrhea carries a stench of its own.
Stinky indeed!

April 8, 2014 @ 1:37 PM


The more I read stuff like this, the more likely I am to vote for Ford.

April 8, 2014 @ 2:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's the mentality of a toddler.

April 8, 2014 @ 2:46 PM


@ Gary - Then stop reading my friend.

April 8, 2014 @ 3:04 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

I don't think Gary should stop reading this stuff at all. The more deluded the commentary, the better the understanding of how irrational anxiety and frustration can get the best of a person. Although I'm sure Catherine is a wonderful person, I envision her writing this while her eyes roll in her head and foam and spittle drip from her computer screen.

April 8, 2014 @ 3:18 PM

Eekan Boo

Who fking cares. Call me when the City starts moving forward.

April 8, 2014 @ 3:39 PM


The real stench in all this is the left-wing media irrationally perusing a vendetta against Ford and making a mockery of the profession. I will concede that most of Ford's problems were of his own undoing but that doesn't excuse the media's viciousness.

I will happily be voting for Ford in October so he can keep taxes low and build subways.

April 8, 2014 @ 5:26 PM






April 8, 2014 @ 6:06 PM


Exhausting. I can't imagine how these antics could consume someone's passions to this degree. There must be something productive she could channel this energy to.

April 8, 2014 @ 6:28 PM


Well said Nigel.

Why is no one camping outside Dalton McGuinty's house?

April 8, 2014 @ 6:34 PM


I just punched myself in the head for reading Catherine's rant.

"Bad Argie , bad Argie"

April 8, 2014 @ 7:36 PM

4x4 Time

If you do not like Ford for Mayor then vote for whoever you think will serve the city better....Like I said before, unless they haul Ford away in cuffs, he has a better than 50/50 chance to win based on this group of candidates...

April 8, 2014 @ 8:12 PM

this guest

the ethnic conservative
vote will abandon
ford for precisely
the reasons
encapsulated above

they do not want
their children
exposed to such

the above article
expresses what
hundreds of thousands
of people in
toronto who
by no means
are all 'leftists'

ford is

April 8, 2014 @ 8:49 PM

Freddie P.

@ Toronto Mike

It will be toddler mentality that gets Olivia Chow elected.. and then it will take grown ups to get us out of the mess.

April 8, 2014 @ 8:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Freddie P

A toddler would vote for someone simply because others think it's a bad idea.

It's the equivalent of being told "don't touch that!" and then reaching out and touching it with a shifty smirk.

April 8, 2014 @ 9:16 PM

this guest

bringing ben johnson on board
is a stroke of political genius
for ford

the circus continues

and that guy from the
trailor park boys
that's gonna grab those
merchants on strip
malls in scarborough
like nothing else could

at this rate
by canada day
ford's awe-inspiring political
will have midgets dressed
like butterflies marching
into lake ontario
carrying placards of preston
manning's father

while doug pushes his new
hair product for men
'blitzkreig blondz'

April 9, 2014 @ 7:15 AM


@this guest
Here's a tip: Nothing kills comedy like repetitiveness.

April 9, 2014 @ 9:23 AM

Aurora Bob

I drove through Toronto today. Funny thing, it was still there. The TTC was still on the roads. There appeared to be fire trucks in their stations. There were Police cars on the streets. I can't help but ask... "How bad a job is he doing as a Mayor?". Seems to me that things are getting done.

April 9, 2014 @ 9:30 AM


@Aurora Bob
You don't get it , do you? This is not something you can see or hear or smell (oh, except Catherine - apparently she can smell it). This is something you FEEL. It seeps into your heart and soul and one night you're waking up screaming, in a pool of sweat and your spouse is asking you "what's the matter?" To which you reply, "I'll tell what's the matter - its my city. What has happened to it???"

And its all Rob Ford's fault.

April 9, 2014 @ 9:48 AM

this guest

Argie do you have
anybody you know
or in your family
with addiction issues
affecting everybody
around them

have you ever seen
alcohol or drugs
ruin a person's life
and affect terribly
the lives around them

ford nation bears a
terrible responsibility
for supporting this man's
self-destruction by
cheering him on

as well as the sub-literate
hordes clamoring for 'selfies'

and his family -
mom thinks he has a
'weight issue'

as for the political spectacle
of this neo-liberal bully's
it has turned into a
quite bizarre bit of theatre

highly entertaining

April 9, 2014 @ 10:19 AM


@this guest
To answer your first stanza, no - no close relatives with substance abuse issues.

You go on about Ford's issues in a compassionate way but then you finish off your post by writing "highly entertaining."

April 9, 2014 @ 10:42 AM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

I do believe
this guest
is blind to
his own

@This Guest
I won't insult
your intelligence
suggesting that
you really believe
what you just wrote.

April 9, 2014 @ 11:53 AM

this guest

the personal issues
are not highly entertaining
they are tragic

the political campaign with
ben johnson,
fridge magnets handed out
during an ice storm,
[campaign manager doug]
is so ludicrous
it can only be called
theatre of the absurd
and in that sense
public spectacle

April 9, 2014 @ 3:10 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

@ This Guest

I guess the sub-literate
hordes and merchants on strip
malls in Scarborough don't understand.
Good to have elitists like yourself
set the record straight.
I am truly humbled by the gift of your insight.

April 9, 2014 @ 3:27 PM

this guest

Nigel you know very well
I said the merchants on
Scarborough strip malls
are not going to be
'wowed' by the
Trailer Park actor.

As for 'sub literate' hordes
is it erroneous to assume
'non readers' are
swarming an alcoholic
drug addict for 'selfies'

April 9, 2014 @ 3:35 PM

this guest

in any event Nigel
your comment about 'elitism'
got me thinking
about being

Not attractive

I stand corrected
and thank you.

April 9, 2014 @ 4:03 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

@ This Guest

The "merchants on Scarborough Strip malls" and "sub-literate hordes" weren't meant to be a derogatory reference to Ford supporters?

Obviously the rarified air you breathe gives you license to make these generalities.
Again I am humbled by your gift.

Those hundreds of thousands you speak for are truly fortunate.

April 9, 2014 @ 4:14 PM

this guest

there was nothing said
about scarborough merchants
that was derogatory

simply that doug's campaign
technology of bringing
a trailer park boy
on board
will not impress them

the people that want
'selfies' with rob
to instagram their friends
are not his supporters
(in the main)

rather they are
simply indulging
in the fame/phenomena
of a human train wreck

April 9, 2014 @ 5:12 PM

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