Rob Ford Watch
As a proud Torontonian, I've had to endure several Rob Ford scandals since he was elected to city council. Here's a list of Rob Ford controversies if you require a refresher. Of all the Rob Ford controversies, the one that's disturbed me the most is this latest one involving Sarah Thomson.
The news broke Friday morning and I refused to rush to judgement. I watched the story unfold, listened to all sides and stayed quiet until now. I hate how many Rob Ford supporters, many I consider friends, have politicized Sarah Thomson's claims and have painted Ford as the victim once more. Earlier today, Ford even used his 1010 radio show to wonder aloud if Thomson is "playing with a full deck". A comment on this very blog seconds ago gloated "from all the media response this weekend it is fairly clear that the story is a hoax".
Whenever Rob Ford is called out for something he's guilty of, his first move is to lie to us. He's a notorious and proven liar. Remember that Leafs game when an inebriated Rob Ford went off on that Durham couple? He denied that ever happened until the evidence was so overwhelming he had to come clean.
Remember when Rob Ford was asked if he was arrested for pot possession in Florida? He denied that ever happened until the evidence was so overwhelming he had to come clean.
The man has absolutely no integrity, and when a woman came forward on Friday to accuse him of inappropriate behavior, instead of supporting her people seem to exert great energy dismissing and discrediting her. I agree 100% with Sarah Thomson's statement below.
I am not the kind of woman who sees chauvinism everywhere or believes in reckless denunciations. But Mayor Ford was behaving inappropriately, and there was clearly something wrong with him during the CJPAC event.
He must be discouraged from over indulging to the point where he is groping or making lewd comments, and women should not put up with it when it happens. The Mayor was outrageous, he acted horribly, and I won't be intimidated by the whitewashing he has tried so hard to generate.
Decades ago powerful men who sexually assaulted women would call them "hysterical," or "crazy" to debase their credibility. It pushed many assaulted women into silence. Today Mayor Ford stated that he wondered if I was "playing with a full deck" try to discredit me. He will not push me into silence and I hope his accusations do not re-ignite the old fears that once silenced women.
We need an ongoing dialogue to ensure respect for women in the workplace and to create an inclusive and safe society for all.
Feel free to dismiss my opinion as well, because I've had many issues with our mayor over the years. This is undeniably true. I don't trust Rob Ford, I don't agree with his politics, I don't like his personality and I wouldn't want him leading my condo board, let alone my beloved city. When I see people labeling Thompson as a whack job and sympathizing with Rob Ford over this issue, it angers me.
In fact, I hate it.
An Ontario judge has ruled that Rob Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and will be removed from office.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland said in a ruling released Monday that Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke and participated in a council vote regarding a financial penalty he was ordered to pay. The penalty relates to donations he solicited for his football charity.
The ruling Monday takes effect in 14 days because Hackland said he recognized the decision "will necessitate administrative changes in the City of Toronto."
This quote from Judge Hackland's ruling is most damning:
It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the Integrity Commish and the Code of Conduct. In my opinion, the respondent's actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to wilful blindness.
Everyone knows how I felt about this mayor. I'm just sorry he's got another 14 days and possibly longer with appeals, etc. Earlier today I said I'd be flabbergasted if Ford was removed from office. Right now I'm flabbergasted, and it feels so good. There's hope for this city once more.
And to Mr. Ford I have but two words: good riddance.
There are a few things I have no patience for any more. Some of these are news stories that are all over the place, but I just can't get into it. I can't even fake an interest for you guys.
Rob Ford's Conflict of Interest
The Globe and Mail (hopefully that link still works for ya) is reporting that Mayor Rob Ford ordered city staffers to beautify the area within three weeks for Deco Labels and Tags’ 50th anniversary party. More than a dozen city employees at the supervisor level or higher were involved in making the mayor’s request happen. Deco Labels and Tags, if you didn't know, is Rob Ford's family's business.
It's another in a long line of Rob Ford conflict of interest stories. There are so many Rob Ford conflict of interest stories, I can't be bothered writing about them any more. I'm sick and tired of 'em.
Obama vs. Romney
I didn't watch the debate last night. The bipartisanship of US politics upsets me, so I chose the game 7 blow-out. I'm so sick of Republican talking heads telling us how dominant Romney was and Democratic talking heads telling us Obama kicked ass... I'm going to play various poker games online until election night.
I never felt Farrell was a particularly good manager, and I'm more than fine with him bolting for the Red Sox job. I could have managed the Jays to a similar record. Good riddance, let's move on.
NHL Lockout Updates
The only thing worse than the NHL labour shortage is following the NHL lockout news. Much like the bipartisanship politics in the USA, it's all about spin doctoring and PR. Let me know when this thing is over, but until then, I really, really, really don't care.
Bloggers who complain about stuff
Can you believe some Toronto bloggers use their blog as a forum to complain about stuff? They'll even do it in lists to tell people why they don't care about certain current events or popular topics. Think about it... they care enough to write passionately about why they don't care!
I'm sick and tired of bloggers like that...
I've had a few emails asking me when I'm going to write about the incident at Rob Ford's house yesterday evening. Here's Daniel Dale's account of what happened, if you're a bit behind.
The fact is, I don't want to write about this. This story annoys the shit out of me. Rob Ford is such an alienating figure in this city, that everybody either loves him or hates him. Depending upon which side of the fence you're on (no pun intended), this story simply reinforces your aforementioned decision.
Take my pal Freddie P, for example. He's the biggest Rob Ford apologist I know. Of course he sees this as the Toronto Star threatening the Mayor's security late at night. It doesn't matter that:
- It was still bright outside
- Dale was on public property the entire time
- Dale clearly stated who he was and why he was there
- Earlier in the day a significant story broke about Ford using his influence to buy public land
All of that is irrelevant, because Rob Ford is defending his family. Those who love Rob Ford, love him even more because of stories like this. His fan base eats this shit up.
And if you don't like Rob Ford, this is yet another example of how ridiculous he has become. Rob Ford's first account of a controversy has never been accurate. Now, whether it's Marg Delahunty or Daniel Dale, Rob Ford's in danger. The most legitimate threat reported from Ford's house since he became mayor was his sister's ex-boyfriend who entered though the front door.
Another day, another silly controversy involving our mayor, and everybody will use the incident as further proof of how horrible / awesome Ford is. That's why the story annoys me and that's why I refuse to write about it.
Rob Ford sure loves subways subways subways subways subways subways subways subways subways subways.
The headline of today's Toronto Sun is "THAT KINDA DAY", but it's the picture of Rob Ford that makes it sing.
Kinda funny, if you ask me.
This isn't a political blog. If it was, I'd have been writing all about the firing of Gary Webster and the new Rob and Doug Ford radio show, but there's more to life than Rob Ford. But I would like to bring attention to an article former Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton has written for the Globe and Mail.
It's aptly titled "This is no way to run a city" and here's an excerpt.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says a major decision by City Council on public transit policy is “irrelevant” because he doesn’t like the result. He then sends his hit squad to fire the Toronto Transit Commission’s general manager because he doesn’t like advice that doesn’t correspond to his own views.
This is no way to run a city. The mayor has to work with City Council. The law says City Council, not the mayor, is supreme. And don’t believe the bluster about his mandate from the people – most voted for him as a reaction to the ways of the former council, not because they supported every last detail in his platform that he follows only when convenient.
Every great leader understands the importance of building consensus. This is Rob Ford's greatest failure, his refusal to work with City Council. Art Eggleton says it best:
I had the privilege of serving 11 years as mayor of Toronto. I learned very quickly that the job is to bring people together, not drive them apart. The mayor’s office ought to be a place where, on difficult issues, you bring in all the stakeholders – many with opposing views – and hammer out practical solutions, solutions that move the city forward.
Eggleton concludes by stating Toronto can't afford to slip into mediocrity. With Rob Ford in office until 2014, mediocrity might be the best we can hope for.
I've mentioned I have a Toronto City Hall informant. I call him / her Cardinal. Cardinal just sent me an email following the city's deal reached with CUPE local 416 to avert a strike.
Here's Cardinal's email, in its entirety.
just so you and your blog followers know.... ford claims that there is no money in the budget for anything, yet they spent $20,000 at each transfer station to move the fence lines to within 15m from the road so that in the event of a strike/ lockout, the people picketing couldn't park on the property and would be fined for parking on the street. Also, they had warehouses rented out so that they could dump the city's waste there. That sounds like gravy to me.
I'll just leave this here without comment. The Super Bowl is about to start.
It's all about subways. Just ask our mayor Rob Ford.
From the National Post:
The power struggle over what transit to build in Toronto continues at City Hall, with Mayor Rob Ford telling reporters, at his weekly weigh-in: “It’s all about subways.” An excerpt of the scrum follows.
Reporter: Mr. Mayor, some people at 11 o’clock are discussing the legal standard of scrapping Transit City and they are saying you may have overstepped your boundaries. What do you say?
Mayor: I didn’t overstep my boundaries, I did what the taxpayers want. They want subways, that’s it. They don’t want streetcars. I was out in Scarborough over the weekend, people came up to me and said, they want subways. That’s it.
Reporter: Is there any wiggle room for you on this issue?
Mayor: It’s the taxpayers. The taxpayers want…I was elected on subways, they want subways, I was out on Saturday, people want subways. That’s it.
Reporter: Do you think you’ll win this vote? It doesn’t seem like you have the votes.
Mayor: It’s all subways. It’s all about subways.
Reporter: What are you going to do though if council votes against that?
Mayor: All about subways. So, it’s the taxpayers that elected me to get the subways in and that’s what we’re going to do.
Reporter: So, you think that gives you authority to, if council votes against that.
Mayor: It’s like winning an election. So if they voted me in, that means [stutters a bit] I don’t win an election? It doesn’t make sense.
That makes sense. I'm so proud of our mayor when he argues so eloquently. Really, you can't argue with his logic, which clearly proves he had the authority to cancel Transit City.
By the way, on Rob Ford's first day in office, I wrote that he did not have the authority to cancel Transit City. He's one vote out of 45. That's it.
But you can't deny his love of subways. Rob Ford loves subways.
All About Subways (Don't Make Sense) rap remix!
Here's a little clip of TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri riding the Finch bus. It's important public servants eat their own dog food to understand what regular folks have to put up with every day.
I'd like to see Rob Ford get himself from Etobicoke to City Hall via the TTC. From where he lives it's just a little walk, a bus to the Bloor subway line and then a transfer to the University subway line. I dare Rob Ford to try it once.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail (note, it's not just the Star) is reporting that Rob Ford's plan to cancel Transit City will cost us at least $65-million, and counting.
And I seem to recall his "guarantee" that there would be no service cuts with him as mayor, but the TTC is planning to reduce service on 62 surface routes. That certainly sounds like a cut to me. And of course fares are going up again, and that hike has nothing to do with the $65-million cost of killing Transit City.
One day, I hope to post an entry about Rob Ford riding the bus. As if.
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