First let me point out that the death of a relatively young man with a young family is a very sad story indeed. Rob Ford was only 46, after all. Nonetheless, within the adage of you don’t say anything bad about dead people, i’ve been very amused how Canada’s politicians have struggled to find the positives to say about the late Mr. Ford. My favourite is, “He was very dedicated to the city”. I wonder who thought up that bit of vagueness.
The truth of the matter is, Ford had to be stripped of his powers when the whole crack/cocaine scandal broke, which makes it incomprehensible to me that he is getting what amounts to a state funeral, the first in Toronto history for a former mayor, as I understand it. He might have been very dedicated to the city, but during his four years in office, not once did Ford ever attend the annual conference of big city mayors. Imagine the largest city in the country not being represented. I personally will never forgive him for trying to bring Conservative politics into municipal governance and playing cosy with the gone and unlamented Stephen Harper, the Calgary Dough Boy. As to not marching in the Pride parade, Ford was clearly a bigot.
How embarrassing was Rob Ford as my city’s mayor? Very, and here’s my proof. I was waiting for the trolley car in Aruba. With me at the stop was a lovely Argentinian family that spanned three generations. (Northerners are in Aruba escaping the winter, while South Americans are there escaping their summers.) They spoke practically no English, but with my deplorable Spanish, I was able to glean that the family lived in a town that was two hours flying time from Buenos Aires – in other words, completely out of the loop. When I told them I was from Canada, and when they then asked what city and I said Torornto, the six family members chorused in unison, “Rob Ford, Rob Ford!”. When Argentinians in the outback know about Toronto’s mayor and his scandals, that’s a huge problem. As for the very dangerous Doug Ford, Rob’s enabler, don’t get me started…
The Ford Nation people who are mourning the late mayor’s loss, and lining up to sign the sympathy book, I see as akin to our nieghbours to the south who are flocking to Donald Trump. You can clearly fool some of the people, some of the time.