Did this guy give any indication of what a low life he was before the people of Toronto elected him?
During his mayoral campaign, a 1999 arrest of Ford in Miami, Florida for driving under the influence (DUI) and marijuana possession became an election issue when the Toronto Star published details of the arrest. According to the statement recorded by the arresting officer, Ford was acting nervous, had bloodshot eyes and had "a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath". Ford threw his hands up in the air and told the police officer, "Go ahead, take me to jail." When questioned by reporters about the incident, Ford initially denied the DUI charge, saying instead he was arrested because he "refused to give a breath sample". Ford later admitted the DUI conviction, but omitted the marijuana possession. Ford later admitted to the marijuana possession, saying that the marijuana charge had "completely, totally slipped my mind" because the more serious issue during the arrest was the DUI charge. Ford pleaded no contest to the DUI charge, while the marijuana charge was withdrawn. Ford was given a fine.
On April 15, 2006, Ford attended a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game at the Air Canada Centre. Visibly intoxicated and belligerent, he began to insult a couple seated behind him, who were visiting from out of town. Two security guards escorted Ford out of the building. When confronted about the episode three days later by a National Post reporter, Ford initially denied having been at the game. He later told the Toronto Star: "This is unbelievable, I wasn't even at the game, so someone's trying to do a real hatchet job on me, let me tell you", but later on said: "I reflected on it last night, and talked to my family. I came forward and admitted it. That's all I can do. I mean, I'm not perfect," said Ford. "Being in politics, you're in the spotlight all the time. I made a mistake. I made a major mistake. I really regret it."
like the aurora borealis on crack, the Rob Ford flameout has streaked across the northern skies for days, weeks, even months longer than any sensible political scandal ought to. Long after it was clear that this whole thing needed to be shut down, the mayor of Toronto has continued to take up air and space in world media coverage. Why are we still reading about this guy? The simple answer is that Canadians are too nice to oust even a batshit crazy leader; the more complicated one is that Toronto doesn’t actually have a mechanism to fully remove a batshit crazy leader from public office since it doesn’t happen much.
But an alternate explanation presented itself to me the other day when someone asked, by way of Facebook, whether I wasn’t desperately embarrassed to be a Canadian this week. And plumbing the arctic depths of my Canadian soul, I discovered the truth: I have never been prouder to be a Canadian in my whole entire life.
I think that after a lifetime of being typecast as the tall guy in the corner in the ribbed turtleneck and ugly Kodiak boots, Canadians may be secretly loving this chance to suggest to the world that deep inside each and every one of us lurks a 300-pound loon perfectly capable of flattening a city council member in his attempt to jump a heckler in the middle of a council meeting. Even the staggering hubris of the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympic effort has nothing on Rob Ford. For the first time since the War of 1812, Canada is looking just a teensy bit id-dy, and let me tell you brother—we kind of love it.
Ford’s brusque nature and substance abuse problems were well known before he ran for office, but he was straightforward and conservative, and thus electable, even to many in the business establishment. “People recognized that the city’s economic fundamentals were out of whack, and we needed to fix that,” says Janet Ecker, the president and chief executive of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and a former conservative politician in the Ontario government. “It’s not like people didn’t realize he was a little rough around the edges. He was elected to be a bull in the china shop. People wanted city hall to be shaken up.” Rob Ford was Ted Cruz in a fat suit.
David Miller, the previous mayor, a Liberal, could have taken the office again in a walk
In any case, little airports, short bridges and other ideological indulgences are a thousand miles off the radar this election season. We don’t just have bigger fish to fry; the kitchen’s on fire. And while Miller didn’t light the match, he didn’t pick up a hose, either. Since Miller came into office, Toronto has drifted far from the ideals its citizens hold dear: cleanliness, efficiency, competent governance, a degree of fiscal solvency, traffic that isn’t as bad as L.A.’s. Only the most determined utopians, innumerates and CUPE members still think this is a model of a high-functioning city. Toronto’s net debt is more than a billion dollars greater than it was in 2004. The 2010 operating budget projects 43 per cent more spending than in 2003, much of it on salaries and benefits to Miller’s purported friends in the unions. (Who, in 2003, would have predicted Miller would ultimately be undone by a garbage strike?) Toronto suffers from an alarming structural deficit and can only scrape by with emergency budget cuts, tax hikes and user fee increases for so long before no one wants to live here anymore.
That said, Miller’s tenure was not a calamity of historic proportions, as some Torontonians believe. For starters, he’s not Mel Lastman. He never made jokes about Kenyans and cannibalism or threatened to kill a reporter