He is ridiculed by almost everyone who has heard of him, constantly bombarded by the press on every forum of social media, and still Rob Ford believes that he is “the best mayor Toronto has ever had.” To the majority of people, his career has been on a steep slide down the mountain. He has been nothing but the laughing stock of the world for the better part of two years, but he sees no reason not to run for reelection.
Starting in May of 2013, a video allegedly depicting Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine was declared to be in possession of an anonymous source. For the better part of the year, Ford was heckled about this incident, and it was in November of 2013 that he finally admitted to smoking crack cocaine. To further ruin his reputation, Ford also claimed it was possible that he performed the act in one of his “drunken stupors.” This incident drew international attention, and made Toronto the butt of many jokes. Shortly after this revelation, Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Ford of several of his mayoral powers.
In December of 2013, Toronto and much of southern Ontario was struck with a severe ice storm that cut power to pockets of neighbourhoods in the city. The lack of power lasted, in some areas, more than a week. Rob Ford’s decision not to call a state of emergency caused uproar within the population. Despite the tidal wave of demands, Ford withheld the declaration and stated that “…there [was] no reason to do that.” Citizens were suspicious of his motives, knowing that recently Ford had been stripped of his power should a state of emergency be declared. Only after the storm did he call for a meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to demand for the province to pay for the $171 million in damages caused by the storm. Premier Wynne has expressed disinterest in meeting with Mayor Ford, and further enforced her decision by deferring her communication to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly about various issues within Toronto.
After mistakes, blunders, and multiple leaked videos that would have a regular, more vulnerable, person cowering in shame, Ford still maintains during an interview that he’s “been the best mayor that this city’s ever had” after filing for re-election.
Just recently, Ford has objected to the raising of the Pride flag over city hall. The flag had been raised to express support for gay athletes competing in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Not only was his bid to remove it denied, but he drew the attention and disapproval of city council members and the public alike.
Despite news on Rob Ford that has become a cascading series of embarrassments, 49% of Toronto residents would still vote for him in the next election. Toronto needs to wake up and think for a moment about its future, and consider who they want to run this city. If Ford somehow gets re-elected into office, it would be nothing but another four years of ridiculous stunts as our mayor continues to embarrass himself and our city. Ford has had his chance, and botched it completely. It’s time for someone more responsible, honest, and humble to take the stage and pull Toronto out of the media cesspool Ford has dropped us into.
From “drunken stupors” to fraternizing with drug dealers, attention on Rob Ford has become increasingly regular and progressively more upsetting for Torontonians. Toronto is a city of culture, diversity, and acceptance. It’s time we elect a mayor who represents that.