Like many I spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon listening to Rob Ford, the Mayor of North America’s fourth largest city, on various radio stations, deliver a ‘sort-of-kind-of- maybe-but-not-quite-non-apology’ of an apology.
Mayor Ford took to the airwaves Sunday to say that he is sorry for “mistakes” made and called on Bill Blair, Toronto’s Chief of Police, to release the now infamous ‘Rob Ford crack video’. The Mayor chose to not elaborate on what he deemed set mistakes. As such, he guarantees the scandal surrounding him continues to grow. However, the Mayor did note that he takes full responsibility for his misdeeds; which would be new, to say the least. After a long history of lying to the City of Toronto, the Mayor has chosen to take an incredibly vague degree of responsibility for his actions and his associations.
Despite this, the Mayor was willing to admit that the ongoing scandal has been an embarrassment to the city. This is a shocking revelation from a man that all too often attempts to pass the proverbial buck. It is a relevant point that the Mayor understands this; assuming he is not lying to Torontonians again. Hopefully he realizes that this is the crux of the issue. Rob Ford is embarrassing the City of Toronto. His presence as Toronto’s Chief Executive Officer threatens investment both on a foreign and domestic level. It distracts members of Council from greater issues that are important to the various communities that make up the City.
In the last week alone Councillors could have addressed the stabbing of sixteen year old boy in the Ford’s own Rexdale community or the shooting of a man during a street level robbery in the Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue area or the fact that known drug dealers and gang members appear to be spending time on Toronto District School Board property with high ranking government officials. But they did not. They were too preoccupied by the Mayor’s actions. They were holding meetings and interventions and deciding what their next political move should be.
As we now know, the Mayor has admitted to smoking crack cocaine. In the Mayor’s own words; “Maybe a year ago … during one of my drunken stupors.”
It is time for the Mayor to step aside for the good of the City. Deputy Mayor Kelley is more than capable of taking over in the mean time. Until that happens, Torontonians live in a city paralyzed by a Mayor who cannot see past his own ambition. Torontonians live in a city paralyzed by a Mayor that would be characterized as a “slimy politician” to use Councillor Doug Ford’s words. But perhaps more damningly, Torontonians live in a city paralyzed by a Mayor who just stopped caring about being Mayor far too long ago.