Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 14, 2013

GLYNN: Ford's 'Job No. 1': Take a leave from city hall

Niagara Gazette — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack cocaine. He was caught on a video stumbling around in what appeared to be a drunken stupor. 

People have seen him more than once talking on a cell phone while driving in busy traffic.

On one occasion, when a woman driver pulled alongside his SUV waiting for a green light — she motioned that he should instantly get off the phone — Ford gave her the middle finger, the ultimate gesture of defiance. It also is documented that he has had personal relationships with convicted criminals. And there’s more to make honest and trusting citizens cringe.

Not what you’s expect from the top elective official of Canada’s largest city (pop., 2.6 million). In fact, it’s a huge embarrassment.

Ford needs help but he’ll never get it as long as simple-minded constituents and misguided admirers stand in line for hours, as they did Wednesday, to get his autograph on those new 1,000 bobblehead dolls labeled “Robbie Bobbies.” (Hours later, the dolls were popping up on eBay for at least $150.) True, United Way officials decided on those dolls as a fundraising mechanism before this latest flap with Ford, but he hasn’t been playing with a full deck for months.

Amidst the caustic debate that has gripped city hall since late last month, a number of city council members have been demanding that Ford take a leave of absence. Others want him to just go away. Still, one of the most positive suggestions to deal with the present crisis comes from Councillor Giorgi Mammuiliti: “If one of your loved ones suffered from an addiction, would you want the whole street to come out and start throwing stones at him?” he asked. “Or would you prefer to take a more sympathetic approach and make sure he does the right thing — enter a rehabilitation program for 28 days or more?”

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