When last we checked in with Toronto mayor Rob Ford, he had just come back from a stint in rehab. The ensuing summer found him apparently clean and sober, although still with an aura of scandal (last weekend he was subpoenaed in an extortion case) and despite great efforts, polls had Ford trailing by more than ten points in the race in August. Earlier this week, things took another shocking turn when he was admitted to hospital with an abdominal tumour. With 2:00 PM today as the deadline for candidates to add or remove their names to or from the ballot, many speculated on how Ford's health concerns would affect the race (the two candidates polling in fourth and fifth bowed out of the race in the last two weeks). This morning, hours before the deadline, Ford announced he was withdrawing his name from the mayoral ballot, but he would be running for city council. He has asked his brother and erstwhile campaign manager, rookie councillor Doug Ford, to run for mayor in his place. [more inside]
Following a new (audio) tape of Rob Ford drunk and swearing at a bar and a new (video) tape of his smoking crack in his sister's basement both earlier this week, the Toronto Mayor has announced that he will be taking a leave from his campaign to attend rehab. [more inside]
Excellent Dissent magazine article on Rob Ford that looks beyond his disastrous single term as Toronto's mayor and examines the neoliberal strain in Canadian politics that has caused the larger problems facing Toronto, of which Ford's 2010 election is only a particularly appalling symptom.
Despite years of unabashed support, Canada's most conservative newspaper The Toronto Sun has published a 7-part recap of the Rob Ford scandal(s): Part 1: From penny-pinching councillor to crack mayor - Part 2: Rob Ford crack video hits the fan - Part 3: Mad scramble for the Rob Ford crack video - Part 4: Cops seize the Rob Ford crack video - Part 5: Walls close in on scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford - Part 6: The meltdown of a mayor - Part 7: Scandal-plagued Rob Ford unsinkable? (warning: only 20 free articles/month) [more inside]
In case you were starting to miss the daily insanity that is Rob Ford, Toronto's admitted crack-smoking, tax-cutting, drunken stupor of a Mayor, your wait is over. Newly-unredacted wiretaps from the police investigation into attempts to retrieve the infamous video of Rob Ford smocking crack, calling his football team "a bunch of fucking minorities", and Justin Trudeau a "fa**ot", have re-ignited the inquiry into the Mayor's actions. [more inside]
A Rob Ford video has been found by Toronto cops. Toronto police chief Bill Blair says the video cannot be released or described, and will be placed before the courts because some unnamed person will be charged with extortion. While he never mentions the word "crack", he does say that the video is congruent with what has been described in the media and does not appear to have been doctored. [more inside]
In the aftermath of one of the strangest political scandals ever to plague the mayor of a major North American city, Rob Ford oversees the unveiling of a high-profile portrait of himself by a sitting councilor, made at the request of Ford's mother. The artist describes the piece as complex, but a lot remains unsaid regarding the weight Ford's personality carries into the realm of portrait.
"Rob Ford, Toronto's conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was fucking hiiiiigh. It's for sale if you've got six figures." [single link Gawker]
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (previously, also previously) has been kicked out of office for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act after being found to have deliberately voted at city council on a measure related to his own pecuniary interests (previously). Full decision here. Ford may run for Mayor again in 2014. (Ford is widely expected to appeal the decision and request that the order be stayed in the meantime.)
Don't look now, but Toronto mayor (and perennial Metafilter favourite) Rob Ford may be kicked out of office due to a conflict of interest charge. [more inside]
Gary Webster is the general manager for the Toronto Transit Commission. Last year, Mayor Rob Ford (previously), after cancelling the Transit City light rail expansion in favour of a subway into Toronto's east end (also previously), asked Webster to prepare a report on the viability of such a subway line. Webster did so, and gave his honest opinion, which was that the Sheppard subway was not economically viable. Ford buried the report, and after the Toronto Star discovered its existence, Ford then requested that Webster speak to City Council about the pros and cons of subways and light rail. Webster advised against subways as City Council overruled Ford and reinstated a light rail-based transit plan. Ford's allies on the Toronto Transit Commission then petitioned for a special meeting to fire Webster (despite severance clauses that could cost the city more than a million dollars). They voted 5-4 to fire Gary Webster this afternoon. (Torontoist's liveblog of the meeting.)
Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto (previously, previouslier, and previousliest) is cracking down on graffiti in Hogtown with a Graffiti Abatement Program. However, with small business owners facing steep fines for failing to remove graffiti, independent removal services charging handsomely to remove it (with power washers which can damage building facings and which also sweep aerosol paint residue into the sewers and Lake Ontario) and taggers being regularly presented with fresh canvasses to work on, which starts the cycle once again, the system seems insupportable. [more inside]
New Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (previously and previously) announced today that he is canceling the Transit City LRT construction plan so the city can concentrate on building subways. The fact that millions of dollars have already been spent and that new subway lines might not be finished until 2020 is apparently beside the point. What matters, according to Ford, is that “The war on the car is over.”
As mentioned previously, Toronto's mayoral candidates are almost farcical, with the most boring candidate caught in a sex scandal, another candidate who has the world's worst case of foot in mouth disease, and another who thought that presenting himself as a Mafia Don was a good idea. Thankfully, there's still Steve Murray. Because Toronto deserves something. If only he hadn't missed the registration deadline. [more inside]
Meet Rob Ford, the frontrunner in Toronto's mayoral electoral race. He has complained about city spending on AIDS prevention, claiming that only homosexuals and drug users are at serious risk of getting AIDS. He says he supports the views of a right-wing pastor who thinks that same-sex marriage will "dismantle" civilization.He has called Asian people "Orientals" and suggested that they are taking over, then when rebuked explained that he thought this was a positive thing. He has suggested that Toronto cannot handle any more immigrants and that in a "perfect world" Toronto's population would remain even. He recently suggested banning marathons from public streets. And now, he has released his long-awaited financial plan with a bizarrely bad Youtube video where he stammers his way through a series of savings promises that simply do not add up. So what should we do when Rob Ford becomes mayor? That's easy. Make lots of Photoshop memes.