Rob Ford


Doug Ford: King of cover up

Today, the worst candidate I can think of for leadership of the Ontario PC party – Doug Ford – has announced he is running. And I realize now why he didn’t come rushing to Patrick Brown’s side to defend him. Doug Ford is an overly ambitious man who would use his brother’s coffin to vault himself into the limelight.  Harsh words, but never have any truer words been written about the man.

Let me tell you about some of the secrets I’ve learned that happened in 2013, when I came out on Mayor Rob Ford’s drug induced grope.  Apparently, when the news hit social media, Doug Ford immediately started making phone calls to his “buddies” in the press. His strategy was to control and manipulate public opinion. He fed the press questions that cast doubt on me, he pulled the shadiest councillors he could find (from Vaughn) to twist the narrative, and finally he went on the Fords Newstalk 1010 radio show and made me out to be just another “crazy” woman.  Doug Ford knew that taking things out of context, and controlling the court of public opinion was the only way he could hide the truth. And for a while he managed to do it. 

But hiding the truth is a bit like trying to hold water in a broken bucket – it eventually leaks out. 

Doug succeeded in manipulating the public and hiding the truth about his brother and  his friends in the media made quick work of degrading me and making me out to be an opportunist.  They questioned my intentions and Newstalk 1010 in particular did some nasty public shaming. But that came to an end pretty quickly when the truth about Mayor Ford’s drug use finally came out.  That was when Doug Ford began claiming that he didn’t know anything about his brother’s drug use. By then most of the media realized they’d been used as his pawns. The Ford’s show on Newstalk1010 was cancelled and their power over the media went spiralling.  

When I learned about Mayor Ford’s drug dependency and the demons he was fighting, I forgave the Mayor. But I will never forgive Doug Ford for using his position of power to influence the media to demean and humiliate me.  I wonder how many women will actually support a man who demonstrated that he didn’t care about sexual assault, or that his brother was a drug addict?

I’ve always believed that Doug Ford’s lies put more stress on his brother than the truth ever did. Instead of encouraging the Mayor to tell the truth, I wonder if Doug counselled him to deny it?  When I think of the weeks that Mayor Ford had to carry the lie, and the pressure it must have put on him, I don’t understand how Doug couldn’t see what it was doing to him.

And make no mistake, there was a cost. Mayor Ford paid it. I paid it. But Doug Ford walked away relatively unscathed.  It is men like Doug Ford, men who abuse their power to twist and distort the truth, who need to be held accountable. He is a man so desperate for power he’s now decided that instead of running for mayor of Toronto, he’ll run for leadership of the Ontario PC party. 

The #MeToo campaign and #TimesUp campaign are a sign the world is changing, and women are no longer staying silent about corrupt men who abuse their power. It won’t be an easy road for men like Doug Ford.

Doug Ford is an example of a man who worked to hide sexual assault, drug use, and anything that might hinder his future ambitions. The world he once thrived in is changing and women are coming together to speak out.  Here at the Women’s Post we encourage women to step forward. To tell their story. If you have suffered, like I did, from the actions of Doug Ford please reach out to me. Let’s talk. Your identity will be protected.  

Eulogy to Rob Ford



This week, the media is filled with images of politicians and personalities lining up to pay their respects to former Mayor Rob Ford. From friends to political rivals, they line up, touch his casket, and remember him. It’s the right thing to do, to drop their political differences and pay homage to a man who stepped forward to represent people frustrated with Toronto’s leadership.

I tip my hat to Rob, to his ability to capture and vocalize the discontent that so many Toronto residents were feeling.

I grew to know and respect Rob during the 2010 election and that is how I am choosing to remember him.

The 2010 mayoral race began in January and ran for 10 long months. The number of debates that year exceeded anything Toronto had ever seen before and it meant the top five candidates saw each other almost every day, and sometimes two or three times in one day. When we arrived at each debate we’d be ushered behind stage to the waiting room where we’d wolf down lunch, or dinner, and chat for a bit before going on stage

It was before the debates, in those quiet moments waiting, that we all grew to know and respect each other. A camaraderie builds up behind the stage that supporters rarely see and it lasted long after the election because we all shared the same experiences together. Joe Pantelone was always the gentleman. He would smile and joke and was an easy man to talk to.  George Smitherman always came into the room with a thick debate binder and an aid at his side. Rocco Rossi was usually loud and boisterous, friendly and full of energy. Rob on the other hand was usually very quiet. He was shy and after saying hello he would go and sit in a corner with one of his staff, drinking his “Big Gulp,” and checking his email. It took a while to get to know Rob, but eventually, over the months, we grew to respect each other.

The first opportunity I had to truly see Rob (without his stage personality) came after a debate. Following each debate the organizers would line us up for photos. Rocco Rossi was the tallest and when pictures were taken he would try to position himself beside Joe to make Joe look shorter. It was a political tactic that didn’t sit well with me. I noticed this and, wearing heels, I would try to jump in between them as a buffer.  Rob noticed what was going on, and one day as we lined up for a group photo I realized I couldn’t get there in time. I looked at Rob and without saying a word, he stepped in between Rocco and Joe. That is the Rob I hope people will remember.  He was a man who would quietly do the right thing.

Rob was a very shy man which made his outgoing actions during the campaign a testament to his inner bravery. He overcame his shyness in order to get on the stage and speak for the people.

As the hottest days of summer gave way to fall, our debates moved from small church basements to high school auditoriums. It was at one of the high schools that I learned a little more about Rob. He was standing in a hallway drinking his Big Gulp as we waited to go on stage. I was thinking about what the questions might be from the students and asked him if he were able to go back to high school and take another career path what he might chose to do instead. His eyes lit up and he smiled thinking about it. He told me that he had always loved the theatre and performing on stage. I nearly fell over, and he laughed, explaining that in high school he had a great drama teacher and had enjoyed every moment of it. The doors opened and we headed for the stage, Rob commenting — “it’s time to perform.”

Rob, your performance ended too soon. When Toronto needed you, you stepped up to the plate to fill the position. You loved this city and I hope one day, when your children look back at who their father was, they will know both your bravery and the quiet things that you did to help those around you.  I hope you are in the arms of an angel now – rest in peace.

Explanations behind the mystery tunnel

As Toronto’s baffled police try to uncover who is behind the mystery tunnel that appeared just south of York University, the Women’s Post has compiled a list of 5 possible explanations for the tunnel.

1. Rob Ford decided to dig the Scarborough subway extension himself , and has once again demonstrated that he has no idea where the actual Scarborough subway is supposed to go.

2. Mayor John Tory was looking for a “pot of gold” to fund his Smart Track plan, and heard that the Pan Am games might have some funds hidden in a chest near the Rexall Tennis Centre.

3. It was created to hold a new weather machine that will bring warmer temperatures to Toronto. The machine was stolen…

4. Next film location for shooting the Shades of Grey sequel.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs plan to use it as a hide-out to avoid possible lynching.

The Fords go to Hollywood

In a surprising turn of events Rob Ford, Toronto’s ‘sort-of Mayor,’ has been invited to attend the 86th Academy Awards and appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! In a not so surprising turn of events the Mayor has accepted the invitation.

Torontonians should be reminded this is a man who announced just a few days ago on his YouTube show, Ford Nation, that he does not consider himself to be a celebrity. He assured viewers that he is just an average work-a-day schmoe. All that stuff about being the Mayor of North America’s fourth largest city and having mega-stars Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon discuss his antics on The Tonight Show; pfft!

Joining Rob Ford will be Doug Ford, the soon-to-be former councillor for Ward 2, three political staffers, and Randy Ford who’s the third and usually far more subtle of the Ford brothers. This is where Torontonians would be advised to begin asking Ford questions. First, who is paying for this little trip?

Rob Ford has long claimed to be a fighter for the taxpayer: the little guy. However, his record of tax increases in conjunction with service cuts tells a very different story. So too, has his tendency to utilize city funds for personal projects since being elected mayor.

Further, Torontonians would be advised to ask if this is really the kind of individual they wish to represent them. The election of Ford in 2010 can be forgiven. However, since then Ford has openly admitted to purchasing crack cocaine while being mayor, associated with known members of gangs and those involved in organized crime, and used publicly defamatory and vulgar phrasing unbefitting of the office he holds. What’s more is he has shown absolutely no remorse nor attempted to reform of his actions. Is this really the international face you want of Toronto?

With a new mayor, Toronto his the potential to be world class. With Rob Ford at the helm, we’re left as an international punch line.

It is time for us to take the situation seriously. A number of qualified candidates have come forward, and I think more candidates will make themselves now as the mayoral race progresses. It’s imperative Torontonians realize the absolute necessity for change at City Hall.

So, is Rob Ford just your average Joe?

That depends. Does your average Joe attend the Oscars, appear on late-night talk shows, and own an unspecified number of properties that happen to include an international corporation?

Follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanAGlass.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

What did Doug Ford just say?

Following the unfortunate comments by John Tory regarding women receiving equal pay for equal work, Doug Ford came out of the woodwork to attack his brother’s potential adversary.

Doug Ford, the Ward 2 city councillor and campaign manager for Doug Ford, criticized the former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives as “chauvinistic” and referred to Tory as “one of the elites of the 1%.”

For those who may have forgotten, Councillor Ford is the millionaire former chief executive officer of the multinational company his father founded. To call him a member of the infamous ‘1%’ would be an understatement. However, what is most intriguing about Councillor Ford’s comments is that he is a self-professed capital-C Conservative. This is a constituency that has long rejected the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Could this exemplify a change of direction in the Rob Ford campaign?

Probably not.

The Fords, while loudly identifying as huge-C Conservatives, have never really moulded policy on a traditional left-right spectrum. They continue to call for lower taxes and smaller government despite introducing the largest tax increase in Toronto’s history and expanding the city’s budget. They continue to express support for low-income Torontonians despite continuing to make cuts to services those same Torontonians depend on.

Such is the contradiction of populism. Perhaps this is why, during the days of their radio show, the Fords endorsed the Progressive Conservative candidate in Vaughan and the New Democratic candidate in Kitchener during concurrent provincial byelections.

However, such language can only take the Fords so far. Under the scrutiny of a full-blown election, Torontonians will see the Fords for what they are: liars.

Despite their statements to the contrary, the Fords are the elite of Toronto politics. They are the inner circle of power.

Whether it is through John Tory, David Soknocki, or someone else, the Fords will eventually be exposed as those willing to say and do anything to cling to power.

Follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanAGlass.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Doolittle hits her stride at the Crazy Town launch, what’s next for Toronto’s new star journalist?

Robyn Doolittle doesn’t like comparisons between herself and Zoe Barnes.

Considering the character’s very different path to success it should come as no surprise that the new face of investigative journalism in Canada would be a bit irked when fans tell her she is just like the fictional reporter from House of Cards. With a quick spoiler warning she stressed to the crowd that the character sleeps with Kevin Spacey’s politician character to get her stories and that is certainly not the case for her.

Doolittle’s full house Ramsay Talk event at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as part of the launch of her first book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story focused more on her real experiences in meetings with editors and sniffing out leads from busboys at the Bier Market, the grounded and tested investigative reporting techniques that are easy to forget in a story that is oftentimes stranger than fiction and more tumultuous than anything Hollywood has produced in recent years.

The talk, introduced by organizer Bob Ramsay and featuring Twitter Canada head Kirstine Stewart flawlessly steering the conversation, showcased a comfortable Doolittle recounting the experiences in her life and career that led her to the publication of the book and touting the advances in social media that made the whole thing possible.

I was lucky enough to have Women's Post publisher Sarah Thomson in tow as my 'date' for the evening — the best person to have a laugh with after seeing the term "#Assgate" emblazoned in print for eternity.
I was lucky enough to have Women’s Post publisher Sarah Thomson in tow as my ‘date’ for the evening — the best person to have a laugh with after seeing the term “#Assgate” emblazoned in print for eternity.

My only criticism of the event stems from Doolittle’s preamble where she described allegations that the Star had fabricated the story and made a joke about switching from Gawker quoting Ford as saying Pierre Trudeau is a ‘fag’ or Justin Trudeau being a ‘fag’ to switch things up. My instant reaction was shock. While causing offense may not have been intentional I hope that she takes pause before saying the word again, regardless of her coverage of an incident in which it was spoken by a public official it has absolutely no place in a joke and should be treated the same way as the n-word.

Doolittle has come into her own as a media personality, no doubt fashioned by countless television appearances both in Canada and abroad as the go-to expert on everything Ford. It isn’t difficult to envision a future for the writer in comment if her ease of presence in front of crowds and cameras translates to topics beyond Toronto’s City Hall sideshow.

Robyn Doolitle will continue to promote her new book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story this week on CNN’s AC360 and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.



Related: New Rob Ford video shows him intoxicated and rambling

Related: Toronto Region Vision: All eyes on the future

Related: LISTEN: WP editor Travis Myers loses it on air over Rob Ford’s homophobia

Jennifer Lawrence, Martha Stewart & more celebrities recite Ford’s crack admission

Ivor Tossell was right, Rob Ford has transcended the realm of politics and become a fixture in the world of celebrity. Through his appearances (and the frequent discussion of him) on American cable news and late night talks shows — a medium which has no understanding or reason to understand Canadian politics at any level, least of all municipal — Ford has landed somewhere between OJ Simpson and Charlie Sheen with a dash of Amanda Bynes in the American (and by extension, global) cultural landscape.

On a week where comparatively little has gone down in the Ford saga, except some anticipation for the release of more documents related to Ford associate Sandro Lisi’s arrest, the Mayor has still found himself on David Letterman being paraphrased by celebrities.

Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughan, Martha Stewart, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson all take part in the mock documentary in which they recite Ford’s admission of crack use during his term as mayor and his assertion that he would like to be Prime Minister of Canada someday.

Toronto, it looks like we’re going to have to settle into this for quite a while to come.


Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

The tragic comedy of Rob Ford

There was a point during a mayoral debate in the 2010 election when all the candidates were asked to talk about what we enjoyed most in our lives. Rob Ford spoke about how he loved performing in his school play. I remembered this when I watched him last week strut around council chambers trying to intimidate residents, taking their pictures as they sat watching him.  His confession about his love for performing has helped me understand why he hasn’t taken a leave of absence and why he continues to press on  – why he continues to perform for an audience who is laughing at him, and not with him.

Act 1    “The Restoration of the Crack-smoking Mayor”

I have no doubt that the lies Rob Ford told over the election campaign, and into his first year of office, have worked to undermine his self-confidence. He promised voters that he would lower their taxes, get rid of the land transfer tax, and cut the fat at city hall, but the truth is that these were promises he could never keep.  Mr. Fords only business experience was doing the books at his fathers label company, and if we are truly going to find  efficiencies at city hall it will take someone who can truly unite the effort and steer each and every department through a line by line analysis. This is a huge undertaking and Mr. Ford has proved unable to keep his own small executive team together let alone build the consensus required to accomplish the restructuring needed at city hall.

When Mr. Ford could have reached out and united council around restructuring city hall, he shrank into himself, shirking his responsibilities and telling lies to cover up his inability to build consensus. By the end of 2011 he had turned to alcohol and drugs, they took the edge off, and allowed him to live with the lies he told every day. The problem was that the more he drank the worse things seemed to get and the more lies he had to tell. The more lies he told the more his confidence shrunk away from him and his addiction increased.

Add to this the pressure of knowing that the city operating budget was growing under his watch with the fact that there was no way to get rid of the land transfer tax and his supporters might look at the bottom line and realize that the $1-2Billion he and brother Doug Ford were claiming to have saved was a complete lie. No matter how much he tried his budget chief  had explained that there was no extra money to pay for the scarborough subway and a 2.5% tax increase was the best he could hope for.  A huge tax increase would risk losing voters and make him look like a liar in the coming election.

Act 2: Establishing Rob Ford as both a victim and hero 

The best solution for Mr. Ford given the position he was in last week was to have city council take away his powers in a public spectacle. The more voters aware of this the easier it will be to claim he had nothing to do with the tax increases. He will blame council, play the victim and call for voters to restore him to power so that he, and he alone, can protect them from tax increases. So not only must Mr. Ford play the victim but also has to come across as a hero fighting for the tax payer – and brother Doug could benefit from a little of that as well.

They will push out their message of “fighting the establishment” – they’ll yell and storm about council chambers as much as they can. They will play the underdog fighting for their supporters. The bigger the public display the easier it will be to distance themselves from the tax increases required to pay for Mr. Ford’s subway policy.

There is a risk that the rest of Toronto will realize that Mr. Ford has placed the cost of the Scarborough subway onto property tax payers but he’ll hope they don’t notice.

And all the while Rob Ford’s self-confidence continues to erode with the lies that he continues to tell. The more his confidence diminishes the more likely he is to turn to crack or alcohol. Mr. Ford has very little left but the empty bravado of a man clinging to a belief that he is great, but knowing inside that he isn’t. It is sad, but it is also the consequence that comes from lying.

The last act for Rob Ford is still up in the air. He will continue to try to get headlines, he will continue his performance as long as there is somebody pushing him on. Will this performance end in a tragedy? If the Ford family continues to enable him, if they continue to force him onto the political stage… the future doesn’t look very good for Rob.


Follow Sarah Thomson on Twitter @ThomsonTO.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.