Madame Ford blinded by empty ambition

Rob Ford’s mother came out yesterday on CP24 to deny. Deny her son is an addict, deny he has any bigger problem than a weight issue. She is the mother of enabling. She seems to believe the left wing politicians are behind a conspiracy to get her son out of city hall and while this may be partially true, she refuses to see that there is a bigger issue at stake — her son’s life.

She seems a woman blinded by primal desire to win at all costs, blinded to the signs that all point to addiction.

Her world is one that puts political life above everything else, so much so that I wonder if there is resentment or bitterness that their suburban wealth, and propulsion to the forefront of civic life didn’t earn them a position within the establishment? Is she a Ford wanting to be a Lexus? Does she think she has a second chance through her son – no matter what the cost on him?

She seems to be putting her son’s role as mayor before her son as a human being. While many have wondered why a rich kid from the suburbs would want to escape into a crack-induced haze, Rob Ford may be surrounded by a family who see politics as a life long endeavor, a family focused completely on how others see them. It’s no wonder he seeks to escape – how empty is a world where status is the highest endeavour?

The Ford Sunday radio show is one of their strategic achievements. I can picture mother Ford listening by the radio hanging on to their every word.  The sons list their achievements, sliding over the true work others did –  like Councillor Ana Bailao who single-handedly refinanced TCHC loans –  claiming the achievement as their own. They often list their charitable contributions, clawing for a position within an establishment that finds them vulgar and lacking.

None of the Ford’s seem to realize how empty the desire to be accepted is  — except perhaps Rob Ford.  And that’s the rub. While people have always pegged Rob as the dumber younger brother, he may actually be the smartest in his family. A man who might have become an artist, an actor, a thinker  — surrounded by a family whose biggest desire is to be accepted by the “Joneses.” A family so skewed by the need for political success they have lost touch with the human desire to grow and learn. Imagine being a child growing up in a family like this.

While many will think I hate Rob – I don’t. He has a heart and when straight he’s actually a nice guy. Problem is he’s acting a role that his mother wants him to play and it’s killing him. This past week people have said that I must feel vindicated, but that is an empty feeling given the critical level of the situation. I feel more a sadness. Sad for Rob, sad that his family is so politically motivated they have chosen to ignore his cry for help. Rob is a victim of circumstance caught in the small world of low level political opportunity. If I was caught in a family like that I wonder if I too would try to escape it through drugs and alcohol? He once told me that he loved the theatre and during high school he had been in a play that was one of his best memories – that is the first and only time I saw the real Rob Ford and unfortunately I think that man is now lost to a world of alcohol and drugs. The spirit inside him is trapped with nowhere to go but down.

The future for Rob Ford doesn’t look promising. The more his family prop him up the farther he has to fall. He has a choice only he can make. Does he break away from a family who want him to be someone he isn’t, who demand he forever focus on politics, and instead discover a vast world where he can learn and grow? Or does he drug himself daily to get through the emptiness of a life that is completely focused on small time local politics? Could Rob Ford be a big frog trapped and forced to swim in a small scummy pond? 

The arrogance of Rob Ford

I’ve rebelled against Mr. Ford since the 2010 election campaign. The campaign for mayor lasted nearly 10 months for me. I was one of the top 5 candidates, and in the top 3 at one point in the race. The days were long, usually starting at 7am and running until midnight. From events, to rallies, debates and social functions the top 5 candidates saw one another almost every day and often more than once in a day.

Over time a sense of respect develops amongst the candidates. Respect for each other, for the strengths you see in another, for the way most of them answered questions honestly.

Unfortunately that respect never developed between Rob Ford and myself. He would never look me in the eye and his handshake was limp, often soggy. I couldn’t believe the way he twisted the truth during the campaign. Suggesting he could pay for subways with government efficiencies (ignoring the huge debt we must pay down). Or suggesting he would get rid of the land transfer tax, and lower taxes. He made more fake promises than I could count, and the public seemed to lap it up.

It takes ignorance and a lack of self-respect to peddle such absolute bullshit, and Mr. Ford possesses both. But it takes true arrogance to continue to peddle the bullshit for 3 years following the campaign without delivering on your promises. And it is this arrogance that lost my respect for him from those early days of the 2010 campaign.

I am not sure if he thinks people are stupid enough to believe that he saved Toronto $1Billion; or if he simply knows that repetition builds belief and facts take longer to come out? But there are still people in Toronto who believe that Rob Ford has not raised taxes (they have increased by 4.5% since 2010). There are people who aren’t aware that the city operating budget has also grown by $200million since 2010 and who don’t question where the Billion in savings has gone. People still believe that Mr. Ford will get rid of the land transfer tax, despite the fact that he has raised their taxes by 4.5% over the past 2 years.
And the biggest lie – that he will build subways with funds created through efficiencies, when he has admitted that he didn’t find enough to pay for subways and will have to increase property taxes to pay for the Scarborough subway line next year.

Mr. Ford hasn’t just lied about his private life he has lied about what he has accomplished, he has taken credit for the work of former Councillor Doug Holiday (union agreements), Councillor Ana Baeleo (Refinancing of TCHC loans) and others. He has stretched the truth to such a degree that I don’t think he himself knows what it is anymore.

It takes true arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of self-respect to lie to the public to the degree that Rob Ford has, but the scheme has taken it’s toll on him. How much more bullshit can one man spin out before they themselves disappear in the charade?

EDITORIAL: Ford’s antics are hurting the city and he must step down

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.


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Cracking the Hard Truths for Toronto

Cracking Hard Truths for Toronto

Hard Truth # 1 Rob Ford has admitted he has smoked crack

Hard Truth # 2 Rob Ford has not saved Toronto 1 Billion dollars

Hard Truth # 3 Rob Ford has increased property taxes by 4.5% (2012 = 2.5% + 2013 = 2%)

Hard Truth # 4 Rob Ford has increased the city operating budget by $200 million since 2010.

Hard Truth # 5 Rob Ford considers drug addicts and gang members his friends

Hard Truth # 6. Rob Ford lied about finding enough savings at city hall to fund subways

Hard Truth #7 All levels of government are in debt and we must implement a transit toll or tax if we want to expand our subway/transit system.

CONTEST: Win a $300 gift certificate to Harry Young Shoes!

Love shoes? Want to support a company that makes a positive contribution to society? Well, you’re in luck because we have the contest and company for you. This October, Harry Young Shoes will donate $5 to the Daily Bread Food Bank for every pair of Munro shoes purchased at the store. And now, Women’s Post and Harry Young Shoes are offering one lucky winner the chance to win a $300 gift certificate to the store. Get your feet moving and enter today!

Contest Rules & Regulations:
Contestants must reside in Canada (excluding Quebec) to be eligible to win
Contestants must be 18 or older
Contestants are eligible to enter 1x daily (further entries will not be counted)
Contest closes on Thursday, October 31st, at 1 p.m.



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Contest Rules & Regulations:
Contestants must reside in Canada (excluding Quebec) to be eligible to win
Contestants must be 18 or older
Contestants are eligible to enter 1x daily (further entries will not be counted)
Contest closes on Wednesday, October 16th, at 12 p.m.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

This infographic sums up everything wrong with the Scarborough subway debate

Subways for Scarborough! LRTs for the city! Accessible transit now!

Why does it seem like, despite all the time that has passed since the death of Transit City we are having the same debates now that we did when David Miller was in office? Why does it seem that, with every passing day and every subway bandwagon jumped on by every politician at every level of government, the simple facts of the matter are being swept under the rug in favour of vote pandering?

Toronto Tweeter Ev Delen (@EvDelen) shows us the cold hard facts in this infographic.

Get ready for the most simple representation of everything wrong with the Scarborough subway debate — and everything wrong with the politicians pushing for subways.





It all seems pretty simple now, doesn’t it?



You can follow Ev Delen on Twitter at @EvDelen.

You can follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.


Toronto Transit Alliance shortlisted for ‘Best Clean Capitalism Project of the Year’

The Transit Alliance, led by Women’s Post publisher Sarah Thomson along with Sarah Patterson, has been shortlisted for the Clean50 award for Best Clean Capitalism Project for the year.

The purpose of the Clean50, created by Delta Management Group, is “to identify and recognize 50 individuals (or small teams) who have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada.”

The group allows the public to choose the winner from the shortlisted top fifteen projects on their website.




For more information on the the Transit Alliance check out UnlockGridlock.ca

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