Our Newsmaker of the Year: Rob Ford

Also on this year’s Newsmakers list: Pakistan’s teen activist and the world’s most famous astronaut


A royal baby was born, a Canadian astronaut inspired the world, a senate scandal engulfed the government—2013 was a year of big stories and even bigger characters. It saw the heroics of a young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, and the historic arrival of “the people’s pope.”

But there was one figure that captured Canada’s and the world’s attention like no other in 2013, and who we’ve named our Newsmaker of the Year: Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

“Rob Ford was a larger-than-life figure whose story transcended borders. In a year of some great successes and heroics—and some great, roiling scandals—he was impossible to ignore, and the clear choice as our Newsmaker of the Year,” said Maclean’s Editor Mark Stevenson.

Ford is one of six public figures who made our list of 2013’s top newsmakers, featured in a 108-page special Newsmakers issue, on newsstands now.

With him on the list are:

Prince George: The youngest member of the British royal family is already following a script as the newest star in a top-rated show.

Chris Hadfield: His tweets and photos captivated millions, and made a boy from Sarnia, Ont. the most famous astronaut alive.

Malala Yousafzai: In a world where girls are gazed at more than heard, the steely, articulate teen activist is no less than a revolutionary.

Mike Duffy: Once the Tories’ star money-maker, Duffy emerged in 2013 as the Prime Minister’s most formidable foe.

Pope Francis: He’s electrified millions, and is now making a quiet but radical shift to a more modern Catholic church.

Among other highlights in this issue:

Memorable entrances: Iran chooses a new president, giant pandas make an arrival at the Toronto Zoo, Target takes over Canada

Farewells: Fans bid adieu to Breaking Bad, Blockbuster rolls its final credits, and rock star central banker Mark Carney is lured to London

Fights: Leafs vs. Bruins, Madonna vs. Malawi and Nancy Salgado vs. the McDonald’s president

Remembering those we lost: Cory Monteith, Roger Ebert, Margaret Thatcher and more

We also asked for your take on the Newsmakers of 2013: who did you believe deserved to be in the top spot?

Toronto’s now-infamous mayor made many of your lists—albeit reluctantly, in some cases—along with a range of other headline-grabbers, from Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi to Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro. Here’s a sample:

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Our Newsmaker of the Year: Rob Ford

  1. Too early.

    These retrospectives are best done the week between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

  2. It’s really true, as an American, I had never read any Canadian newspapers or magazines until this scandal hit (your media is very bias against America, yet you cry when we don’t buy your oil!). Why not report on how much Internet traffic increased to Canadian media due to the Rob Ford Crack Smoking Scandal?

    • Or the new scandal, RCMP smoking pot in uniform.

    • It’s not just the media that is anti-Yank. Try reading anything other than US based propaganda, you will find everyone hates you.

      • This is coming from the man who doesn’t know where the “go on and bleed’ speech originated.

        • What are you fixating on? EmilyOne musta given you the shocker.

    • Hi Neil! LOVE your new trolling angle. What? Things getting boring over at your FB page. My god – the bizarre and sad life you lead.

      • I don’t know who “Neil” is, but I live in Davie, FL and yes my real name is Bradford Hamilton

        • LMAO! OK – “Bradford” — your problem is you’re such a spastic, bipolar, rage monger, that everyone knows you’re many M.O.’s … but please – do go on, Mr. Flagg, your Capt. America moniker is *highly* entertaining, if nothing else!

          P.S. Your FB friends can’t stop talking about your decent into madness. “Bradford” has been added to the file. LOLOLOL!

          • Weirdo.

          • Great comeback. LOVE IT!

  3. “Afghan girl, Malala Yousafzai”

    um, she’s Pakistani.
    Thanks for the huge pic of Miley, though. #priorities.

    • Thanks, Katarina. We’ve corrected that.

    • I would like to have been spared seeing that tongue again. For Pete’s sake, just put it away, already!

  4. Need to take a break with Ford, after all we have RCMP smoking pot too.

  5. I understand that ‘Mayor’ Ford can not comment on being the Newsmaker of the Year as he cannot comment on a magazine he has never seen or does not exist – mostly because he can’t read.

  6. Rob Ford, newsmaker of the year? Perhaps in T.O., but not in Canada. There is only one obvious choice for Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year – Chris Hadfield! How could Maclean’s miss this?

  7. Stop giving this guy coverage, Macleans. I’m sick of hearing about this sick addicted man. Talk about the lazy, sensational choice.

  8. I just lost respect for this magazine.

  9. Awakenmedia Prabandhak will be the Newsmaker for the year 2014!

    BSP believed in raising money through the donations by party leaders and workers and not from business houses or traders.Party leaders and workers also sacrifice their time and talent. SP believes in goonda raj which is their real ideology. RSS’s BJP believe in collecting unethical money in the name of GURU DAKSHAN which is unaccounted and both SP and BJP are funded by business houses or traders which causes sky rocketing price rise, black money and corruption. Neither SP nor BJP can ever dream of gathering more than 20lakhs people in RamaBhai Ambedkar stadium. They have to rely on caste and communal discriminating CEC that draped the elephant symbol including the ones with raised trunks and all SC/ST/OBC leaders’ statues that never draped hands of congress or national flower lotus of BJP when their ruled assemblies went for polls. The CEC never ordered for draping the statues of Congress and BJP upper caste leaders statues. The CEC has not made public the SOURCE CODE of the program of Voting machines which are not tamper proof. But for the highly corrupt and caste, communal newspapers,magazines and media BJP or the SP would not have won elections. Just like Mandela who fought against race discrimination Dr Ambedkar, Kanshiram and Ms Mayawati’s party is against caste and communal discrimination through Sarv Samaj Sadbhavan i.e., through All Societies unity.

    Attend in large numbers for Rashtriya Savdhan Maharally (national vigilant rally) at the Ramabai Ambedkar ground in Lucknow on January 15, birthday of party chief Mayawati.



    Get ready to show progress in strengthening BSP’s base among the ‘ALL SOCIETY’ and prepare for “CAREFUL HUGE GRAND RALLY” slated for on January 15.

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