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Rob Ford: A case study in the unexpected

What do you do when your mayor goes rogue?


 

(Matthew Sherwood photo)

For a while, it looked as if organizers of Toronto’s Santa Claus parade had dodged a bullet. Word trickled in that Mayor Rob Ford would forgo the annual crowd-pleaser—understandable, given the uproar surrounding his admission of crack use. But on Monday, the mayor’s office reversed the call, raising worry among parade officials that the event would devolve into more Cirque du Ford, with the scandal-ridden pol marching a six-kilometre gauntlet of boo-birds and catcallers, while tossing candy to bewildered children.

Their fears were justified. On Monday, Ford’s appearance at a Remembrance Day ceremony elicited jeers from the crowd and a snub from one veteran who said he refused to shake hands with a “druggie.” A parade crowd could be counted on to show a lot less decorum. Yet the mayor is a fixture in the Santa Claus parade and, since Ford remains the mayor, uninviting him never seemed an option. At first, event co-chair Ron Barbaro seem to settle on a plaintive-sounding call for decency: On this occasion, he reminded both Hizzoner and the parade-going public, “Santa is the celebrity of the day.” When it appeared that Ford wouldn’t back down, Barbaro took another step, writing a letter to the mayor‘s chief of staff to ask that Ford not participate in the parade in any official capacity.

Sad he would need to say so. But in Toronto, containing Ford-related fallout has become a grim necessity. Even as the parade organizers pondered their dilemma, city council was on Wednesday set to consider a motion to strip Ford’s authority to appoint and dismiss committee chairs—a significant curtailment of power in a town where most significant initiatives originate in committee. The idea was to encircle the mayor and neutralize his power, explained John Filion, a councillor for Willowdale and author of the motion. “It was clear that there was a lot more coming, that it was going to turn into a circus,” he says. But the move wouldn’t be necessary, he adds, if Ford would choose the logical path of a politician caught using hard drugs, lying about it, consorting with known criminals and, most recently, ranting maniacally on video about how he’d like to kill a man.

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By last week, even Norm Kelly, Ford’s longtime ally and hand-picked deputy mayor, had seen enough. “I think that he’s got to get away from city hall,” Kelly said. “He’s got to address the personal issues in his life and his family.”

Ford, however, has declined, and his refusal has made him a case study in the politically unexpected. What do you do when your mayor goes rogue? Most provinces have no laws facilitating the removal of mayors, because no one anticipated one clinging to power amid his own personal disintegration. City councils are not parliaments, with the authority to dismiss governments through motions of non-confidence. And Ontario municipal law provides no impeachment procedure, short of a removal provision for politicians who are ineligible to vote (a mayor who winds up in prison, for example, can no longer hold office). On Wednesday, Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former Ford ally on council, is expected to table a motion calling for the province to remove the mayor if he won’t step aside. But most experts regarded that as little more than a pressure tactic. “It would require the government to pass some sort of stand-alone legislation,” notes John Mascarin, a municipal law expert with Aird & Berlis LLP, a Bay Street firm. “I don’t think [Premier] Kathleen Wynne wants to go down that road.”

Not when so many voters seem to accept Ford’s own judgment as to his fitness to govern. While polls consistently suggest a majority of Torontonians believe the mayor should take time off to sort himself out, the sense lingers among his hard-core supporters that he’s waging a justified war against an elitist, liberal establishment that is using his personal troubles as an excuse to get rid of him. Which might explain Wynne’s distinctly muted response to the entire fiasco. Ontario’s minority Liberal government is likely to face an election in the coming months, and could pay dearly in key suburban ridings by raising the ire of those voters. When asked last week about Ford’s crack admission, Wynne told reporters she’s as worried as most Torontonians by the damage the scandal has done to Canada’s largest city, yet insisted the onus to bring the whole sideshow to a halt lies exclusively with Ford. “He is going to have to take action that he thinks is appropriate for the city of Toronto,” she said.

Which is small comfort for anyone who thinks a man who has smoked crack has no business wearing the Chain of Office. Not to mention a few anxious parade organizers.


 

Rob Ford: A case study in the unexpected

  1. I would personally like to see him shunned. I’d like for councillors to turn their backs when he enters, for his mic to be cut off, not a one of his piggish utterances acknowledged. I’d like for organizers of good conscience to ban him from their events.

    I will support the province’s quiet for now. Whatever will keep us from having an unholy Harper-Hudak-Ford trinity.

    As far as the rest of the world is concerned (sorry everyone), Toronto represents Canada. And Canada has been outed as the nation of fools, tools, ignoramuses, and hicks that Harris, Harper, the old Wild Rose party wanted and shaped. People who are bothered by this should act like it.

    • …Canada has been outed as the nation of fools, tools, ignoramuses, and hicks…

      I’m in total agreement with you here but your cast of characters needs work. Harper is not a hick (that’s about the kindest thing I can say about him). Harris and Wildrose? phhhtt.

      As far as the rest of the world is concerned (sorry everyone), Toronto represents Canada.

      Well, that is one way of looking at it. KnowWhatImSayin’ ?

      • Harper grew out of the Alliance (old Wildrose). I’m not saying he’s a hick. I’m saying he promised “you won’t recognize Canada when I’m done with it”, and I don’t.

        Harris’ ‘common sense’ revolution chipped away at our acceptance of the common weal. He sold off our properties; starved Toronto of infrastructure and its people of services, and in defiance of a referendum, merged it with the suburbs to create the Mega City that he knew would elect someone like a Ford.

        I probably haven’t got the details exactly right, but these players share, at a minimum, converging visions.

        In my experience, few people outside our country think of it at all, but when they do, their thoughts go to Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Rocky Mountains, and the oil sands. (After igloos, seals, and our exploitation of First Nations people. Other than that, our brand is pretty thin. Or was.)

      • Yes, Albertans may be weirdo’s, rednecks, conservatives, etc… but very few are hicks.
        I think most people east of imagine it’s a like conservative small town in Ontario/Maritimes where people have lived for generations and never left, or a Northern version of the American South.

        However, only 120 years ago it was completely unsettled and home to just a few bands of Dene or Plains tribes. It’s too new and too rich for hicks.

    • Hudak would have to be something else to be worse than what McGuinty and Wynne have given us in terms of abuse of taxpayer/citizen trust. Hudak isn’t Stephen Harper nor is he Mike Harris. Heck, he’s too boring to be either of those guys….

      By the way, supporting the current Liberal government after knowing how much money they’ve wasted with fiasco after fiasco in recent years (EHealth: $1 Bn, PowerPlants: $1 Bn, Orange: many millions, and the list goes on) removes any particular sense that you have an urgency to see change for the better and a desire to hold the high moral ground.

      My answer would be to throw out Ford, Wynne, Harper and try to find a half decent alternative in each case. And I’m basically a conservative (vs. Conservative).

      Ontario should also enact recall provisions for municipal officials based on a 20% (for instance) threshold (to have a recall vote esecuted) from eligible voters to trigger a vote. That’s really about half of the actual voting voters so that’s not going to happen without good reason.

      There needs to be an accountability mechanism for runaway public officials. Counting on them to do the right thing isn’t going to cut it as this case proves.

      And if Toronto represents Canada, then Toronto voters owe the rest of us an apology since your guy is making us look bad and we didn’t even get to vote for or against him. Maybe you might not rush to claim that mantle for all of Canada….

      • Hudak is boring, but he’s a vehicle for a proposition I cannot support under the systems we currently have. Three levels of capital C-conservative government would ruin us, I am sure.

        While I happen to like Wynne, the waste that’s happened in Ontario, I agree, needs to be addressed. But in my opinion, it’s a question of creep, simple bureaucracy and entitlement. It’s in the Senate too. When any party settles in, so does that kind of rot.

        In answer to that, I would support electoral reform — some kind of proportional representation — so that there is constant movement, and no single party settles in. Instead, each tempers the excesses of the others, and they work in collaboration on particular issues, instead of hardening their ideologies. (If I have to pick an ideology though, it’ll will always be one that takes responsibility for the wellbeing of our people and environment; and I see that as happening through investment, not austerity.)

        Yes, Toronto owes you and everyone else an apology.

        • I will agree that having all three levels of government aligned ideologically at any given time is probably quite a dangerous situation.

          I don’t have anything personal against Wynne but she inherits the sins of her government. You encourage that sort of malfeasance by not holding them to account. They, like Ford and Harper, have outlived whatever utility they once had.

          electoral reform would certainly be welcome although it is difficult to arrange a proportional representation system that is not subject to manipulation by the individual political parties. in many European places the positions which are allocated to balance the popular vote r from a list of candidates provided by the party which seems to me a great way for a party to install loyalists .

      • My concern with Hudak is that he is on board with Doug Ford running in provincial politics. I see it as shorted sighted. There is so much smoke around the Ford brothers that I cannot see how it is wise to have them around. I see such support costing Hudak down the line in terms of his reputation and judgment. The Fords are trouble and I would be wary to have them stain the reputation of the Conservative Party.

  2. Down here in Florida, we Americans don’t understand how he got elected in the first place. He has lived a druggie lifestyle all his life. He isn’t just going to stop doing it now! One commentary noted that bad publicity is better than no publicity. Have to admit, I never thought of Toronto before.

    • Toronto is definitely putting the “no such thing as bad publicity” theory to the test.

    • A number of US mayors have had issues over the years. Marion Barry ring a bell? He’s hardly alone. Just sayin’.

    • And you had a president with a female intern under his desk to help him do his job better? Think Clinton’s wife would have a preference what was getting “smoked”?

  3. The only parade Ford should be in is one in which a joyful citizenry escorts him to the nearest maximum security penitentiary.

    • Yeah. But none of it will come to light.

      If the wiretaps could offer something that would stand up in court on its own, Ford would already have been charged.

      Nisar Hashimi pled guilty to manslaughter in Anthony Smith’s death; no evidence around Ford was presented there. Hanad Mohammed’s charge was reduced to accessory after the fact. Nothing useful will come out of that trial (still to come, late November), either.

      Hanad Hussein – the guy who “fell” from a 6th floor balcony in Fort McMurray – wants nothing to do with Ford and will stay quiet too.

      If Lisi isn’t encouraged to run, he’ll be invited to keep mum at trial and eat whatever sentence he gets (assuming he’s found guilty, though of course assuming anything would be stupid right now).

      It seriously hurts my heart that someone with so much stink on him can slide past the law, never mind survive in Canadian politics.

      • Perfectly put, couldn’t agree more.
        This is what the disintegration of public life looks like in a very peaceful country.

      • Let’s see what Toronto Police investigations end up doing. I tend to think you are right given the ‘calibre’ of possible accusers/witnesses, but let’s see if the cops can construct a strong enough case for a charge.

        His own admission to using crack or being too stupified to know he didn’t ought to be enough reason for him to step down.

      • I wouldn’t be so sure about your conclusions or your facts. The evidence in the Hashimi matter was not presented in open court. Therefore, your commentary is speculative. There may be nothing there but one could just as easily speculate that there is something there and that police are zeroing in on bigger fish than Hashimi.

        I agree with your conjecture than Lisi won’t talk. If he is attached in any manner to organized crime as some suspect – the usually a person in his position will keep quiet and take whatever sentence they throw at him.

        Of course, it will be interesting to learn what is on the wiretaps. Because there may be more than you know on there and it is clear LISI and FORD had no idea they were being listened to.

        And when you consider there is a murder tied into this group of miscreants, one never knows what wild card will come up.

        So, do they have nothing on Ford or could it be they got something bigger they are working on?

        Only time will tell.

      • Lisi is looking at a minimum of 4 years to life for extortion. The sentencing will take in to consideration his criminal record and if a Gun/weapon was involved in the crime. Pondering the length of sentencing he may face and considering that he will be placed in federal prison I believe his decision will be dependent on how much he likes jail, (which I believe will not be so pleasant for him) as well as how much money he is offered as major factor in his decision to stay quiet or not. Right now I believe Lisi is wild Card in this investigation.

        • Well, I wonder if he’d just run. It’s not like he doesn’t have friends who could get him on a midnight cruise to Florida. (I am thinking like a criminal, or at least like someone who has watched crime serials, because it appears I live among criminals.)

          The worst possible scenario would be if a merely adequate case against Ford was generated, and Ford was tried but not convicted. That would be electoral rocket fuel for this guy.

  4. Rob Ford has been an exemplar mayor. I’m not thrilled by his smoking crack or public drunkenness, but compared to the progressive idiots he runs against I’d still vote for him.

    • JennyHu887 sez…

      Rob Ford has been an exemplar mayor.

      I’m at a loss for words.

      Is there a Hall of Fame for ridiculous comments on Disqus?

      • Kind of sums up the type of reactionary maroon that would support an obnoxious, morally vacant, morbidly obese, crack-addled drunkard as opposed to anyone considered remotely “progressive”… because, you know that would be AWFUL!

    • Um… I’m speechless.

      This explains the mess Toronto is in.

      You’d rather have a crack smoking, drunken, abusive mayor with connections to organized crime and the drug trade and who puts his own interest ahead of the city and its citizens… over ANY possible local alternative?

      WOW.

      Now I finally understand Toronto.

      • hey, don’t lump all Torontonians in with the Ford Nation zombies please.

        • You are right. That’s unfair. I’m not represented by our provincial Liberals or our Federal Conservatives (nor would I be by the NDP) so it is hardly fair to lump everyone in a jurisdiction in the same boat.

          I’m just surprised how many defenders Ford has who are willing to ignore egregious behaviour just because he claims (unsubstantiated) to have saved them some money.

          I mean, the man admits having bought illegal drugs. He is tarnishing Toronto’s reputation and hasn’t the integrity to step down despite it now being hard for him to get anything done with council, other mayors, other levels of gov’t, etc.

          I don’t care much what he does in his private life, except:

          a) It can’t impact his work performance (drinking and drugs seem to have done so)
          b) It can’t see him associating with criminals or engaged in criminal activity (which it has)
          c) It can’t display him as a terrible example of what a leader should be to every aspiring municipal candidate or school child (which it has)
          d) MOST IMPORTANTLY, the head guy with impact on contracts, policing, etc. can’t have a potential chemical dependence or habit that might make him beholden to criminal elements or subject to blackmail by same

          The last point compromises his ability to deliver the office and even the appearance of such an outcome means he has to go.

          And yet, many people in Toronto seem to defend him.

          I suspect it is the ‘I voted for him, therefore I am invested in him and admitting he’s now a car wreck makes my own choice look bad’ factor that is causing his supporters to work so hard to ignore all of his outrageous and illegal actions.

    • He LIED 100% to everyone publicly – saying there was no video and he did not ever do crack. He personal life should be and still is his personal life. Nothing to do with being the Mayor. As he said, “we all make mistakes”. What he did not say is “we all lie” – he flatly denied everything with lies until he was forced to say he lied.
      His personal life is private. To lie on national Television as the Mayor of a Major City? What sort of trust is there when a Mayor lies on purpose about serious allegations to the entire world? Think about Nixon and Watergate. Rob Ford was caught defending his own lies.

      • He not only lied about the crack and the video – he has a history of lying. He denied the DUI in Florida until the media produced evidence. And then he apologized saying it was in the past and all he could do was move on. Sound familiar? And not only did he lie but he attacked the character of people who were telling the truth. Calling media liars and maggots. I would not be surprised if he got sued for slander. Cause we now know who the liar was and it wasn’t the media who reported about the video – was it?

        I like a fiscally conservative politician. I like a guy who is willing to cut the waste. However, with what has come out – this guy is a disaster of epic proportions. And I got news for Ford Nation: Rob Ford is not the only politician in Toronto who can be fiscally conservative and cut waste at city hall. Pick the guy who doesn’t smoke crack, drink himself into a stupor or associate with known criminals..

      • So he should have told everyone he smoked crack? At least he has the guts to straight out lie about his personal life, unlike Clinton, who could not even do that. Clinton claims no sex, just bj’s. Haha. If Rob Ford came out from the start and admitted smoking crack, he would for sure have proven he’s dumb. C’mon, a politician lying? Oh no, that never happens! Rob Ford is far more upfront and honest than any politician. Asking and expecting him not to lie about this is dilusional.

        • Do you hear yourself?? He’s honest because he lies, and if he didn’t lie, he’d be stupid. And you would vote for him again. Really!

        • Yyes – Clinton “lied” but he fooled himself into thinking he was being technically truthful. Because as I understand the family law in his training – legally speaking, sexual relations is technically intercourse. So he thought he was being smart by saying he didn’t have sexual relations. In the regular world – we call that a iie.

          But that is far different than what Ford has done here. It’s not honesty when you deny everything and call people maggots and
          liars for saying the truth – only to admit they were correct when a
          video comes to light to you doing what they said you were..

          And anyone can figure that out so you should ask yourself why is it that you are making such illogical commentary?

        • And I should also add that in your mind, you seem to equate on a scale of moral behaviour – smoking crack, a history of lying, drinking oneself into a stupor and associating with known criminals and possibly organized crime to: “maybe” infidelity and inappropriate behaviour at work between two consenting adults?

          Think about it.

          • Sorry to carry one but before you say it…. No – I would not judge Ford so harshly if he was found to be having sexual relations outside of his marriage. And yes – I would be harsh, in fact harsher on Clinto had he smoked crack as President – hell – he had access to nuclear weapons.!!

        • Has he mentioned how it was that after a few too many beers he ended up at a gang-run crack house. I have drank my share of beer, never happened to me.

          The only conclusion that makes any sense is that Ford had been to the house many times before, and had a connection with the operators. Could there be another explanation? Maybe, but Ford hasn’t provided it.

          • And he won’t offer any other explanation unless he is backed into a corner.

          • Perhaps the kind of beer matters? After all, perhaps there’s a microbrewery out there called “The Crackhouse” and he got understandably confused when he went to make a beer run.

            (man, I so hope Ford nation picks up this excuse and runs with it..)

        • Man talk about falling down the rabbit hole. Are you sure you and the Mayor haven’t been partying together?

    • And yet we still don’t know about all the skeletons in the Ford closet yet, do we? I suspect your are making a premature judgment. And clearly you fail to understand how the Ford budget commentary is hogwash and that he has wasted much public taxpayer money like the rest. I understand how city hall can drive people nuts with all the waste we see but when you cannot see the waste in some of what Ford has done – then I suspect you suffer from hindsight bias.

      • Today’s admission he bought illegal drugs should land him in jail, IMO.

    • That’s a really sad statement – you actually prefer an admitted crack-smoking drunk to someone deemed a “progressive”. Do you personally know anyone who is “progressive” or do you just read the propaganda coming out of the Ford camp/Toronto Sun & similar fellow travelers. I can assure you, we don’t have horns & we don’t bite. If you bothered to get to know a “progressive” you might find we aren’t much different than you.

  5. Stop the insanity. I have an idea for a new reality show. Let’s put Rob Ford, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and anyone named Kardashian in a locked room and see who survives. Better still, throw away the key. Sick of them all and their self-absorbed antics.

  6. I think Wynne worrying about upsetting anyone who would still vote for Ford shows poor judgment. As if, even if she didn’t say a word – they would ever vote Liberal anyhow. I think she should actually consider those who would or could vote Liberal and what they think of her not intervening. I mean, Ford Nation are so paranoid about Liberals, that their support for a crack smoking mayor who hangs around criminal elements and has a history of lying – is stronger than ever. And all it takes are some bobble heads and a photo op.

    • You know, there is so little integrity in politics right now, that is becoming my single-issue voting focus. I’d consider voting for Wynne if her government owned up (even by blaming Dalton) to its horrible decisions and if it acted to deal with Mr. Ford by creating a recall mechanism that would be more broadly useful.

      I’m not holding my breath. This i another reason Wynne won’t get my vote – hiding out because the fire is hot or their might be blowback is not what my tax dollars should be supporting.

      • So then: Hudak? Who is bringing Doug Ford into provincial politics? I’d take Wynne over anyone who will support or encourage Doug Ford. Hell – I may even consider the NDP.

  7. Hard drug, soft drug, alcohol, prescription medications… He’s likely not an addict. But these politicians who blow past budgets, spend into debt or are corrupt are better? It’s not so much what he does for himself but what he does for Torontonians. He’s got the nerve to take the heat and not overspend no matter what pressure or how he’s looked at. Saving Toronto from financial ruin is the trade off. Those who want Ford gone because of a toke here and there or a rant want not what’s good for Torontonians but what’s good for themselves.

    • Sorry but your comment makes it clear you have not actually read the financial material for the city of Toronto. It appears that simply having Doug and Rob repeat ad nauseam that they are saving torontonians a billion dollars is enough for you to believe it to be true. Ford has not saved a billiob dollars. And spending is up. Sorry but you are wrong on that.

      In terms of costs to Toronto, perhaps you have failed to consider how much costs there is to toronto when people who have to make deals with the city or who can choose to do business with toronto or not – or choose to open businesses in toronto or not – it seems you think that a mayor smoking crack would not affect any such decisions in a negative manner. That is “magical thinking.”

      You may not always see those costs in a budget or a news article. But they are real costs nonetheless.

    • Uh no, you are the one thinking only of what is good for yourself. And if you are actually buying the Ford Bros claim of “saving billions” you are sadly mistaken. Do some research. I’ve read a couple of analysis over the last week or so which indicate the “saving billions” is complete BS.

  8. Why isn’t Harper being held to account for his close personal and political alliance with Rob Ford?
    If Mulcair or Trudeau had pals like this the CPC and SUN would be on a crusade

    • You mean like Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau’s relationship with Benjamin Levin?

      • This person is the equivalent of Rob Ford, Dixon Rd., Lisi etc?
        I’ve never heard of him!

        • It was in the news, look it up.
          Describing the relationship between Ford & Harper as personal is quite a stretch. There are a number of parallels in their political situations, but Harper generally doesn’t do personal relationships.

          • There was the famous picnic appearance and something about fishing. Then there’s the Flaherty Ford connection.

          • A photo op constitutes a relationship only when convenient for PR. I haven’t seen Steve hanging out much in Toronto.

            Also, Toronto is Ontario and Canada’s largest city, so it makes some sense for the PM to have some sort of decent relationship with it’s Mayor, until he turns out to be a crack-buying, crack-smoking, alcohol-abusing, self-centered jerk (and yes, if you attack people telling the truth about your misdeeds, you ARE a jerk).

            If Mr. Harper had a typical distant relationship with Ford, as mayor of TO, that would be normal. If he continued it now, that would be stupid and whatever Steve is, politically unsavvy is not it.

          • I was trying to remember the Conservative Party, Government, and MPs reactions to the news that Trudeau had smoked a joint at a dinner party.

          • I get it. It wasn’t the pot it was the dinner party.
            “Laureen and I didn’t come to Ottawa to attend dinner parties.”

  9. In other news … Gay Pride organizers have released a statement saying they understand completely if the mayor needs to be at the family cottage this year.

    • Good one! :-)

  10. We are all human first and for most lets not forget this has he helped Toronto as mayor lets move on everyone has dirty laundry,!

    • Please explain exactly how Ford has “helped” Toronto as mayor?

      • People certainly know about it now.

      • Before his issue with drugs and alcohol came to light has he not done his job? insanity by definition it to continue to do the same thing but to expect a different result 10 percent of todays population are addicts with their biggest problem being denial Rob needs to except his problem and get some help The people whro are in charge of this province are involved in may backward deals that would have bankrupted any family budget but can just walk away and wipe their hands of any wrong doings.In the mean time we the people get left with the mess Thanks Dalton are you sure he never smoked crack but just never got caught

        • Please answer the question. Exactly how has Ford “helped” Toronto as mayor? How do you know he was doing his job before his substance abuse issues came to light? All evidence indicates that he never has spent a great deal of time @ City Hall – you know, the place where most people would think that the bulk of a mayor’s job would be conducted.

    • The issue at hand is not whether others may or may not have dirty laundry. The issue is that as Mayor of the fourth largest city in North America, Rob Ford is clearly a national and even international embarrassment who is not fit to hold office when his personal judgment has been decidedly impaired not only by alcohol but by his admitted use of illegal drugs, not to mention his associations with seedy characters which is absolutely unbecoming behaviour for any public official. The Province of Ontario should step-in, remove Rob Ford from office and the Police should lay charges based on his criminal admissions. The people of Toronto deserve better than the likes of Rob Ford and the sooner he is removed from office, the sooner justice will be served and public respect for government restored.

    • Everyone has not bought crack, smoked crack, supported a crack house financially (not yet proven, but alleged), lied about his smoking crack to citizens, gotten drunk at official functions and been unable to carry out his duties due to intoxication several times, behaved in a manner unbecomin of his high public office, and bad mouthed everyone who was telling the truth about his illegal or troubling behaviour.

      So, let’s move on right after Mr. Ford does.

      • That’s what addicts do. He needs treatment!

  11. Toronto’s municipal council should contact Ringling Bros. and have them set-up a circus cannon in Nathan Phillips Square (aimed at the center of Lake Ontario). Then, load the biggest clown they can find at City Hall and… fire the cannon! Of course the girth of the “clown” may require the use of a lot of bear-grease to get him into the barrel but the good news is that everyone in Toronto (except for one councillor and one mayor) will gladly buy a ticket and the “substantial” proceeds can go directly to drug and alcohol abuse programs.

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