What does the Rob Ford video tell us?

It confirms our understanding of a man who was on a highway to hell, but it is knowledge that comes too late

Darren Calabrese/CP

Darren Calabrese/CP

When his officers finally found it, sending Toronto into full-scale upheaval, then-police chief Bill Blair declared himself “disappointed” by the scenes in the Rob Ford crack video. He didn’t describe them, and the courts were customarily intent on keeping the clip under wraps, lest its publication prejudice the extortion trial of Ford’s former driver, Sandro Lisi. But that mild reaction on the part of the city’s police chief was enough to draw rebuke from Doug Ford, then a Toronto councillor, who suggested Blair was using his position to wage political warfare against his brother, then the city’s beleaguered mayor.

On Thursday, after the charges against Lisi were dropped, the video was available for all to see, and “disappointed” seems a fitting response. Three years ago, recall, the Toronto Star had reported that Ford could be seen in the clip using racially offensive language and calling Justin Trudeau, then the federal Liberal leader, a “fag.” In fact, it’s hard to hear Ford saying anything on the video. The foul commentary that is audible comes mostly from the regrettable Elena Basso, Ford’s friend and the presumptive host of the impromptu party, where—yes—Rob Ford can be seen pulling on a crack pipe. He is clearly no stranger to the process. His lolling head and glassy eyes remove all doubt that he’s high.

Which tells us what? As others have noted, had the video been released when it was discovered, its publication might have made some difference to Ford. Today, it merely solidifies our understanding of him as a man on a highway to hell (what threat its release posed to Lisi’s legal rights, only the courts know; he doesn’t even appear in it). But that knowledge came to us too late, and the world has moved on. Lisi is a free man. Doug Ford is out of office. Bill Blair is now an MP in the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau—overseeing federal plans to legalize cannabis. In March, Rob Ford died of cancer.


What does the Rob Ford video tell us?

  1. What it actually tells us is that the MSM is still fixated on a dead guy! Enough!

    There are lots of real stories that need to be explored including what the heck the federal government is actually doing to help the economy aside from just spending tons of money on stuff!

    • Enough? What has Toronto learned from the Ford Debacle? What have other Canadian cities learned?

      Apparently, all we’ve learned is to shrug and surrender our leadership to drug-addled people who don’t know truth from fiction. Oh well, never mind. Once elected, you’re bullet proof. Nothing we can do.

      (But it is not surprising that you drew a bizarre link to the federal Liberals. As a Ford supporter, what else could you do?)

      • Tangler-I work at an addiction centre and you need a better understanding of addiction. Rob Ford demonstrated all of the common traits of a person with the disease of addiction-denial, lying, extreme behavior, etc. 20% of the general population-primarily due to either genetics or trauma while a child-are prone to addiction and half of those become addicts. Ford was an unfortunate one of those. After he hit his bottom (which addicts do before they decide to try to get well) he admitted he was an addict and went to treatment to address it. And, since the press followed him like a hawk, as far as I know he did not relapse after treatment. He is dead now and his family should be left alone. Showing the video does nothing for anyone.

        • You missed the point – which was, we should never forget Rob Ford because he was an example of a fundamental weakness in our system(s) of government. Once elected, a politician can commit crimes, use illegal drugs, associate with gang members, lie frequently … and the “system” can’t do anything about it.

          Have we learned that lesson from Rob Ford. Apparently not. I am not aware of any changes to the system that would allow us to throw a guy like that out of office.

          So, no. It is not “enough”, We should see Rob Ford stories regularly, until we decide to do something to prevent another Rob Ford.

          His sad addictions are irrelevant.

          • I was responding to your comment of not “knowing truth from fiction”. That is a major feature off an addict.
            I still believe MSM should just quit beating on his family. As well, in spite of the issues associated with addiction, his focus on running governments efficiently was very valid. If you noticed the attendance at his funeral, he was well respected for that. Trudeau and Wynne aren’t addicted to anything that I am aware of other than their egos. They should take that efficiency page from Ford’s play book. Wynne has amassed the largest debt in history and Ontario is now tied with Quebec as a have not province but she still thinks she can spend her way to success. So far it has done nothing but cause massive debt. Trudeau is on the same course.

          • @ Jerome — Now you’re dodging the issue I raised. I don’t care about Ford’s addiction. I don’t care about his “policies”. I don’t care about Wynn, Trudeau or any other political leader. I don’t care if Ford had a fan club.

            For the third time, I will say – what have we done about the Ford lesson … that we are trapped into following an elected leader that is incapable of functioning in the job for which he was elected? Nothing.

            There should be a giant poster of Ford on city hall, with a big arrow on it and the words “Never Again”.

      • Given that our sunny boy PM is big on weed and making it available, and given Justin’s inability to actually put forward any type of economic plan or another other plan other than hiring consultants to examine something, I suspect that our drug addled leaders might be residing in the PM’s office.

        • Yep. Rob Ford supporter and Conservative drone. As I thought.

  2. A pox on the holier-than-thou pukes drooling over the peccadilloes of a dead man. You’re a bunch of vultures. Get a life.

  3. Leave the poor man alone. He’s dead for Christ sake. MSM makes me physically sick to my stomach. As far as McLeans goes you are the lowest of the low. A rag I would not use to line the bottom of my bird cage with.

    • And yet, here you are, reading a Macleans story online and taking the time to log in and make a comment. lol! :)

  4. The political marketing machine could convince us to vote for a monkey if it was good looking enough.

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