Toronto the Dumb, don’t blame Fordo

 

Toronto has become the laughing stock of Canada over the undue chaos at City Hall caused by the mayor Rob Ford.

Politicos like Ford are always with us. A man very limited in ability, full of hubris as to his  talents, at best a  decent ward healer with good constituent skills, was suddenly catapulted  to mayor. A train wreck waiting to happen, a one-note Charley with no vision, a scion of privilege, personally wealthy with the typical arrogance of those who inherit wealth,Ford was totally out of his depth as mayor of a big metropolitan area.The job today is enormously complicated and poor Ford was absolutely incapable of mastering its complexities.His educational background was nil. His ego was boundless.

His pathetic mantra “Gravy train, gravy train” was proven to be non-existent.It takes money and good taxes to run a huge city and here’s where the problem lies.

Ford and his equally obtuse  brother Doug, have little understanding of these things. They are basically Anti-tax Republicans, very right-wing Tories. That’s fine. They should have been consigned to the very margins of political life. But America has come north and the Fords are the worst example of simplistic thinking and reflexive anti-taxation.

I do not blame them.They are representative of white privilege, devoid of compassion, lacking the vision a big city needs. “Ambition”, the Bard warned us,”should be made of sterner stuff.”

I blame the dozey electorate for falling for their simple anti-tax mantras.

Imagine a city like Toronto catapulting to mayor a Ford who sat with his earphones on as a councillor, listening to God knows what, chomping at the bit to get oput to footnball practice. His brother was worse. He ridiculed “liberries”, had no compassion or understanding of working people living on the margins in Toronto.I fould this out first hand when appearing before a city council committee on wages paid to cleaners. Two of these wonderful people preceded me in their submissions.They were scraping by on $19.00 an hour and Doug Ford dissed them by saying their work was not worth this wage. I argued for  the Catholic position of a Living Wage. The Fords lost this battle. Compassion and fairness prevailed. The  sons of privlege  however showed their true colours.

But people in the burbs who watch Fox News and way too much TV and who do not follow city politics suddenly chafed at having to pay $70 or so for motor vehicle licenses. Made ill by the anti-tax virus emanating from the US, they vote for this very sad, inept  man. The warnings were always there—his obesity, drunkenness in public places etc,his foul mouth,  his awful record at City Hall. He  ignored  most proceedings and  generally  get outvoted 30-1 . In short he was a right wing crank with little credibility among peers.

No matter.”Gravy train, gravy train” won out. the suckers bought it  and we all pay the price for people unwilling  to do due diligence. He made former mayor  Mel Lastman appear like a great statesman.

And finally, what kind of leadership in the Catholic school Don Bosco do we see? Who  would hire this ranter  to coach their impressionable kids? His Republican attitudes are way out of synch with those of Catholic education.

We have become the laughing stock of Canada because too many people either don’t pay attention or don’t understand the necessity of paying for the running of a first-class city.

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    wmgrace Says:

    Apparently Rob has already emptied his office library at City Hall. He was seen yesterday carrying both books to his SUV.

    As the Star pointed out today there was an “unfortunate irony” in his removal from office (when it transpires). What they’re talking about is the fact that while Rob Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and admitted as much, the penalty seems to be way out of proportion to the seriousness of his actions. Way out of proportion since it is a “mandatory minimum sentence” which has been imposed by the judge, because he has “no discretion to impose a sentence that fits the case”. Judge Hackland suggested that this particular law should be reformed.

    Why is that ironic? Because Rob Ford dismissed expert legal advice which indicated that mandatory minimum sentencing is not fair, and is not a deterrence in most cases. This happened when Ford was arguing for stiffer sentencing for possession of handguns i.e., a mandatory minimum sentence, which is usually jail time. That would more than negatively impact the lives of many young men in our community and brand them because that’s what incarceration does to people. Incidentally, these same young men return to society feeling somewhat targeted and jaded, with even fewer opportunities to find gainful employment and fit in. That’s a prime example of the arrogance and insensitivity of the Ford vision for Toronto and its youth.

    From what I’ve been reading the fact that Rob Ford violated the Act but received an “inappropriately harsh penalty” seems to be a commonly held point of view in the legal community, at least I think so. If that’s true then the same legal community thought this before the case was tried – they knew that yes, Ford had probably violated the Act and that if they were successful in proving that, he would lose his job. That aspect does not seem fair to me. If you are a lawyer and know full-well that the violation is relatively minor (even if Rob Ford is not your favorite mayor or even a competent one) and that a successful prosecution will result in an unjust penalty, then isn’t that the wrong thing to do? That’s like the proverbial killing of the fly with a cannon rather than a fly swatter. It looks to me like a political assassination using the legal system as the preferred weapon, and that isn’t something that we should be proud of.


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