[caption id="attachment_66426" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Rob Ford Scandal: Toronto Mayor Has No Plans To Step Down[/caption]
Embattled Toronto Mayor's Drug Scandal Grows
Toronto, Canada - The portly 44-year-old mayor, Rob Ford, of Canada's most populous city cannot seem to put the growing drug scandal behind him. While Ford is no stranger to controversy having survived a conflict of interest trial which could have removed him from office, this time his fortunes seem less hopeful.
The controversy began when police claimed to have footage of the mayor smoking an illegal substance in the presence of some unscrupulous individuals. Canadian news outlets pounced on the story, but so have international news outlets such as Time Magazine and the BBC. The tabloids have also been rife with stories about Mayor Ford's drug problems and alleged ties.
Tabloid rumors aside, the police now claim to have in their possession documentation of drug dealings that was sufficient to charge his friend Sandro Lisi with trafficking in illegal drugs. The police claim that their audit trail of Lisi's dealings repeatedly involve Mayor Ford. At this point, one thing is clear: Mayor Ford will be needing a very good lawyer. The stakes this time will no doubt have more far reaching impact to him than removal from office. Needless to say, the calls for his voluntary resignation are growing and coming in from all quarters of the globe.
Here is a quick take on what city columnists and newspaper editorial boards had to say on Thursday.
Toronto has had enough. Rob Ford must resign, by the Globe and Mail's Marcus Gee:
That video he said does not exist? It exists, its reality confirmed by no less than the chief of police. This was not the invention of media “maggots,” in the mayor’s words. A video allegedly showing the mayor of Canada’s largest city smoking crack cocaine is in the possession of the authorities.
If that were not enough, the police have compiled a staggering trove of information showing the mayor consorting with a cast of shady characters that includes Alessandro Lisi, a man who stands accused of drug offences and, now, extortion. Whether the mayor himself ends up facing criminal charges, the information in this document places a stain on his office that cannot be removed except by his speedy departure.
Mayor Rob Ford has nowhere left to hide, by the Toronto Star editorial board:
All Ford’s efforts to mislead the public — all his self-serving denials and desperate accusations of a media witch-hunt — stand revealed as the unprincipled actions of someone who does not deserve to hold public office. ...
Under these circumstances, having Ford at the helm badly undermines Toronto’s reputation. If Ford possesses even a scintilla of respect and concern for the city he is supposed to lead, he will step down as mayor.
Mayor Rob Ford is finished, via the Star's Royson James:
Too many city councillors looked the other way when it was clear the mayor had some kind of substance abuse problem.
Too many council colleagues joined forces with the mayor when they knew the proper thing to do was to shun him and insist he get help before sitting in his camp. They did so because of the intoxicating effects of power. They wanted to be players.
Too many citizens, hoping to save a few tax dollars, were willing to forgive the mayor of any and all indiscretions. They didn’t want to hear about the train wreck of his personal life. They were willing to sell out the city for a few dollars of perceived city hall “gravy.”
Ford Must Step Down, by the Toronto Sun editorial board:
Torontonians have a right to expect a higher standard of conduct from their mayor than that he is not charged with any crimes.
They have a right to expect him to be honest with them.
And unless Ford has some convincing and credible explanation for what Blair told reporters, he has not been honest with us.
Scandal will be Rob Ford's legacy, by the Sun's Adrienne Batra:
[T]he mayor has misled not only those who are closest to him and have worked endless hours, he has misled the residents of Toronto.
To be clear, the mayor has not been charged with or convicted of anything at this point. That said, this is what he will be remembered for. This will be his legacy. And that is much of the tragedy in all of this, because as far as some policies go, he made positive change.
For that reason, and for the good of Toronto, Ford needs to step down, both to address the whirlwind of questions now surrounding his credibility and to get his own life in order.
For the good of Toronto, Rob Ford must step aside, by the National Post editorial board:
Mayor Rob Ford has not, as his supporters had hoped, kept his personal life free of embarrassing incidents. Though we believe a public official has a right to a private life, even a complicated or troubled one, serious questions suggesting Mr. Ford’s possible involvement in criminal behaviour can no longer be dismissed on this basis. Pending a resolution to this latest crisis in Mr. Ford’s private affairs, he should step aside from his duties as mayor of Canada’s largest city.