On Wednesday the circus at Toronto City Council descended into the depths of an episode of ‘The Jerry Springer Show.’
Accusations of being bullied by Mayor Ford in council chambers, to Councillor Doug Ford rising to count how many Councillors have smoked weed, to the Mayor indicating that he “effed up” and has bought illegal drugs in the past two years.
But wait. Mayor Ford then tried to introduce a motion that would require councillors to submit to drug testing by the end of the year on the Mayor’s personal dime. The motion was deemed to be out of order and never made it to a vote.
In the end, the council voted to ask Mayor Ford to step aside and take some time to get some help and put his life in order. Nothing binding, just a suggestion. A suggestion the Mayor rejected outright.
After the vote there were Councillors who were almost running to the corridors so that they could be interviewed and get their faces on television. After all, the world media was in attendance to witness how a first class city conducts its affairs.
How embarrassing. The words being uttered by onlookers were selfish, dysfunctional and petty. The organizers of the Toronto Christmas Parade sent Mayor Ford a letter asking him to enjoy the parade from the sidelines and not participate as he has in previous years.
That was the afternoon.
By early evening the previously redacted police documents were released by the court. While they have yet to be proven, the allegations include:
– The 2012 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations created speculation into Mayor Ford’s possible substance abuse.
– The Mayor’s former staff member indicated the Mayor was at City Hall with women he believed to be escorts.
– A waiter told police he saw Mayor Ford snorting cocaine in a private room at a restaurant.
– Mayor Ford was accused of being ‘very inebriated, verbally abusive and being inappropriate’ with a female staff member at City Hall.
– Mayor Ford’s former media director told police staff members voiced concerns ‘about the Mayor’s tendency to drink and drive.’
Wow!! As Mayor Ford was leaving his office last night he responded to the fresh allegations by stating, “Be careful what you write.”
So the race to the bottom continues as the drama unfolds on Thursday.
From a human perspective one feels for Mayor Ford. It’s as if he is the only person in the room who doesn’t see how bad his admissions and fresh allegations are. Forget whether or not you are a supporter of his politics. Here is an individual who desperately needs help but truly doesn’t understand the extent of the help that is required. We want Mayor Ford to beat back his personal demons so that he can be the best husband and father.
As for the political ramifications, quite simply, Mayor Ford is done. Whether or not he remains physically at City hall, Mayor Ford will be unable to work with the council in order to advance and resolve the issues currently facing the city.
There will be no calls or invitations to have Mayor Ford attend or participate at events except for the Ford Nation loyalists. He has become a political outcast. With the new allegations this situation will only get worse.
And the mainstream media will not stop, as they smell blood in the water.
We wish Mayor Ford all the best personally. He needs to consider his health and the health of the City of Toronto and take a leave of absence.