Toronto has become a circus with the on-going Rob Ford story relating to a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Ford is requesting the police release the video, as he would like Torontonians to view it for themselves. As of today, the police have not yet released the video.
It is unfortunate that Police Chief Blair has stepped into the political arena. Why did the Police Chief feel the need to discuss and disclose information relating to the investigation including pictures and phone call records? Putting aside the Ford politics, by discussing the case with the media, the Police Chief has created a local, national and international media frenzy that has seriously damaged the reputation of an individual who has not yet been charged with any crime. Ford’s ability to continue in his role as mayor has been severely impaired.
The Police Chief should have either charged Mayor Ford or not disclosed the information to the public. For this the Police Chief has made a mistake.
If the video is released and it is shown that the mayor was smoking crack cocaine, what does that mean? Does the mayor apologize as he did on Sunday talk-radio? Should the mayor step down or take a leave of absence?
Mayor Ford would not be the first politician who has had issues with some type of substance abuse. Mayor Ford has confirmed that he has drunk excessively in the past and will need to make some changes to his lifestyle.
Politicians in Toronto who have been outspoken against the Ford agenda in the past are lining up stating that Ford is unfit and should step down for his lack of judgment. If it can be proven that Mayor Ford smoked crack cocaine when he was in municipal politics, should he be forced to step aside?
There is a long list of political leaders that have used illicit drugs in the past both in Canada and the United States. The former Mayor of Washington DC was charged with using crack cocaine in 1991 and residents re-elected him in 1994 despite his claim that he was a “compulsive user of cocaine.”
There have also been individuals who used illicit drugs before becoming involved in politics and have continued on in their careers to hold the highest political offices in the world. The key is that their use of illicit drugs occurred prior to their involvement in politics.
The foes of Rob Ford should be cautious with their calls for Ford to step down. If they are successful in stating Ford’s alleged use of drugs during his leadership should disqualify him from the office, then this standard should be used for all politicians in Canada.
That would mean that we should be expecting the same people currently screaming for Ford’s head to stand up and ask that Justin Trudeau resign as the Leader of the Liberal Party. Yes he has admitted to using an illicit drug since becoming a Member of Parliament.
But wait, marijuana is not an illicit drug! According to Health Canada, cocaine, speed hallucinogens, ecstasy, methamphetamine and cannabis are illicit drugs. Perhaps that’s why Trudeau wants to decriminalize marijuana. He doesn’t want to share the same stage or bong with Ford.
Photo: Toronto Sun