He’s at it again apparently

I don’t think Toronto has seen such turbulence in the mayor’s office in its history as the reign of Rob Ford is proving to be.  Mel Lastman had a habit of putting his foot in his mouth on many occasions, but for the most part he managed to keep his misdeeds out of the press.  Of course it was Mel who  called in the army to help deal with that major snow storm  a few years ago.  But I think our Robbie has him beat.

In the past week, I’ve noticed three different reports in the media about his antics, none of which reflect well on the chief magistrate of Toronto.  First, Robbie is apparently still sending out letters to lobbyists and others soliciting funds for his football programmes.  The difference this time is he isn’t using City Hall stationery.  But still, even though these requests are now under the foundation’s letterhead, if you’re someone who has dealings with city hall, or hopes to have dealings with city hall, are you going to risk that by turning down a request that comes over the signature of the mayor?

Sticking with the football, Don Bosco High School has said that Robbie may not be welcome back as coach after an interview he gave.  He apparently made some very derogatory comments about Don Bosco, painting the school as one in which if it weren’t for the football, many of the students would be in jail.  This has been disputed not only by the principal and school board, but by many of the students as well.  It seems that although Robbie never read the conflict of interest guidelines, he did read the page in Mel’s manual about putting your foot in your mouth.

And today, in an article carried by two different news sites, comes an accusation from one of the other mayoral candidates during the election that at one point Robbie not only put his hand on her butt, he also made improper suggestions to her.  His office has obviously issued a statement denying this, but… .  The only real question I have on this is why did she wait until two years into his term before bringing this forward.  I could see her not using it during the campaign, but c’mon now – two years?

Okay, I’ve taken another swipe at Robbie and I feel much better.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too (just be careful where you put your hands).


Mar 8, 2013 update:  According to a news report, this incident with Robbie’s roaming hands happened last night.   C.

Just go quietly

I have written previously of Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s various legal problems, including the conflict of interest case he was involved with, caused naturally, by his stubbornness and sense of entitlement.  Today, the judge in this conflict of interest case issued his decision:  Rob Ford was found guilty of conflict of interest and the judge ordered him removed from office.  Robbie has 14 days in which to appeal, which he says he will do, and clean out his office.

The decision leaves city council with a lot of work to do.  They have to appoint an interim mayor, in this case it will no doubt be Doug Holyday, the current deputy mayor (and former mayor of one of the communities that was amalgamated into Greater Toronto a few years ago).  Then council must then decide whether to appoint one of their current members to complete the term of mayor or call a by-election to choose a new mayor.  The by-election will cost the city approximately $7,000,000.  The problem with appointing a current councillor is that council has become very polarized under coach Robbie’s lack of leadership, so there could be some interesting discussions should they choose that route.

How are the citizens of Toronto reacting?  Well, on the call-in segment of the noon news on CTV Toronto, many of the callers said they voted for Ford, but feel he has become a distraction on city council and are glad he’s gone.  One caller went so far as to call him a “buffoon”.  Not exactly the description people want to hear applied to their chief magistrate.

Robbie, do the city a huge favour.  Don’t appeal the decision.  Just clean out your desk and go quietly.  The judge did not ban you from running for civic office, so run again  in the by-election if you think you can get elected again.  Robbie, to use your mantra, “it’s for the kids”.  You’ll have more time for the football that always seemed to take precedence over your day job anyway. Too bad your team plays its last game tomorrow.


Football first

The mind of Toronto football coach and part-time mayor Rob Ford must be a scary place to visit unless you’re a football fanatic. I have written previously of Robbie leaving council meetings before they were half finished to coach football, and the other actions of Toronto’s chief magistrate where they relate to his coaching duties.  And I’ve also written of his mantra-like response “it’s for the kids” whenever anyone dares question his actions.

Well, I would have to say his actions today really underline just how much importance Robbie places on coaching football to the exclusion of all else.  As I wrote earlier in the week, Robbie is currently in court defending himself against a $6,000,000 libel suit over comments he made during the 2010 civic elections.  Or rather he has been in court for the first two-and-a-half days of the case. During the lunch recess today, Robbie was seen leaving for the day.  No official reason was given for his afternoon absence, but it is well known that his football team, the Don Bosco Eagles, had a championship game this afternoon.

Now, I’m not saying Robbie put the fate of his football team over a case that could cost him 6 million, plus costs, but if he will cut out from a meeting of the Toronto executive committee – a committee he heads – for football, why wouldn’t he do the same to the courts.  The man has shown in previous incidents he has no respect for the law and this just further cements this contempt.  And of course, if he is indeed coaching this game, should anyone comment on it, his response will be “it’s for the kids”.

It’s time Robbie realized he isn’t indispensable, either at the Don Bosco football games or at City Hall.  Council seems to be functioning just fine without him and is actually getting things done; and there are assistant coaches who can do his job with “the kids”.

If he was in fact at that championship game, and he shows up on news coverage, I really hope the judge in the libel suit rips into him tomorrow for disrespecting the courts.

Enjoy your evening and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


Some of this, some of that

1 – Unless you’ve been in another galaxy, you are aware of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in the New Jersey and New York areas earlier this week. We’ve all sat and watched the news reports of flooding and fires, while shaking our heads and saying ‘those poor people’, or words to that effect.  Through WordPress, and later Facebook, I’ve become friends (and yes, I mean “friends”, not “Facebook friends”) with a lady who lives near the Jersey coast.  When you actually know someone who lives in the affected areas, it seems to make it a little more personal – wondering how much damage they suffered, or given the number of people killed, if they’ve survived.  Fortunately my friend was able to send me a short message telling me her house had been flooded and she would fill in the details later.  I’ll admit it was a great relief to receive that short note.  To that friend: Ms M, I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

2 – I’m thinking of creating a macro for this next one since it seems to happen so often.  Once again, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto left a council meeting to coach a high school football team.  His reasoning this time was “it was a playoff game. If I weren’t there, they wouldn’t play and would have to forfeit the game.”  Robbie, if the city of Toronto is paying you to be the chief magistrate of Toronto, then you should keep your fat ass in council meetings, not run off to do some volunteer work for Don Bosco Catholic High School.  You yourself admitted that if you’d been in an accident, someone else would have covered the coaching duties, so why not apply that same logic to games that occur when you’re occupied at city hall performing the duties for which you were elected and for which you are being paid?

3 – I originally started in photography back in the ‘70s, with a Canon SLR.  When I started in digital photography about 2007, my first camera was a Polaroid PDC 2030 which a neighbour had given me.  I got some good shots with that camera, but it was very basic and I wanted to do more.  I was able to pick up a Canon PowerShot A460 point and shoot  on sale.  Loved that camera and it lasted about a year and a half, until a friend dropped it on a concrete floor. (No she didn’t offer to replace it.)  Such were the features of that A460 that it took two point and shoots (both Canons) to give me the same features and in the meantime I also moved up to a Canon EOS Rebel XT DSLR.  But I kept looking for another A460.  Finally, last week, Henry’s Cameras had not one, but two listed in the “used” section of their website.  I wasted very little time contacting them and arranging to have one of them shipped to my local store (or as a friend calls it “my local camera pusher”).  So, I now have a brand new old friend – a Canon PowerShot A460 point and shoot – to complement my Rebel.

Now, since it’s a sunny day, I’m taking my new/old friend out to take some photos.  Enjoy your week and pray for those affected by Sandy.


That isn’t the point

Toronto Budget Chief Mike Del Grande, according to a story in today’s online Toronto Sun, Is defending Rob Ford’s use of “taxpayer funded resources”, to quote the article, for his high school football team.  In the article, Del Grande is quoted as saying “I wish you would have learned that the mayor pays for some of these kids where they live, buys them groceries …”.

Well, that’s good for Rob Ford.  But he wasn’t elected by the citizens of Toronto to coach the Don Bosco football team.  He was elected to be chief magistrate of the city of Toronto.  That means you don’t leave a meeting of the executive committee, which you chair, five-and-a-half hours early to coach football.  That doesn’t mean you can use your office staff as assistant coaches and let them drive city-owned vehicles to practices, or use city cell phones as contact numbers on football team websites.  Robbie also started another football team and yes, the names of two of his staffers and their city-assigned cell phones are listed as contacts.

Rob Ford was elected on a campaign to “stop the gravy train”, by which he meant cut out the waste at city hall.  By his use of his staff, city vehicles and cell phones for his football coaching, it seems that “stop the gravy train” slogan has been changed to “pass the gravy”.

As I said, Robbie may indeed do all these things Mike Del Grande mentions, but that isn’t the point.  The press is all over Robbie because he’s either doing the coaching when he should be on city business, or using his staff and city equipment for the coaching, or both.  That’s the point – that he is just as guilty of riding the “gravy train” as those he railed against during the election campaign.