As I’ve written before, I’m glad I don’t live in Toronto and have Rob Ford as mayor. The mayor where I live is so low-key I’m not even sure of his name.
There are reports on both the CBC News site and the Toronto Star news site this morning that Mayor Robbie was asked to leave a gala event called The Garrison Ball on February 23 because he was intoxicated. The Star article also mentioned that on Saint Patrick’s day hizzoner was asked to leave an establishment because he was also intoxicated. And the Star article also mentions there are photos on Twitter of Robbie leaving liquor stores with mickeys of vodka.
Apparently it has been an open secret around city hall that Robbie has trouble with drinking and a couple of attempts to get him help, or into rehab, were rebuffed by Robbie. Even some of his strongest allies are commenting on his problems with alcohol, pointing to such events as his DUI conviction in Florida in 1999 and an occasion at a hockey game where he drunkenly berated a couple in the stands. He at first denied both the DUI and the hockey game incident, but “remembered” when the press turned up his Florida mug shot; and he later apologized to the couple he had harassed. In the Garrison Ball incident, his brother, Councillor Doug, claims his brother wasn’t intoxicated. Strangely neither Robbie nor Doug are available for comment, which would seem to belie the “not drunk” claim.
The Garrison Ball ejection came two weeks before what the Toronto media are referring to as “Assgate”, where Robbie was accused by a woman of groping her while they posed for a photo. She also claimed he appeared to be under the influence of something.
This man has been a disaster as mayor. His record is filled with leaving council meetings early to coach highschool football; avoiding 99% of events involving the LGBT community, although Pride Week brings in millions in tourist dollars; using his cellphone while driving (against the law in Ontario) and on at least one occasion, reading while driving at 45 miles per hour on an expressway (his excuse was “I’m a busy man”) and at least two court cases, one of which could have cost him his job. And just this past Sunday, he called a radio show to make what have been called “prehistoric” comments on a case that at the time was before the courts. The case is now in the hands of the jury. And perhaps one of the lowest blows of all, on a trade mission to Chicago, the American press called him “obnoxious”. Americans unfortunately suffer from the “ugly American” stereotype when they venture beyond their borders, so how bad was Robbie that Americans consider him obnoxious?
Robbie is talking of running for a second term as mayor in, I think, 2015 and could actually win. And that would be disastrous for the city.
Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.