Oh Robbie, not again

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.

Cat.

What’s going on?

What is happening with politicians in and around Toronto the past two days?

There is a report, confirmed by the person themself, that a Toronto City Councillor was charged with impaired driving last night.  She won’t make any further comment on advice of her lawyer.  Mayor Rob Ford has said that these things happen.  Of course this is the same Rob Fordwho, years ago in Florida was stopped and found to have a joint in the car.  And, being Robbie, he denied it until a reporter produced the police report, then he suddenly “remembered” it.

In Whitby, east of Toronto, a man reported to be a former city councillor from Oshawa, has barricaded himself in a building in an industrial area and has threatened to “blow his head off”. This has been going on since about 1:45 this morning (it is 6:20 pm as I write this).  There are several odd twists to this other than a man barricading himself inside a building.  According to reports, this ex-councillor abducted the current Oshawa solicitor as he arrived at his home following a meeting of Oshawa City Council.  The solicitor managed to escape while being driven around Oshawa and advised police.  Somehow the police tracked the ex-councillor to an autobody shop in an industrial area of Whitby and that is where the situation stands.  From the news footage from a helicopter, there are cruisers from Durham Region surrounding the shop, an ambulance and fire vehicle on standby, and York Region Police sent their “war wagon” down to Whitby as well.  I’ll update this when it ends and we learn why it happened in the first place.

And finally, yesterday Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, stepped down.  This was totally unexpected by most people, including the reporters who cover Queen’s Park.  Not only is he stepping down, he has taken the unusual step of proroguing the legislature.  That act has probably caused more upset than his resigning.  That act means that nothing will get done until Dalton’s replacement has been chosen and sworn in. Proroguing the legislature doesn’t dissolve the session, it merely puts it on hold.  Considering the number of problems Dalton and the boys were having, naturally the opposition wants the legislature to keep on working.  As a resident of Ontario, I too want the business of the province to continue to be dealt with, rather than wait six months for the new Premier to take office.

Is all this political nonsense the result of something in the air?  I’d suggest the water, but Oshawa and Toronto have separate water supplies.  Unless of course someone put something in Lake Ontario.  If that’s the case, I’ll expect more weirdness from cities and towns downstream.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And please say a prayer for the Canadian Border Services Agency guard shot at Peace Arch in B C this afternoon.  **Update: 6:55 pm. A female border guard was shot in the neck on the Canadian side of the border.  The suspect then shot himself in the head.**

Cat.