Rob Ford: The Passing of a Titan

Donovan Maudsley - 2T Mechanical
Posted on: March 29, 2016

Rob Ford, former mayor and city councillor of Toronto, passed away the morning of Tuesday, March 22nd after being entered into palliative care. Ford may have been best known for his antics and questionable choices, but he will be remembered for the way he changed local Toronto politics. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ford or his policies, but recognized his strange magnetism and charisma. Ford styled himself a self-made man, even though he was born into a wealthy family, and his outward charisma reflected this. A true street level politician. Even with his awkward style and ill fitting suits he managed to be the warmest person in every room.

A true champion of the people, Rob Ford always campaigned for lower taxes. He thought that any dollar that was taken from the taxpayers was a dollar wasted. Under his leadership Toronto had a hands-on leader. He was known to respond personally to small personal complaints, like overhanging tree branches and broken municipal pipes. Although he didn’t have much of a head for the technical side government, he was always glad to lend a hand to a cause.

Ford’s career will be forever marred by his sometimes questionable behaviour. In 2013 a video came out showing the then mayor of Toronto smoking the street drug crack. After the inevitable cover up came his admission of guilt, and his assurance that he only smoked crack because he was outrageously drunk. This broke up his tenuous support with his more traditional voting alliance. The real surprise in this whole mess was just how much his supporters stood by him. Ford nation, as they’re known, stuck with him through everything even after he fell ill and needed to withdraw from his re-election race in 2014.

The real tragedy is the personal loss of the Ford family. Rob leaves behind a wife, two children, three siblings, and a large extended family. A public visitation was held at Toronto city hall on Monday, March 28th and Tuesday, March 29th. There have even been rumours floating around about a statue of Ford to be erected on the steps of city hall! One of the best lessons we can learn from Ford is perseverance. His stick-to-it attitude and jump-in-head-first mentality were truly to be admired.