Posts Tagged ‘politics’
[URBAN NOTE] “‘Daddy smoked crack': Toronto’s former mayor Rob Ford, on cancer, drugs and his political future”
Global News’ Laura Stone interviews Rob Ford at length.
This is so infuriating.
I ask him if he thinks he should have been punished, by the public, for what he did.
Yes and no, he says.
“Yes, because I didn’t get the help earlier on that I needed. And I was lying and conniving and just doing what an addict does,” he says.
“Then on the other side of it, I didn’t do it here. I wasn’t high here, I was doing my job, showing up every day, running a great city. That was in my private life.”
He stares straight ahead, and pauses for a few moments to reconsider.
“But then I look back on it and say, would I have wanted my mayor to do what Rob Ford was doing, regardless of if it was at his private time or not? No, I wouldn’t. And I don’t think anybody would want a mayor who was, you know, an alcoholic and a drug addict, and not recognizing that, and not getting help for it.”
Much much more at the link.
In his regular Historicist feature this weekend past, Torontoist’s Jamie Bradburn observes how Sir John A. Macdonald’s last political speech of note was given in Toronto in 1891.
Rally day was unseasonably warm. By 6 p.m. thousands had gathered on King Street outside the Academy of Music, a throng later estimated to be around 15,000. Pushing and shoving reigned. Sharp-dressed attendees were caked in mud and slush up to their knees. The hot rumour was that Macdonald had damaging goods proving an alleged conspiracy by the Globe to sell out the country.
This rumour worried one man in the crowd. John Willison feared that whatever the Prime Minister had on his paper might spark a riot leading back to the Globe’s office at Yonge and Melinda. He arranged for 50 police officers to protect the paper while he watched the rally unfold.
Police were overwhelmed at the Academy, where the crowd cut off carriage traffic. They barely held the throng back when Tories given advance tickets were admitted just after 6 p.m. When the main doors opened at 7 p.m., around 4,000 people squeezed in. “The standing ways and aisles were all blocked, and pyramids of men were piled up in the corners,” the News reported. Several women fainted during the surge. Seats were ripped out to make more room. A gas lamp outside was destroyed, causing a gas rupture which forced organizers to turn on the electricity inside.
Some people tried alternative methods to get in, creating money-making opportunities. One person charged a quarter to lead attendees one by one through a back staircase into the rafters. Another levied a toll (which rose from a nickel to a quarter) to scale a fence with a ladder. Among those who took the latter route was opening speaker Charles Tupper, who couldn’t enter via the front door when the crowd failed to give him space. The heavy-set, heavily dressed politician had a few antsy moments on the ladder and almost fell into a pile of bricks during his descent.
Macdonald arrived via carriage from the Queen’s Hotel (now the site of the Royal York) around 7:35 p.m. It took 10 minutes to enter the building, as the crowd outside demanded a speech. Rally chairman W.R. Brock finally formed a wedge to let the PM in. Inside, Macdonald saw a hall covered in mottos. There were the patriotic (“Canada for the Canadians”), the flattering (“Hail to Our Chieftain”), and a few cheap shots at annexationists.