A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘rob ford

[URBAN NOTE] On the tragedy in Rexdale, and its origins and consequences in the Fords

leave a comment »

This news has made national headlines, and for good reason.

Candice Rochelle Bobb, 35, of Malton, was in the back seat of a car near John Garland Boulevard and Jamestown Crescent in suburban Rexdale when someone in a vehicle driving in the opposite direction started shooting, striking the pregnant woman, according to Homicide Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone, who provided an update Monday morning.

“For some reason, only known to the offender at this point, that vehicle was certainly targeted,” said Carbone about the vehicle that Bobb was sitting in.

The three other people with Bobb were not hurt and Bobb, was driven to Etobicoke General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead and the baby was delivered. After the delivery, the baby was transported to the trauma centre at Sunnybrook hospital.

The baby is now in stable condition, according to Carbone, who would not reveal any further details on the child, including sex.

There have been calls from religious and political figures, local and otherwise, to deal with gun violence. The neighbourhood of Rexdale, a neighbourhood in northern Etobicoke and in the northwest of the amalgamated City of Toronto, has long had a reputation for random gun violence as well as high rates of crime and poverty, at least by Canadian standards.

It’s also worth noting that Rexdale includes the Ward 2 where Rob Ford built his political career. He was reelected here repeatedly, up to the 2014 election. His famous drunken rant in a restaurant occurred in Rexdale.

Why? Simply put, Ford’s populist stance appealed strongly to people who felt, mostly rightly, that they were marginalized in a larger city driven by downtown concerns. Jeet Heer’s 2014 Toronto Life “Rexdale isn’t perfect, but I prefer it to the hypocrisy of downtown” does a great job of explaining this alienation and how the Ford family exploited this alienation.

Because of Ford’s antics, Rexdale has become a major journalistic stomping ground. Although newspapers like the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail have done a top-notch job of exposing Ford’s many nefarious deeds and habitual mendacity, I’m appalled by the way they’ve depicted Ford’s milieu. Journalistic accounts of Rexdale are written in the same tone of anxious amazement as ­Victorian explorers’ reports from Africa. The National Post once described Rexdale as “blighted and violence-plagued,” and on another occasion alluded to “the wilds of Islamic Rexdale.” The Globe’s publisher has said his newspaper is only interested in readers who make more than $100,000 a year, which by implication means his paper isn’t for the cab drivers and factory workers who live in Rexdale.

Despite his buffoonery, Rob Ford’s political prowess should never be under­estimated. He doesn’t reflexively look down on Rexdale. He knows his way around it all too well. Ford once promised to make “Rexdale the new Rosedale.” This typical Fordian flourish earned him many a snide laugh in downtown Toronto yet endeared him to his core constituency. He might be promising the stars, but at least he takes Rexdale seriously. Ford’s right-wing populism derives its power from understanding the aspirations of Rexdalers for projects like the expansion of ­Woodbine Racetrack into a shopping and casino complex. Although the billion-dollar project fell apart, Ford’s efforts on its behalf earned him street cred. What do Ford’s opponents have to offer Rexdale, aside from austerity and condescension?

Alienation, combined with suffering, produces anti-establishment figures. Who knew?

Written by Randy McDonald

May 17, 2016 at 9:29 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Michael Ford will run in byelection to fill Rob Ford’s seat”

leave a comment »

So it begins. The Toronto Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro writes.

Michael Ford, the nephew of the late councillor and former mayor, said he will run for Ward 2 Etobicoke North.

His statement, announcing that he is resigning as a Toronto District School Board trustee, came Wednesday afternoon minutes after city council voted unanimously to hold a byelection to replace Rob Ford, who died in March.

Mayor John Tory moved to hold the byelection on July 25, the date recommended by city staff, saying it was the “right choice” with more than two years until the next general election. Council procedures would have also allowed members to appoint a replacement until the next election.

[. . .]

The Ford family previously confirmed that either Michael or Doug Ford, who held the Ward 2 seat during his brother’s administration, would run to replace Ford.

No other potential candidates have yet declared their explicit interest in running.

For whatever it is worth, I have not heard anything about Michael Ford. One can only hope he really has escaped the pathologies of the Ford family.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford’s nephew says he or Doug Ford will seek Ward 2 seat”

leave a comment »

Of course he will. From the Toronto Star‘s David Rider:

Mayor John Tory strongly favours a by-election to replace Rob Ford as councillor for Ward 2, Etobicoke North, rather than council appointing a replacement.

“I think that’s the appropriate way to fill this seat, given that we’re less than halfway through this term of city council,” Tory told reporters Thursday.

Ford died March 22, 18 months after being diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer.

At its meeting that starts next Tuesday, city council will vote on how to fill the vacancy.

[. . .]

Ford’s nephew, Michael Ford, a Toronto District School Board trustee, told the Star that either he or his uncle Doug Ford, who served as Ward 2 councillor while his brother was mayor, will seek to represent the ward until the October 2018 election, whether it is filled by appointment or by-election.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 3, 2016 at 7:52 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford sedated, receiving palliative care, chief of staff says”

Is this how the Rob Ford story will end? From CityNews:

City councillor Rob Ford is sedated and receiving palliative care, according to his chief of staff Dan Jacobs.

Jacobs said that at this point there has been no change in the former mayor’s condition but added that Ford is now unconscious and has been sedated for the pain.

“At this time, the treatment that Councillor Ford is receiving is palliative in nature,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Palliative care is often administered in conjunction with other treatments, and he has in fact been receiving it almost since first becoming diagnosed, both at home and the hospital.”

On Friday, Jacobs said that Ford was alert and conscious.

It was announced last week that Ford’s cancer was not responding to treatment.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford starting chemotherapy for new tumours”

The Toronto Star‘s David Rider updates Torontonians on the state of Rob Ford’s tumours.

Councillor Rob Ford has started chemotherapy to shrink two tumours attached to his bladder.

Ford’s aide Dan Jacobs told the Star on Thursday that the “working diagnosis” is that the former mayor’s cancer is back.

“Councillor Ford has been at the hospital several times this week, undergoing additional tests and consulting with his health team,” Jacobs said in a statement. “He has now been admitted at Mount Sinai Hospital, and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.”

Doug Ford told CP24 on Thursday evening that his brother has two tumours attached to his bladder — roughly 5 cm and 7cm long, that “almost look like a snowman, on top of each other.” He will undergo five days of chemotherapy, then take several weeks off before returning for another round, at which point doctors will assess if the tumours are operable, Doug Ford said.

“Rob’s in a massive battle right now, and we’re just going to keep fighting and do whatever we can, leave no stone unturned, and making sure he gets as much help as he needs,” Doug Ford said, adding that messages from supporters are helping the family stay positive.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Toronto, Urban Note

Tagged with , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Mark Towhey, former Rob Ford aide, describes working for ex-mayor as ‘roller-coaster’

CBC’s Metro Morning reports on the many, many allegations by Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, about the misbehaviours of Ford while in office.

Mark Towhey, Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, told CBC News Thursday that working in mayor’s officer was “a roller-coaster” and that he warned his colleagues not to ride in a car driven by Ford, because he didn’t know when the now-former mayor had been drinking.

“My understanding is [Ford drinking and driving] happened more than once and was fairly well known among [senior police officers] at least,” said Towhey in an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning.

Towhey refused to name any senior police service members who said officers had driven Ford home instead of charging him with drinking and driving.​

“These are completely unsubstantiated allegations and are by now, fourth-hand gossip,” said police spokesman Mark Pugash on Wednesday when contacted by Metro Morning.

Towhey worked for the mayor during his election campaign and rose to chief-of-staff after Ford’s election in 2010.

Towhey has written a tell-all book about his turbulent times working in the mayor’s office. His 360-page account of the Ford mayoralty, Uncontrollable: How I Tried to Help the World’s Most Notorious Mayor, is set for release on Oct. 27, and contains some startling revelations.

The book is out.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Desperate Conservatives embrace the Fords as time runs out”

The National Post‘s Chris Selley notes the desperation of Conservatives in the Toronto area. I dearly hope this will cost everyone involved votes.

When news of the event first broke, Harper wouldn’t even utter the Fords’ names in response to questions about it. He called them “those individuals.” For that reason and because, well, it’s Rob Ford for God’s sake, it was an open question just how much of a role the chuckle brothers would play in Saturday evening’s proceedings.

It was a big role. Doug spoke for nine minutes, eventually handing over to Richmond Hill MP Costas Menegakis to introduce the prime minister; Menegakis spoke for 90 seconds. At 8:15 pm, Rob tweeted a photo of a beaming Harper with the Ford family — Rob, Doug, their wives, mother Diane and kids. Before launching into his standard low-taxes spiel, which of late invites audiences to imagine Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne running the whole country, Harper even deigned to utter his hosts’ names. He thanked all the volunteers “including the Fords.”

And if the Conservative campaign hoped to foreground Doug over Rob, Doug made short work of that. “I’ll tell ya, Rob came up with this phrase, but nothing I can remember in a federal election is any more important than respect for taxpayers,” he thundered. “And there’s only one party that respects the taxpayer. And that’s the Conservative Party of Canada. And there’s only one leader to lead this country to prosperity, and that is Stephen Harper.”

So there you have it. Respect for Taxpayers — Rob Ford’s well-worn slogan, slapped unceremoniously onto the Conservative campaign like a crooked bumper sticker on an Escalade.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 538 other followers