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A Roundup of Rob Ford Ouster Reaction

What commentators are saying about the mayor's spectacular fall.

A judge has prematurely ended Rob Ford’s mayoralty. Yes, there’s still more legal maneuvering to come. The mayor will appeal, and he could be granted a stay that would keep him in office until his appeal is over. For the moment, though, what’s important is that Ford is in a jam—a jam so sticky (and, for his opponents, so sweet) that no writer can resist pausing for a lick or two. Here is what everyone is saying about the mayor’s demotion to mayor-for-now.

There has been some international interest in the Ford case. Bloomberg has a piece, and so does The Atlantic‘s cities blog. Vice is lamenting the fact that “Toronto just fired the greatest mayor of all time,” although the article messes up a lot of details. Forbes had a little something, as did a paper in Albany, New York, whose editors decided to dub Ford “Canada’s Chris Christie.” (Let us know if you’ve spotted more out-of-town press mentions.)

Here at home, you might expect the Toronto Sun, Ford’s one and only consistent backer in the media, to be awash with righteous anger today. Actually, the lack of overreaction there is almost disappointing. A mild cover sets the tone (no flaming letters?), and there there’s this piece by the reliably incredible (that is, literally incredible) Sue-Ann Levy. Aside from a whole lot of left-baiting meanness, it’s actually quite reasonable insofar as, sure, this is arguably not the most fair way for Ford to have been ousted.

Today's Toronto Sun cover. Courtesy of {a href=""{/a}{/a}.

In an editorial published yesterday, the Globe and Mail resorts to a sports analogy, but only as a way of pointing out that Ford seems to have a problem with rules—specifically, with understanding that they apply to him. Which, on the available evidence, seems true. Today’s Globe editorial, meanwhile, makes the case that city council should opt to appoint one of their own to the mayoralty, rather than holding a by-election to replace Ford, because a vote “would only extend the chaos that Mr. Ford has bequeathed the city through his complete inability to respect simple rules and his over-developed sense of entitlement.” Though it’s tempting, admittedly, to support spending the $7 million on an election just to spite Ford and his legendary parsimony.

One thing pretty much everyone seems to agree on is that there’s just one person who bears the majority of the blame for this state of affairs: his name is Rob Ford.

  • The Star‘s Royson James: “…as always, an unrepentant Ford blames everyone but himself for his troubles.”
  • The Star‘s editorial board: “With Ford, it’s always someone else’s fault. But his excuses never clanged more hollow.”
  • The Globe‘s Margaret Wente: “The only place he enjoys himself is on the football field, coaching his team. He refuses to be the mayor of all the people – or even most of the people. If you’re not on his side, you’re the enemy.”
  • The Globe‘s Marcus Gee: “Rob Ford says ‘left-wing politics’ are to blame for his ouster as mayor of Toronto. Nonsense. This wound was entirely self-inflicted.”
  • The Sun‘s Sue-Ann Levy: “Look, Ford could have avoided this, that’s for darn sure.”
  • The Post‘s Matt Gurney: “I’d have continued to offer support to him when it was warranted. But his performance—there’s no other word for it—in court when testifying on this matter was astonishingly bad.”
  • The Grid‘s Edward Keenan: “Stubborn sense of entitlement. Ignorance. Lack of diligence. Wilful blindness. These words neatly sum up not just Rob Ford’s conduct in this matter, but his approach to the entire enterprise of government.”

But was his unceremonious ouster anti-democratic? Right now the Post and the Sun seem to be the only ones bending over backwards to make that case. Everyone else seems satisfied with the fact that Ford’s fall was, at least, apparently correct in the eyes of the law.

And of course someone has started a petition for Ford supporters to sign. Right now it has about 1,500 signatures. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, someone else has created a Rob Ford countdown clock, in case you were wondering exactly how many seconds remain until he’s no longer mayor.

Also, some guys who are trying to start a “gravy train” restaurant have generously offered Ford a volunteer gig, even though by getting kicked out of office early, he’s essentially ruining their entire publicity hook. So, that’s very nice of them.

Maclean’s is comparing Ford to a “sad Santa.”

Meanwhile, Matt Elliott raises an excellent question to contemplate over the next few weeks: should Ford even want his job back?

Extra, Extra will return on Wednesday.


  • drain_man

    Ya, I signed it as “Henry Ford”…

  • Anonymous

    The Bully Buffoon’s contempt (appealing with no chance of winning, and dividing the city) for the people of the city and the city itself is shocking. His sense of entitlement is truly horrific, something’s wrong here. I think he needs a psychiatric assessment, something is terribly terribly wrong here.

    • Joe McBlow

      i hope you’re not implying narcissistic personality/anti-social personality? that would be terribly unfair. yes, the man seems to lack the ability to admit mistakes, take responsibility for his own actions, has a grandiose sense of his own accomplishments (ending the gravy train), appears unemotional except for anger/shame, lacks respect for rules/laws/social conventions, is angered easily, etc, etc, etc. BUT it’s not at all clear that he has the inability to feel empathy for others

      • Anonymous

        “…BUT it’s not at all clear that he has the inability to feel empathy for others”

        Quoting Ford: “Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.” (There’s no evidence that his heart really bleeds for them.)

  • stupidhuman

    you remember that guy who rubbed you the wrong way? He was fired from work because he used the company email to find a plumber for the soup kitchen he volunteers at. Fired with cause. I know you didn’t like him, but he wasn’t some sort of monster running a business in the corner, or him just goofing off wasn’t the case.

    That’s Ford. Basically, when he was a councillor (not even the mayor yet), he used office stationary to ask for donations.

    Even the judge in the case thinks the law is extreme for this situation

    I don’t even like him as Mayor. I find his profits before people policies destructive.

    But this isn’t right. I wonder if Olivia Chow or Adam Vaughn would survive a similar inspection of their action? Have they had friends call their work phones? Have they raised funds in the office for a charity they personally were donating too whether with their time or money? Did they ever receive related calls in their office? Did they accept related pledge while at work or other similiar activities?….because under this ruling, they would be removed.

    This is just stupid. This is not what the law was placed there for. The law is to be a shield, not a sword. shame.

    • Dinah Might

      It wasn’t using the stationary. It was his voting on what to do about it.

      After that he had tons of chances to defuse the situation which he turned his nose up at.

      At the hearing, he only had to convince the judge he’d made an honest error in judgment and he’d still be mayor. But instead he argued that he didn’t know the law, he’d made no effort to know it, and he didn’t need to know it.

      Every step of the way he systematically destroyed any other way out until finally the judge was left with no option but to do what he did. It was Ford’s own stubbornness and pride that brought the punishment on him… anyone else in his position with a grain of humility or perspective could have avoided it.

      • stupidhuman

        It’s expected to abstain from a vote that is going to find you in conflict for helping a charity while at work, and potentially remove you from office?

        Again, the law and regulations being used as a sword, not as a shield.

        All over a kid’s football team.

        Error or ignorance would not remove the legal liability or judgement…which again, even the judge thinks the law is abhorrent.

        Noticed some really inflammatory language: Destruction? Stubbornness? Pride? Punishment? Humility? Those are really personal attacks and judgments on another human being. We should all try to rise above such sentiment, or we end up on the same level as those we criticize.

        Also noticed you did not disagree with the above assessment of the facts.

        Again, I don’t like Ford’s politics, but right now, everyone on council is a sitting duck for their charity work that they are personally involved with. FOIs on their blackberries will yield some interesting results from reporters digging into anything similiar.

        Peace and 5000

        • Dinah Might

          Yes, it is expected to abstain from votes that affect you personally. That is what conflict of interest means.

          Yes, I disagree with your assessment of the facts. Torontoist has done some very good summaries of the facts that also disagree with you. For instance, it is not one simple step from “conflict of interest” to “you are kicked out”. And there is a very specific clause allowing for leniency in cases of error of judgment.

          The charity itself is irrelevant. If I mug somebody to buy a Mother’s Day gift, it’s still a mugging. Ford should realize that conflict of interest guidelines are serious, and the ends don’t justify the means.

          And yes, I did use inflammatory language and I agree I should know better. But it’s hard to see how anything but Rob Ford’s character flaws got him into this mess.

          • John Timmons

            all councillors shuld be turfed under the same conflict of interest clause. they allowed Ford to vote on the motion knowing (if they read their little handbook) that he is not allowed to vote, the rest of council still voted…. accordingly they should all be turfed.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, Sandra Bussin did inform Rob Ford at the meeting, before the vote that he would be in conflict of interest if he voted. He ignored her. This exchange is explicitly cited in Justice Hackland’s written decision, if you’d bothered to read it. I guess that just like Rob Ford, you also don’t like to read.

          • vampchick21

            Except when driving down a major urban freeway.

          • Anonymous

            Um, not sure that’s how it works.

    • John Timmons

      If this was Olivia Chow or Adam Vaughan the whole city would be lauding their efforts…double the donation and give each other a pat on the back..for doing such a noble thing

      • vampchick21

        Ya know, if you really, truly, honestly think that Chow or Vaughan or whichever left leaning councillor you woke up hating today has breached Conflict Of Interest laws, you are more than welcome to collect the proof, find a lawyer and take them to court.

      • yyz

        this leftard wouldn’t…this leftard would say they’re a complete idiot if they HYPOTHETICALLY did what you’ve suggested, but of course that’s beside the point because your point is totally irrelevant … as it does not justify Rob Ford’s behaviour … lol it also doesn’t mean that lefties are inconsistent and therefore should feel shame and not push Ford … lol keep grasping at straws instead of dealing with what’s before you

    • yyz

      so you’re blaming the law not the person for what the person had every opportunity to prevent …. methinks the problem isn’t even remotely close to the law … methinks the problem is a deeply flawed human being

  • John Timmons

    where is soppy panties Daniel Dales input….I plan on having a walk through his yard…after all he is a pubic figure…Just hand the keys to Olivia Chow…the pseudo socialist pigs have been starving for a couple of years…back on the gravy train.. get Tom Jaokobek back another prince.

    • vampchick21

      You stopped making sense after “where is”. You also demonstrate an inability to comprehend facts.

      • Joe McBlow

        I’ll interpret for you: Daniel Dale is either gay or highly effeminate; People know who Dale is because of his job therefore he is the equivalent of a controversial publicly elected political leader; Olivia Chow will likely become mayor, probably because of a vast left wing conspiracy; Olivia Chow doesn’t care about real people because she’s a fake socialist who just supports unions who don’t represent real people; Tom Jakobek is a socialist or conspires with them to keep the gravy train flowing? I’m not really sure I understand the last reference. John, can you clarify your last point? lol

        By the way, John, if you’re trying to aggravate people I suspect it isn’t working. I suspect you’re amusing them more than anything. Your rants have to at least be plausible.

        • vampchick21

          Oh thank you! So in essence, it’s standard troll attempt by rabid but uneducated right wing voter with a liking of conspiracy theories! Got it!

    • Anonymous

      Is this where you start pounding the keyboard and howling?

  • Guest

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes an emotional speech following a court decision to remove him from office. (Rob and I made this)

  • bambu85

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes an emotional speech following a court decision to remove him from office.