Nope nope nope nope.
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) March 28, 2016
The answer is no.
For a city that has not named anything after John Sewell—a principled former mayor whose support for LGBTQ rights and opposition to policing tactics hurt his chances at re-election–Rob Ford does not deserve a statue.
For one, Rob Ford would not want the City to purchase a statue in his honour, because that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. Of course, the more important point is that Ford, whose policies and behaviour brought Toronto international disrepute, should not be celebrated this way.
Heck, we debate naming public spaces after John A. MacDonald because of his overt racism. How can we forget the mayor who described himself as “the most racist guy around“? This incomplete spreadsheet with 121 entries related to Ford incidents and scandals might jog some memories; it doesn’t feature anything from the past two years.
Rob Ford was not Fred Gardiner, Nathan Phillips, or Sam McBride. He wasn’t even Art Eggleton, Mel Lastman, or June Rowlands. He was arguably the worst and most harmful mayor in Toronto’s history, and his legacy can be seen in worse TTC service, an unprecedented social housing crisis, and an increased debt load.
Rob Ford had his constituency, and they supported him passionately.
But this should not obscure the fact that he was an awful mayor, and we should keep his time in public office in perspective.