Earlier this afternoon, the Toronto Catholic District School Board announced that Mayor Rob Ford has been fired from his other job: his gig as a part-time volunteer football coach for Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.
The Starpoints out that the Catholic school board was already in the process of reviewing Ford’s involvement at Don Bosco before his recent drug scandal began making headlines. The review was a result of some disparaging things Ford said about his teenaged players during a March interview with David Menzies, of Sun News.
This is the unceremonious end of a political saga for Ford. He was frequently criticized in the press for devoting time to his football team at the expense of some of his official duties. He also took heat for using paid City staffers to help with some of his coaching duties, in apparent violation of City rules. On one occasion, he was also criticized for apparently commandeering two TTC buses to carry his players home from a game, though police and TTC officials claimed, at the time, that the mayor was not directly responsible for the incident.
Ford has been coaching for over a decade, and even heads a foundation dedicated to helping Toronto schools start their own football programs. His involvement at Don Bosco was a continual point of pride for him, even when it caused him political problems. The board hasn’t specified a reason for his dismissal, but no matter the cause, it’s undoubtedly personally painful for the mayor.
The full text of the TCDSB’s press release is below.
On Wednesday afternoon, six days after news first broke that two separate publications had reportedly seen video of what appears to be Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking out of a crack pipe, his brother and city councillor Doug Ford held a press conference to address the allegations.
In a bizarre, nine-minute appearance in which he read from prepared remarks and refused to answer any questions, Doug Ford spent most of his time giving a campaign-style speech extolling the administration’s economic accomplishments. Though the mayor has only devoted about three sentences in total to the allegations Doug proclaimed: “Never has the mayor been so accessible.” As for the allegations themselves, Doug said his brother told him they were untrue, and added that they were the result of questionable journalism. He targeted the Toronto Star for persistently targeting the mayor, and told Gawker its actions in starting a crowdfunding campaign to buy the video in question “disgusting.”
A screenshot of the Draft John Tory website, as it appeared earlier today.
With all the craziness surrounding Mayor Rob Ford in recent days—did he smoke crack or didn’t he?—it’s not a stretch to imagine that some of Toronto’s conservative-leaning voters are starting to wish, if they weren’t already wishing, that there were another candidate who could take up their banner in the 2014 municipal election. Right on cue, here’s a website called Draft John Tory, aimed at convincing the one-time mayoral hopeful to put his name on the ballot once again.
American late-night hosts who first discovered Rob Ford as a result of some of his more innocent blunders are falling in love with Toronto all over again thanks to the latest allegations against our mayor. Last night, both the The Daily Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live had lengthy segments about Ford, and about the video that supposedly shows him smoking crack.
If you missed it all, the Daily Show video is embedded above. The Jimmy Kimmel clip is below.
City council rejected all proposals for expanded gaming in Toronto today. By a resounding vote of 40–4 they opposed the establishment of any new downtown casino (the dissenters were Rob Ford, Norm Kelly, Vincent Crisanti, and Giorgio Mammoliti). This was widely expected, in the wake of a concerted grassroots campaign opposing a new facility, and news that the provincial government would be giving Toronto much less in hosting fees than casino advocates were hoping. Much more surprising was the rejection also of any expanded gaming at Woodbine, which already has slot machines—that was by a much closer margin of 24-20. Woodbine officials have maintained that they need to expand in order to stay alive at all. Even though Toronto has rejected a casino, neighbouring municipalities such as Vaughan might permit one; Woodbine representatives say this competitive pressure will put them out of business.
In the middle of it all was Rob Ford, who surprised everyone by moving a motion to reject casinos even though he has been one of their strongest proponents.