When Mayor Rob Ford was banned in May from coaching football at any Catholic school in the city, the decision seemed to stem from comments he’d made months earlier in which he said, among other things, that many of his players “come from gangs” and live in “broken homes”—but more than 300 pages of documents from the Catholic school board indicate that there is much more to the story.
Reports published today in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail reveal some of the content of those documents, obtained through freedom-of-information requests, including allegations that Ford was profane, threatening, and sometimes inebriated during his time volunteering with the Don Bosco Eagles, the high school team he coached for 11 years. Ford has often adduced his involvement with the team—which he established with thousands of dollars of his own money—as evidence of his concern for and support of disadvantaged youth.
If a mayoral election were held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Rob Ford, John Tory, David Soknacki, and Olivia Chow?
Rob Ford: 31%
John Tory: 34%
David Soknacki: 4%
Olivia Chow: 23%
Some other candidate: 1%
Don’t know: 6%
Poll taken: August 25‐26, 2014 Sample size: 1,945 Margin of Error: ±2%, 19 times out of 20 Methodology: Interactive voice response telephone survey Conducted by: Forum Research [PDF]
NOTES: The latest poll from Forum Research finds John Tory holding on to his lead in the mayoral race—falling 1 percentage point from early August—but also reveals that support for the mayor is building: Rob Ford was polling at 27 per cent earlier this month, but that’s now risen to 31 percent, putting him within 3 percentage points of first-place Tory. (It’s the first time the mayor has gone above 27 per cent in the last four-and-a-half months.) And fewer voters now believe the mayor should resign: while 63 per cent thought he should step down in early June, 50 per cent would now be in favour of such a move.
This afternoon mayoral candidate David Soknacki took part in a Reddit AMA—that is, Ask Me Anything—during which he answered questions from the Reddit community on everything from the Downtown Relief Line to the police budget to Mayor Rob Ford. Here are some raw highlights from the Q and A…
A coalition of groups interested in the relationship between children and economic inequality—including Alliance for a Poverty-Free Toronto, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Family Service Toronto, and Social Planning Toronto—is releasing new statistics today that reveal 29 per cent of the city’s children (nearly 149,000) are living in poverty. That marks a rise from 2010 when the rate was 27 per cent.
As part of a report on child poverty planned for release in the fall, the coalition studied 2012 tax filer data made available by Statistics Canada, and found that of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods, 40 per cent are seeing child poverty rates at or above 30 per cent. While neighbourhoods such as Leaside and Lawrence Park are sitting at 5 per cent, others—Regent Park, Moss Park, and Thorncliffe, for example—have rates of upwards of 50 per cent, and children of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and Latin American descent have a higher chance of living in low-income families.
But in this year’s provincial election, Fenech canvassed for Liberal Yvan Baker in the latter’s successful campaign for MPP of Etobicoke Centre. Fenech describes himself as a Liberal through and through, and his views on budget policy reflect a fiscally liberal mindset. “A lot of people want the city to be run like a business … but it’s also a city,” he says. “We need to spend on important issues. We need to spend money on housing, on infrastructure, on transit. We’ve been so afraid for so long to tell people it’s going to cost money to fix the things we need.”