Tag Archives: Toronto

To Hell with Rob Ford & Jeremy Searle

Credit to JFL42
Credit to JFL42

Last week I watched a cavalcade of federal and provincial politicians, in addition to various members of Rob Ford’s family, talk about the mayor’s ‘personal tragedy’. They all hoped he’d ‘go get some help’ and ‘treat his disease’.

I wanted to puke.

All these politicians telling me to feel sorry for this man-child and his egregious self-control issues, and all of them apparently completely oblivious to the simple fact that, even when he isn’t high as a kite, Rob Ford is a gigantic asshole.

Rob Ford is not Toronto’s problem. Rather, the nation has a problem with the politicians we elect into office. In the last decade we’ve witnessed countless examples of politicians behaving poorly if not overtly breaking the law. Some manage to withdraw from public life for a pre-determined period of time while others attempt to frame their illegal and often reprehensible behaviour in terms of an illness they suffer from.

The political class reminds us, nearly collectively, that nobody’s perfect and everyone deserves a second (or third, or fourth…) chance.

But my nation is not a kindergarten and politicians aren’t children learning valuable life lessons for the first time. The people cannot be expected to forgive and forget the crimes of the political class when the punishment for the people for the very same crimes are often so devastating.

Don’t believe me? Then try this: record yourself drunk or high and post that video to your facebook account. Try to drum up a conversation with the people you’re getting high with and use as many racial epithets you can think of. Try to ensure the video captures you using drug paraphernalia as well as the drug you’re consuming. In other words, make it exceptionally clear, even to the casual observer, exactly what you’re doing.

Then, after you’ve posted the video and tweeted it out to all your friends, start a stopwatch and record how long it takes it before you: lose your friends, lose your job and lose whatever respect you once had amongst your peers. If you’re not a member of the white majority, record how long it takes before you start losing some fundamental rights as well.

The fact of the matter is money and influence can purchase access to one legal system while the lack of both results in having another, far stricter legal system thrust upon you. Based on the national experience over the past decade or so, there are no morality crimes for the wealthy and powerful. A mayor filmed smoking crack cocaine and uttering hateful, racist phrases not only gets to keep his job but further is permitted to leave his job for as long as necessary as is required to ‘get help treating his addiction’. Promptly, Mayor Ford flew to Chicago where he attempted to gain entry to the United States.

We’re now told by his lawyer that he’s ‘100% in rehab’. Yeah, that convinces me.

Either way I don’t care whether Rob Ford gets treatment or not. He should be forced from office and further prevented from running in this year’s Toronto municipal election. His behaviour should prevent him from ever taking (or running) for office again, as he has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be wholly irresponsible, disruptive, combative and thoroughly duplicitous in his conduct.

In sum, the man’s a lying scumbag who I wouldn’t permit to mind my dog for an hour, let alone the largest city in all of Canada for several years on end.

Do not ask me to feel sorry for him. It is especially unfortunate that the political establishment in this country is towing the company line so to speak, protecting their own asses by appealing to the public to take pity on Rob Ford. If we can forgive him, the people will likely forgive our politicians for all manner of bad behaviour. Consider all we’ve already forgiven: constant lying, fraud, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, tampering with and destroying evidence, overt displays of homophobia and racism, beating the shit out of your wife. If you’re confused about precisely which politician I’m referring to you’ve made my point.

And let’s keep in mind, we still don’t know who put the call out to ice Anthony Smith. How soon before we’re asked to forgive murder as well, because some slovenly schmuck with friends in all the right places loves sucking the pipe?


Credit to CTV Montreal
Credit to CTV Montreal

We get a bad rap in this city because of corruption – more precisely, what appears to be provincially-mandated corruption in the construction industry. Montreal, from a development and infrastructure perspective, isn’t in charge of its own affairs, and so the opportunities for middlemen to insert themselves into the mix and collude to drive up costs, fix prices and commit other acts of fraud are many. Despite the Charbonneau Commission’s on-going public testimony and the SQ’s investigations and raids, many of the same firms involved in illegal activities are still permitted to bid on projects. The Commish lacks teeth and there’s no political will to make significant changes to the status quo. In effect, the change that would be required runs counter to neoliberal economic theory and it’s almost as though we’ve become programmed, as a society, to think this is our only option.

But that aside, for the last two years or so at least the appearance of house cleaning has been maintained. Unlike in Toronto, our disgraced former mayor Michael Applebaum has been charged with fraud and conspiracy and will stand trial for his crimes. I think this is significant; our society is trying to do something to change the climate of crime and corruption that has so characterized our local government for so long.

And thus we come to the case of Jeremy Searle, the city councillor for Loyola. He’s been asked by the Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough mayor Russell Copeman to take a leave of absence to treat his ‘drinking problem’. I’m going to be far less charitable. Jeremy Searle is a drunk who shows up to work drunk and makes drunken statements of the following variety:

” …perhaps in 10 years time, they could eradicate the separatist movement like they hope to do with Emerald Ash Borer insects (that are currently ravaging city trees). Except that the Emerald Ash Borer does less damage than the separatists…”

Brilliant. A city counsellor calling for a group of people to be eradicated like bugs.

Mr. Searle alleged he’s only ‘saying what everyone is thinking’ and that he’s always been ‘an eccentric’.

I didn’t realize the vast majority of Montrealers were favourable towards notions of genocide and that eccentricity can be used to explain away hate speech. Replace separatist movement with socialists, Jews, Aboriginals, homosexuals – in every other case he would have been immediately dismissed and run out of town on the rails.

In a more recent interview, after he was asked to apologize for the aforementioned comment and after being asked to excuse himself to treat his alcoholism, Searle now suggests that he suffers from an illness and will proceed to treat it as his doctor has recommended. He then drew a parallel between alcoholism and cancer, stating that people wouldn’t be treating him so poorly if he had cancer and that ‘he suffers from alcohol abuse’.

It’s rare that the blood in my veins boils so. Are we to believe pederasts suffer from child-rape abuse? How dare he try to camouflage his inability to control himself with spectres of disease!

This why Jeremy Searle needs to be made into an example and dealt with swiftly. The City of Montreal must remove him from his office; he has no right to represent anyone in this city based on his comments alone. That he has also demonstrated an inability to control his drinking, and that he appears – regularly – to be inebriated is also reason enough to throw this bum out on his ass.

If we take action now and make an example of Mr. Searle, we can avoid ever having to deal with a cretin like Rob Ford in the future. There must be a zero-tolerance policy towards drug and alcohol abuse by our elected officials. It’s up to the individuals seeking office to get control of their lives before being elected, not while they’re in office.

Mister Ford is Going to Jail


It’s like watching a train wreck (speaking of…)

The disgraced mayor of Toronto has admitted, albeit in vague terms, that he has smoked crack cocaine and estimates it occurred roughly a year ago. He maintains he is not an addict and that he did it in “one of my drunken stupors.”

No, I’m not making this up.

It’s Tuesday, November 5th 2013 and the news out of Canada (and circling the globe) is that the mayor of the nation’s largest city and economic capital has publicly admitted to using crack cocaine. He is not planning on stepping down as of this writing.

And for Rob Ford, this is where he wants to put the focus. His problems. His poor judgement. His sincere* apology. How he’s not going to do it ever again and he’s starting tomorrow like a brand new day.

Rob Ford is the spawn of every god damned self-help book and juvenile ‘find your inner truth with my bullshit secret’ motivational speaker nonsense that’s been making fuck-ups feel good about themselves ever since they started writing ‘careful, hot beverage’ on the sides of coffee cups. I believe him when he says, as he did today to a group of journalists, that he wasn’t lying when asked about crack cocaine use in the past. The mayor insinuated that the journalists ‘had not asked their questions correctly.’ Mr. Ford isn’t lying. Mr. Ford is a living, breathing lie.

Corruptus in Extremis – the motto of the mayor of Springfield. Mr. Ford isn’t a mayor, he’s evolved into the realm of TV cartoon jackasses and plot foils.

I’ve never had the desire to savagely beat another human being to a bloody pulp, I find such violence offensive. And yet, after I heard those words, I knew a wrath I’ve never known before.

This is not a repeat of the Claude Charron incident. That case was youthful disillusionment that manifested itself as a kind of bizarre political suicide. Mr. Ford’s political immolation is the inferno of ineptitude. Suffice it to say I’m looking forward to watching the fireworks and explosions. We’re in for something of a ride I gather.

But that depends on one key issue. We cannot lose sight of the straight-up hand’s-down slam-dunk criminal aspects of this case by getting bogged down debating ‘how bad is crack really’ and ‘haven’t you ever done something you’re not proud of’ spiel. Let’s save that shit for the talk-show and gossiping classes. Mr. Ford’s obscene, loutish behaviour and thuggish temperament have lost my sympathies and doubtless the sympathy of many a Torontonian. He deserves what’s heading his way. For this part I’ll be succinct.

1. This is only the latest, and arguably gravest offence committed by the mayor over the last few years. By this estimate, there are 113 separate questionable acts committed by the mayor since he became an adult, starting with an assault charge after a fight in a hockey game when he was 18. Some would argue this shows a pattern of narcissistic, aggressive and anti-social behaviour. There are about a hundred incidents in the last three years alone (yeah, it’s clear some people really do hate Rob Ford. Are they without reason?)

2. Ford’s former chief of staff Mark Towhey has said he tipped-off police when someone called the mayor’s office a few days after the story first broke alleging that the murder of Anthony Smith, a known drug dealer seen in a photograph with the mayor, was related to the purported video. Mr. Towhey was fired a week after the video’s existence came to light. The man who took the fall for the shooting, Nisar Hashimi, was originally charged with first degree murder, though this was dropped to manslaughter in a rare and suspect plea deal with the Crown.

3. The chief of the Toronto Police Service has, in its possession, the alleged video. They so far have not made it public and the mayor’s brother, the slow-witted Doug Ford, is calling for Bill Blair to take a leave of absence as the mayor’s brother alleges (once again over his favourite medium, the always stimulating arena of talk radio) that the chief is gunning for the mayor, using colourful language such as ‘bullet between the eyes’. As a result of tripping over his own words, police chief Bill Blair acknowledged that two videos featuring Ford are in police hands.

4. Vice is now reporting Rob Ford’s office hired a hacker to destroy the tapes and they have email logs to prove it. If this is true, the mayor’s office used public funds in an attempt to destroy evidence wanted in connection with a murder investigation.

And that’s a whole heap of shit right there.

Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t a case of Folie à deux. Two people (in this case the Brothers Ford) with a very strong emotional bond can succumb to a bizarre shared psychosis in which both may experience and share persecutory delusions that can escalate up to and including acts of violence. Given the stress these men are currently under (and by all measure have been under for some time) and their predilection to believe their own bullshit (not to mention the appropriately Zeppelin-esque inflated ego) it’s entirely possible we’re watching the mother of all breakdowns. I just wonder how many bodies will be used to cushion the mayor’s fall.

In any event I digress.

Rob Ford is in a lot of trouble, and I sincerely feel this is going to get worse before it gets better. It is profoundly unfair that the City of Toronto, and the great people who live there, have to contend with this kind of distasteful public spectacle. They deserve better than the black eye Rob Ford has given the city, and by extension the nation. It seems to me that when Canada makes international headlines these days, it’s either because we’re losing a major corporation or because our politicians are discovered to be lying, thieving, despicable, fraudulent and/or utterly corrupt.

Don’t forget, the Senate today voted to suspend Senators Wallin, Brazeau and Duffy – all Tories appointed by Stephen Harper – for two years without pay for ‘gross negligence’.

What a fitting term to apply to the monumental clusterfuck in Toronto city hall right now.

To all the journalists who have brought all this and other lurid tales of extreme political incompetence, ineptitude, excess, waste, fraud, negligence and outright criminality to light, please, please keep it up. You’re doing a great job and all of this needs to be exposed.

After all these disappointing elections, we’re left scratching our heads wondering ‘what will it take to shake the people out of their complacence?”

I’m not entirely sure, but perhaps scandal of this magnitude may do it. Who knows how far this goes. Who knows how many people are implicated. I’ll tell you this though, if Ford’s problems come anything close to the Prime Minister’s, we’re in for one hell of a show.

If only it weren’t real, it would be fucking hilarious.

Harper’s Tories: Bad for Business, Bad for Canada

Rob Ford, recently seen delivering a speech concerning the state of Canada’s economy.

For the first time in my life, I can say that I support Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

This is by no means a universal endorsement, just a simple show of support for what could have been a good idea, struck down prematurely by Canada’s idiotic federal government.

Recognize the power of the lord, …sucka!

Avowed Harperite and Heritage Minister-in-absentia James Moore, seen here in his pre-government days as a Southern Revivalist preacher, decided to kill two birds with the single proverbial stone. Rob Ford’s dream for a universal exposition in Toronto in 2025 is apparently over. And it isn’t even his fault.

And how you may ask? By cutting funding to the program? By refusing to partner with the city and province? No. By refusing to pay the $30,000 annual membership fee to the Bureau Internationale des Expositions. That’s right. The annual salary of a basic labourer is all it costs to be part of a prestigious international organization that plans and executes mass demonstrations of humanity’s greatest potential. It’s too expensive for Canada, despite Harper’s insistence our economy is robust. The organization that brought Vancouver and Montréal into near instantaneous global significance is not one we can afford to be a part of anymore, despite record-breaking national and individual wealth.

And Moore’s our heritage minister.

You likely won’t be surprised to find out that Canada hasn’t participated much in international expositions since Harper took power. Though we had a minor presence at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, we were absent from Zaragoza 2008, Yeosu 2012 (both environmentally-themed) and won’t be attending Milan 2015 either. How could we? We haven’t paid our dues.

You know who did? Kazakhstan, a leading candidate for 2017 (Astana has bid for a future energy systems expo).

Edmonton wanted to host the 2017 expo, and likely could have won given the city and province’s wealth, wide open spaces ripe for development, and the fact that we’d be celebrating the nation’s sesquicentennial, in addition to Expo 67’s 50th anniversary. But no, no, no time for all that. Harper needs to cut back on ‘frivolous government waste’.

Why is it that culture and an academically-correct, non-political national heritage always seem to be the first to get the axe?

Perhaps it’s because $30,000 can buy one two-hundredth of a tank?

Now to be fair it doesn’t seem as though planning had advanced much on Expo 2025, though it was apparently a big deal for Mr. Ford. Perhaps he visited Expo 86 in Vancouver when he was younger and it left an impression, perhaps he has a secret fascination with Expo 67 and wishes to be his city’s Drapeau. Who knows? All I know is that, if done right, a universal exposition could have been immensely beneficial for the city of Toronto, and Rob Ford clearly knows this too. If the economic gain, via increased tourism and deals signed at the fair, was even half as much as it was for Montréal, it would guarantee at least a decade of economic development post-2025, maybe more. Expo 67 and Expo 86 were both successful primarily because they left legacies, gave the respective city’s an air of worldly sophistication, significance, saw massive infrastructure and urban development. Business was done, and the people profited in the long term. They were moments of national importance, and helped bring this country together while bringing it out onto the world stage.

Harper and his Tories think all this is mere frivolity, ultimately worthless. They can’t see the gains, the long-term benefits, the potential. I don’t know what Ford was planning, but I sure as hell am glad at least he saw the potential of major event of this calibre. You can imagine I want another Expo here in Montréal, and if I were mayor I’d do whatever had to be done to fix this embarrassing decision, up to and including paying the fee myself.

Can Harper and Moore not see how this could benefit the nation’s biggest city, in its biggest province, and one of their staunchest supporters? There was no definite commitment necessary, and the amount is so minute compared to what the government is willing to spend on G8 summits and bombing runs out in Libya. What’s the deal?

I fear there may be darker issues at play, as of course it is well known the Harper clique has been busy rebranding Canada along the fabricated notions we’re a ‘warrior society’. We’re no such thing, it’s a ridiculous farce, but it strokes the short and curly egos of the Nickleback Douchebag caliphate now officially deemed the standard of Canadian identity. It’s sick and twisted. It’s patently false – such as the over-glamourized and anachronistic depictions of a chesty and youthful Laura Secord in those god-awful 1812 infomercials. They ignore our Charter and Constitution, the significance of Confederation, the creation story of a profoundly Métis society, all to finance more guns and ammo, be it on the battlefield or in history books. The Charter, Expo, the Canadian Museum of Civilization – it’s all about our place as a sovereign nation in the world.

James Moore and Stephen Harper believe we’re just a colony, subservient to a foreign monarch that supposedly reigns supreme by the grace of god.

I don’t know what more proof we need Harper and the CPC is not just bad for business, but bad for Canada as well, and I’m curious to see Ford’s reaction. How is it that Harper and his cronies are still in power after all the scandals, cost-overruns, unpopular decisions and cynical political posturing is quite beyond me. We’re either the most patient people in the world or we’re god-damned fools.