Toronto police have the video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Now, one could normally just stop an article right there. The “Canadian mayor smoking crack” headline pretty much gives you the whole story, and it’ll be hard to honestly bring you much information without going into a whole oh my god the mayor of a major city got caught on video smoking crack you guyssssss aspect of the story.
But the mayor of a major city was caught smoking crack, because that is what happens, c’est la vie and la di da. But the mayor of Toronto is a noted severe drunk and drug addict. Looking not unlike a pink fire hydrant in a cheap suit, or perhaps a Victorian-era caricature of a town drunk, how he got elected in the first place may be a total mystery until you realize he’s painted quite the picture of being a real “salt of the earth” kind of guy.
The video had surfaced earlier this year and had been seen by two Toronto Star journalists, but soon was held for ransom (Gawker famously drummed up $200,000 to pay for it), and then disappeared. Police confirmed today that they now have the tape.
For years, Ford has been in the news acting increasingly more and more bizarre. From pro-marijuana ramblings (an admirable stance, sure, but the words he said were presented in some sort of elocutional salad bowl) to literally drunkenly stumbling through a city street, Ford has done it all. And continues to do it all. Today he said that even though police had evidence of his crack smoking, he doesn’t plan on resigning. Because he’s quite silly like that. And because … and I sh*t you not … he’s somehow being a good mayor through all of this.
I know, right? The ol’ bait-and-switch. You thought that a crack-smoking mayor would be bad? Well, think again, sports fan. In fact, many are saying that the city has never been better; it’s certainly prospered in the last few years with a burgeoning tech scene and has risen to No. 9 on the top 10 list of most expensive cities in the world to live in. Fancy. But the mayor is a total throwback to some sort of old-school, aww-shucks, cartoon-like past, apparently elected three years ago by bored Toronto suburbanites. From HNN:
To begin with, Rob Ford was always the swivel-eyed loon on city council. He was elected from Etobicoke, a former suburb that was unwillingly “amalgamated” into Toronto in 1998 at the mandate of a neo-con provincial government that claimed to be pursuing “cost efficiencies” in local governments. Amalgamation meant that Toronto’s New York style of governance, with individual municipalities or boroughs represented in what was called Metro Council was replaced with a unitary one-size-fits-all city council. Ford was the revenge of the suburbanites against what they saw as domination by “downtown elites” who didn’t understand their lifestyle. They didn’t want to be identified with downtown Toronto, and Ford was the expression of their discontent.
As for what becomes of the saga, we’ll be sure to keep you posted.