How is this man still the mayor? He’s an admitted crack smoker, and an admitted liar about it. He’s been publicly drunk – “hammered” and “extremely, extremely inebriated,” in his words – on several occasions. He’s also used drunkenness as an excuse for the crack smoking and the lying. On Wednesday morning, he confessed to having purchased illegal drugs while mayor; by mid-afternoon, police documents ordered released by a judge were detailing a whole new series of allegations, by his own staff, of intoxication and drug use. And police documents released last month show that, earlier this year, he was exchanging hundreds of phone calls and having secret meetings with an accused drug dealer and extortionist; goings-on that he still refuses to explain to either the public or the police.
And as Toronto City Council debated a motion urging Mr. Ford to take a leave of absence, this was his response: “If you want to carry this on, I can’t stop you. I’m moving on. You guys can do what you want.”
Rob Ford should not be taking a leave of absence. He should resign.
Instead, he’s stonewalling. On Wednesday, by an overwhelming vote of 37-5, councillors urged him to take time off to deal with “personal issues.” Even that far too modest measure was rejected by Mr. Ford. Is he getting professional treatment for his conditions? Apparently not; when asked, he evaded the question. Will he consider taking a leave? He said he might go to Florida with the family for a few days over Christmas. That’s it. He’s apologized and he’s done. We’re not.
If this story were just about the mayor’s tendency to find himself in a substance-addled stupor, in public or on video, it might be possible for him to take a leave, seek medical treatment, make a recovery and maybe even make a return to politics. But with Mr. Ford, the problems don’t end with substance abuse. They start there. The lying, the secrecy, the continued refusal to co-operate with police and his lengthy list of unexplained associations with criminals and suspected criminals, are what should give anyone pause, particularly his long-time supporters. This is not a guy whose chief problem is “enjoying a few pops.” And he’s even refusing to deal with that problem.
So the reality show that is the Rob Ford mayoralty grinds on. We move that it be cancelled.