Since he was first elected 10 years ago, Toronto city councillor and mayoral frontrunner Rob Ford has grabbed his fair share of headlines for controversial comments.
Here's a selection of Mr. Ford's more colourful remarks and revelations:
Aug. 19, 2010: Mr. Ford says he was charged with failing to provide a breathalyzer sample and marijuana possession while visiting Florida with his then-fiancée in 1999. However, the police arrest affidavit says he was charged with driving under the influence, not failing to provide a breathalyzer sample. Mr. Ford said he pleaded no contest to the breathalyzer charge, paid a fine and did 50 hours of community service. Mr. Ford's admission comes on the same day The Toronto Sun ran a story about the drug charge, which was later dropped.
Aug. 17, 2010: During a televised mayoral debate, Mr. Ford says that in a "perfect world" Toronto would keep its population at current levels. "We can't even deal with the 2.5 million people in this city. I think it's more important that we take care of the people now before we start bringing in more."
Aug. 12, 2010: Mr. Ford tells The Toronto Sun that in-camera council meetings have "more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I've ever seen in my life." He also says council's decision to award an untendered 20-year contract to a pub operator "stinks to high heaven." Mayor David Miller slams the comments, saying they are irresponsible and unsupported.
Aug. 4, 2010: Mr. Ford endorses the views of a fundamentalist Christian pastor who said same-sex marriage could "dismantle" a "healthy democratic civilization." Appearing alongside Pastor Wendell Brereton, Mr. Ford says: "We're together. We have the same thoughts." He adds: "I support traditional marriage. I always have. But if people want to, to each your own. I'm not worried about what people do in their private life. I look out for taxpayers' money."
July 14, 2010: A report in The Toronto Star says the Toronto District School Board asked Mr. Ford to stop coaching high school football after possibly roughing up a student player in 2001. Mr. Ford's campaign vehemently denies the report, saying he quit voluntarily. Mr. Ford files a notice of intent to sue The Star. Jonathan Gordon, the former student, later tells The Globe and Mail that Mr. Ford never laid a hand on him.
What does OxyContin go for on the street, so I have an idea?
June 17, 2010: The Toronto Sun reports that Mr. Ford offers to help an ill man "score" the powerful painkiller OxyContin in a taped phone conversation. "I'll try buddy, I'll try," Mr. Ford tells Dieter Doneit-Henderson. "I don't know this shit, but I'll fucking try to find it." A few moments later Mr. Ford asks: "What does OxyContin go for on the street, so I have an idea?" Mr. Ford later accuses Mr. Doneit-Henderson of setting him up, saying he only suggested buying illegal narcotics to get a scary stalker off the phone.
June 14, 2010: A poll by The Globe and Mail/CTV/CP24/Nanos puts Mr. Ford in the lead, with 17.8 per cent of support compared to rival George Smitherman's 15.9 per cent.
March 26, 2008: After Mr. Ford's wife, Renata, calls police to their home, Mr. Ford is arrested and charged with assaulting her and uttering a death threat. A month later, prosecutors drop the charges because inconsistencies in Ms. Ford's accounts make a conviction unlikely. "It's the happiest time in my life when my family's all together. … That's all I wanted from the very beginning and that's what I have now," Mr. Ford tells reporters.
Those Oriental people work like dogs. … They're slowly taking over.
March 5, 2008: During a council debate over holiday shopping, Mr. Ford says: "Those Oriental people work like dogs. … They're slowly taking over." He later corrects his use of the word "Oriental" but defends Asians as hard-working people. "When I said working like a dog, I was brought up, my father told me every day to 'Get out of bed and work like a dog, son.' A dog means you're a hard worker."
March 7, 2007: During a council budget debate, Mr. Ford says: "What I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later, you're going to get bitten. And every year we have dozens of people that get hit by cars or trucks. Well, no wonder. Roads are built for buses, cars and trucks. Not for people on bikes. And my heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." (See video above.)
If you're not doing needles and you're not gay, you won't get AIDS, probably.
June 28, 2006: During a council debate on public-health grants for community-based AIDS-prevention programs, Mr. Ford says: "If you're not doing needles and you're not gay, you won't get AIDS, probably."
April 15, 2006: Security guards remove a drunken and belligerent Mr. Ford from a Maple Leafs game after he shouts insults at an out-of-town couple. The attacks began after the man asks Mr. Ford to be quiet. Mr. Ford responds: "Who the fuck do you think you are? Are you a fucking teacher?" Failing to get a response, he turns his attention to the man's wife: "Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?" The couple realizes the angry man's identity after Mr. Ford leaves behind a business card. When reporters confront Mr. Ford with the couple's complaint, he denies being at the hockey game. A day later, he comes clean, saying he lied because he felt "embarrassed and humiliated." He also says: "I had one too many beers and I sincerely apologize." Mr. Ford later e-mails the couple an apology, writing: "My complete lack of manners were unprofessional, immature, and do not in any way reflect my usual behaviour in public."
Dec. 7, 2005: Railing against new powers for the mayor, Mr. Ford says: "Giving the mayor more power for this council is like giving criminals free guns." The comment draws a chorus of unsuccessful demands for him to withdraw the remark.
July 23, 2005: During a council debate over a pothole, Mr. Ford calls fellow Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby "a joke. She's a waste of time. A waste of skin."
July 19, 2005: During a council debate over speeding up construction of affordable housing units, Mr. Ford says: "People do not want government housing built in the city of Toronto. They want roads fixed, more police presence, but they don't want more government housing that will depreciate the value of their property."
June 14, 2005: Mr. Ford questions the utility of grant programs for transgendered and transsexual people during a council debate. "I don't understand. No. 1, I don't understand a transgender, I don't understand, is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we're funding this for, I don't know, what does it say here? We're giving them $3,210?"
April 17, 2002: During a council debate on whether there should be homeless shelters across the city, rather than only downtown, Mr. Ford says: "This is an insult to my constituents to even think about having a homeless shelter in their ward. And you want me to have a public meeting to discuss this? Why don't we have a public lynching?" (See video above.)
March 6, 2002: During a council budget debate, Mr. Ford calls fellow Councillor George Mammoliti a "Gino-boy." Mr. Mammoliti says the remark is a racial slur: "I heard it in school. Hearing it at city hall shocks me." Mr. Ford denies making the remark.
June 13, 2001: Mr. Ford questions a grant for a video about homosexuality in Toronto's South Asian community, telling The National Post: "I have no problem giving money out to physically or mentally handicapped children or seniors, but spending $5,000 on this video is disgusting, it is absolutely disgusting to spend this amount of money on this, whatever it was called, video."
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