Skip to main content

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown with what appears to be a pipe in an image taken from the Gawker.com website. The image was posted Wednesday, April 30, the same evening the mayor announced he was taking leave to deal with substance abuse problems. Gawker said the image was taken from a video it claims it was offered for purchase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Gawker.com

Gawker.com/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Rob Ford story changes; the Rob Ford story remains the same. The past year has been like a non-stop showing of Groundhog Day meets Barfly. The mayor is caught in a drunken stupor or a drug-addled state. He's in a basement, or at a restaurant or in a bar. Racist invective is spewed. Or sexist phrases. Or homophobic words. Or all of the above. A heartfelt apology is issued. Promises are made to cease and desist, and to seek treatment. Change is guaranteed. And then? It's rewind and repeat, again and again and again.

Late on Wednesday night, as this newspaper released details of a new video showing Mr. Ford smoking what appears to be crack, the mayor said he would be taking a leave of absence. Last year, when revelations about his habits, relationships and addictions first became public, a leave to seek medical treatment might have meant something. At least it would have been a start. But now? It's more than a little late. He's been lying for too long and carrying on even longer.

Mr. Ford on Wednesday said, "I know that I need professional help" and "I am now 100 per cent committed" to getting it. But he's been saying as much for months. After the first crack video and police surveillance transcripts became public last year, he admitted to his long-denied crack use, swore that he would change and promised to seek help. Yet his behaviour remained the same as ever, as did his promises.

Story continues below advertisement

On Thursday, the mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, and his mother both urged that Mr. Ford be left alone and given some privacy. But the man's behaviour – the words that come out of his mouth, the things he puts in his body, and the people he chooses to spend time with – has been the subject of public interest because he's a senior public official, the mayor of Canada's largest city. And as of Thursday afternoon, voters still don't know what he'll be doing on this leave of absence, where he's going or how long he'll be there. It is not yet known if he's going to rehab.

Rob Ford has not changed over the past year, and neither have the needs of the city of Toronto. He should have resigned a long time ago and he must resign now. More than ever, the city needs to be saved from its mayor. And the mayor, as always, needs to be saved from himself.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter