Mayor Rob Ford's appearance at Toronto's Remembrance Day ceremony on Monday while wearing the chain of office was a sneer at the people of his city. It is now obvious that Mr. Ford has either no respect for, or no understanding of, the office he holds. If he did, he would not still be decorating himself with a symbol of everything he has failed to be or stand for.
"The Mayor wears the Chain of Office," according to the City of Toronto's website, "as a mark of pride in the city in which we live. It also acknowledges the responsibilities, authority and dignity which are attached to the office of the Chief Magistrate."
Pride, responsibility, authority and dignity. We have some questions for you, Mr. Ford:
On pride: Thanks to your actions, Toronto is mocked around the world as the city with the lying, crack-smoking mayor, whose confession to hard-drug use came as the result of a police investigation. That investigation produced an encyclopedia of your mysterious meetings and relationships with a cast of suspected and convicted criminals. In what way has this enhanced Torontonians' pride in their city?
On responsibility: Do you believe the chief magistrate should uphold laws and bylaws in an exemplary manner? Do you believe that a chief magistrate who suspects or becomes aware of illegal activity should contact the police?
On authority: Do you believe a mayor who lies about using hard drugs while in office has the moral authority to call for the firing of a city employee accused of napping at his or her desk, as you did?
On dignity: You smoked crack and lied about it. While "extremely, extremely inebriated," you ranted about wanting to murder someone. You've been publicly intoxicated – "hammered" – on multiple occasions. How do these actions represent the dignity of the office you hold?
That you're still wearing the chain of office is bad enough. That you would wear it to a ceremony honouring men and women who put their lives on the line for their country is appalling. The idea of showing respect for the office may not mean much to you, Mr. Ford, but it means something to the rest of us.