TORONTO never had a mayor like him, and probably never will again. This morning at Mount Sinai Hospital he passed away after battling pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 46. Mr. Ford is survived by his wife Renata and two pre-teen children Stephanie and Doug.
Famous world-wide for a plethora of escapades and off-colour comments, Rob Ford put TORONTO on the map. Readers and viewers from every corner of the western world knew his name and followed him on the BBC, the American networks, the New York Times, and The Guardian. Cartoonists and the Canadian media couldn’t get enough of him. One estimate of free publicity for the city due to Mr. Ford alone, was $1-billion.
He was very unkind to the LGBTQ community and refused to walk in a single Pride parade. He could be misogynistic at times, loved football, froze in front of reporters, wasn’t big on bicycles, hated streetcars, threatened to close libraries, cut suburban bus services, encouraged the split between downtown and the suburbs, drove his Escalade while doing office work at the same time, and tossed a monkey wrench into plans for a city-wide fully-funded LRT network.
<IMAGE ABOVE – Cuppa Coffee Studio, stop-motion animation>
<Rob Ford was a favourite subject of muralist SPUD>
<A sinister Rob Ford sketched by students visiting City Hall>
<Mayor Ford appearing on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”>
Rob Ford, the voice of the suburbs, was a millionaire with working-class attitudes who believed in cost-cutting and building subways everywhere it seemed. “Subways, subways, subways”, “stop the gravy train”, “downtown elites” – that was Mr. Ford. Despite his brash, uncompromising political style he will be missed and remembered as TORONTO’s most colourful mayor. As one who experienced the ‘Rob Ford Era’ up close, I’m unlikely to ever forget it.
“Rob Ford earned widespread respect for his unwavering persistence in the face of serious health concerns — which he summed up in a statement released from his hospital bed during the 2014 campaign for re-election: ‘Be strong, stay positive and never, ever give up,” – Ontario’s Premier, KATHLEEN WYNNE
Community activist and writer ANDRAY DOMISE has published an article on the TVOntario educational television website “The Rob Ford Legacy that many refuse to confront”. You can read it here: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/shared-values/andray-domise-the-rob-ford-legacy-that-many-refuse-to-confront
Rob Ford’s Obituary in Britain’s Telegraph and the Irish Independent, Sunday, March 27 – http://www.independent.ie/world-news/obituary-rob-ford-34575166.html