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An Open Letter to Americans Regarding Rob Ford

Dear Americans,

There is no question that your country’s entertainment industry has an enormous influence on ours. From TV, magazines, movies to music, we eat it all up. That being said, as a Torontonian who is extremely happy and proud of this city, for the love of god, PLEASE STOP ENABLING Rob Ford.

If you weren’t already aware, a big election is coming up. Our politicians are currently putting signs on lawns, dispersing flyers, magnets and stickers. They want to get their names out there. By inviting Rob Ford to attend the Oscars, appear on your talk shows and featuring him on a crack-smoking Mardi Gras FLOAT, you are doing just that. Even if you are making fun of him, 1) he’s not in on the joke, and 2) you are increasing his chances of re-election through not only name recognition, but helping him to seem “funny” and “cool”. This might be hilarious to you, but you are seriously affecting the future of Toronto. He doesn’t have to be your mayor, but unfortunately he has to be mine. I’ve heard Jimmy Kimmel and various Americans (and Canadians) say, “Well, he seems to be a pretty good mayor”. Rob Ford also seems to think so too. To help you better understand what you are really doing to our city, here is a list of truths the Ford brothers want us to ignore amidst stories about Hollywood visits and PR gaffes:

HE IS NOT SAVING US MONEY
He likes us to believe that he looks out for the taxpayers’ dollars and has saved us an insurmountable sum of money. More specifically, he likes saying “$1 Billion dollars”. He is wrong. It’s been proven over, and over again. His numbers don’t add up. He’s been using the past years’ surplus from previous administrations to balance his budget out, and though he may have saved $60 on our vehicle registration tax, and some money here and there, he is actually running our city into more debt. These are just a few examples of his lies and incompetence in terms of budget.

In reality Ford carelessly wasted $65 million of the taxpayer’s dollars by cancelling an existing fully funded and approved transit plan that’s been years in the making. It was also essentially illegal. He moved an entirely new bike lane on Jarvis Street, to one street over (that’s $86,000 to have it installed in 2010 and $200,000 – $300,000 to have removed in 2012). He has saved some money on office budget cuts but doesn’t mention large increased costs in other areas such as labour deals. Toronto’s long-term debt has also increased by $800 million after his first two years in office, following David Miller’s administration. Basically, Rob Ford is telling you that he is saving money, but really borrowing more money, which we will have to pay for in the long-run. BORROWING ISN’T THE SAME AS SAVING. He also championed an inefficient subway line this year, promising that he will find a way to fund it without raising taxes. Surprise, surprise, taxes had to be raised to pay for his subway line. Despite this FACT, he keeps saying that he hasn’t raised taxes? His level of delusion in general is astonishing.

HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT POOR PEOPLE
Rob Ford supporters are predominantly from lower income households. He claims that he “sides with poor people”. Yes, he visits Toronto Housing Community buildings, shows up with gifts and fixes their playground. That’s great, it’s important to make people in your community feel like they are listened to, even if he is a millionaire.

My issue is not that he cannot understand realities of a poor or even middle-class life, but rather, the fact that he has consistently voted against helping these people in any way. From social programs to housing, according to Councillor Vaughan, Ford has “done everything in his power to cut funding for public housing and undercut pleas to Ottawa for funding.” Showing up and handing out toys like Santa Claus does not fight poverty. It’s the big picture decisions that need to be made. He is lying to these people, like that kid at school who pretends he’s friends with you for your tasty sandwhich, but talks behind your back at recess. It’s downright dirty. In lower income families, members may not have the resources to access information and understand the reality of what Rob Ford is doing to their communities. This makes the name recognition factor, and him standing on the red carpet next to the likes of Brad Pitt, even more influential in the upcoming election.

HE REALLY, REALLY DOESN’T CARE ABOUT POOR PEOPLE, WOMEN, AT-RISK YOUTH OR CRIME
Simply put, in every society, it is proven that more poverty equals more crime. This is not to say that all criminals are poor, but a higher percentage of the population who lack the basic necessities of life means an increase in people taking desperate measures to provide for their loved ones, or to turn to crime because there are no other options. How do you combat this? By providing education to low-income households and starting with programs that will help youth, so they grow up making better choices. This means they will have more opportunities to climb out of poverty and contribute to the economy. More people who can afford to buy things means a better economy as a whole. By investing in this, you are also keeping kids off the street, out of jail (which saves taxpayers’ money), and subsequently, making your city safer.

Despite his own suggestion that he is the man for poor people, Ford has voted against EVERY motion and social program to help them. For reasons he unwilling to explain, he has voted against accepting money from the Canadian government (meaning, would not cost the city a cent), for a gangs prevention program. He has also voted against programs to make neighbourhoods safer, as well as programs and workshops for women new to the country. On top of this, Rob Ford has proposed cuts to libraries, community centres, daycares and nutrition programs for youth. Oh, and trees. Dude doesn’t even support trees. This is the kind of thing that will affect generations of Torontonian families, including mine. But sure, invite him to the Oscars for a laugh.

HE IS A HUGE HOMOPHOBE
Toronto is a very gay-friendly city. We’re proud to be hosting World Pride 2014. At least, most of us are. As Ford recently said: “I’m not going to go to the Pride Parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade. I’m not going to change the way I am.”

Besides generally voting against any grants or health initiatives relating to the LGBTQ community, our mayor has never attended the Pride Parade. He refuses to do so based on his own personal prejudices. He also threw a public temper tantrum about the 519 Church St. Community Centre’s request to raise a rainbow flag at City Hall during the Sochi Olympics to show support for our LGBTQ athletes. He kept kicking and screaming about how the Canadian flag should be put back up, but if only he had looked further, he would realize that the Canadian flag was still up there, with the rainbow flag on another flag pole. Thankfully, our deputy mayor, Norm Kelly is a sensible man. Regarding the Pride flag, he has stated, “We’re not afraid to stand up for the rights and privileges that are being abused in other parts of the world,” and “There’s nothing un-Canadian about that. In fact, that’s a very Canadian thing to do.”

HE IS A BULLY
Rob Ford likes to act like he is a warm, fuzzy, teddy bear-like man. However, if you’ve ever watched a council meeting in the last year, it’s a giant gong show. His ugly side is constantly revealed. Rob and Doug Ford heckle people, mock and threaten councillors, yell, scream, get kicked out and act like two insufferable frat boys.

Here are some examples:

  1. Rob & Doug shouting match with taxpayers in the gallery – Rob Ford also asked his “driver” to tape the people yelling at him on his phone as a threat.

  2. Rob Ford in Action – after man calls him a “fat fuck”

  3. Rob Ford sulking in a corner because he feelings got hurt – he does this often, gets up and walks around during important debates.

  4. The time I almost peed myself when Rob Ford compared himself to Kuwait – this was right after he admitted to smoking crack, so council voted to strip him of most of his powers.

My heart goes out to the councillors who try to be as diplomatic and mature as possible in the face of this behaviour. Prior to the stripping of his powers, they had been reduced to asking him exclusively “yes” or “no” questions in his capacity as mayor. He could not understand more complicated questions. It was extremely painful to watch, like a terrible reality show, except it’s real life and very real decisions are being made.

I’m not even going to get into how he is essentially a criminal currently being investigated by police, his substance abuse problem, his terrible character or his evident racism, homophobia and sexism. Oh, and the part in the police reports where city staffers claim they were sent to the LCBO on numerous occasions to purchase vodka for him, during office hours. People tend to overlook his personal shortcomings because they relate to the less-than-perfect man and are solely concerned with their imaginary saved tax dollars. He is running the city to the ground and compromising our quality of life. He is not just a cartoon character, but the chief magistrate of Toronto. He is supposed to lead and be a role model for our youth.

Sure, Rob Ford may want to keep taxes low, but at what cost? If he were to be re-elected and run the city his way, it would mean more crime, more poverty, more illness, more discrimination and undoubtedly higher taxes to offset his poor decisions. You can’t have a mayor that doesn’t understand the bigger picture of running a city, and reduces the role to returning phone calls and fixing potholes. To fellow Torontonians in the GTA: have more pride for your city and expect more. We can have a mayor that is considerate of our taxes and also considerate of the fact that Toronto is a thriving city. To our lovely neighbours in the US: we see where you’re coming from, but please stop making our embarrassing mayor more famous than he needs to be. You’re not the ones that have to deal with the repercussions of him being the incompetent leader of your city. We are.

Sincerely yours,

A very worried Torontonian

105 comments
ROCKSTAR
ROCKSTAR

Thanks for writing this...I think I love you! Seriously, these things need saying. Rob Ford is one of the biggest con artists of all times in Canadian politics, probably because he genuinely believes his own lies. But it's sad that we pay the price for his delusions. It is also sad that uninformed, apathetic or just plain stupid voters are ruining it for the rest of us by supporting Ford.

_Meeeech
_Meeeech

@michaeldow_ that person has TIME! Seriously if you don't like him don't vote for him lmaoo

janed
janed

I agree completely with this open letter. May I add, the "plenty to eat at home" comment. No self-respecting woman should ever vote for Ford after that comment. And no woman-respecting man should ever vote for Ford either.

MadzInMtl
MadzInMtl

@mclortie ok, the guy is a scumbag but he did a pretty good job with Toronto. First surplus in 15 yeArs.

DelectablyChic
DelectablyChic

I don't know if you can ONLY blame the entertainment industry.  People here elected Rob Ford just fine without Jimmy Kimmel back in 2010.  It's just that the idiots are more likely to go out and vote than normal, sensible people.  Rob Ford is nothing but a fat, male Sarah Palin. 

Blitzblutz
Blitzblutz

Although I agree with most of the points in this article, and I am going to vote against Rob Ford in the coming election, I do agree with him on the subways.

When you travel around the world, all of the best cities have subways. Personally I don't like the LRT systems in Amsterdam or Jerusalem, I find that they get in the way of a nice street. Elevated systems look horrible and make a neighbourhood seem like they are living 'under the tracks' like in Chicago or Brooklyn.

When you build subways you have a chance to redo the water pipes and electrical systems and put them deeper in the ground, and after the year Toronto has had, we desperately need that!

Subways are expensive but they are unaffected by traffic or weather and both the rich and poor enjoy the underground as opposed to other forms of public transportation.

Maybe Rob Ford will have done us a big favour? He has given us the push to continue on with subways, provided some hearty laughs and maybe shocked us all to hold our politicians to a higher standard.

Me2plusu
Me2plusu

ROB FORD FOR MAYOR!

ROB FORD FOR MAYOR!
ROB FORD FOR MAYOR!

YOU DA MAN!  :)

jay chan
jay chan

Get lost guy! You are just making points up without any base but according to one consoler whose benefits were damaged because of Ford saving strategies.

polock91
polock91

@davidcollict Rob Ford is high up on a list of shitty people my country should stop celebritizing. It won't happen anytime soon, I'm afraid.

Eric_Benson
Eric_Benson

@davidcollict ugh boy I’m with you on this. It constantly bugs me how much Americans LOVE human trainwrecks

EmilioGuglielmi
EmilioGuglielmi

I'm a Torontonian,..and it will be our fault, if Ford gets re-elected,..nobody else to blame, if stupidity rules the day. Quit blaming the Americans,..they have their own issues, with moronic, lemmings voters.

MarcEllis1
MarcEllis1

although not a supporter of his politics or many views - i do think that despite identifying with the LGBT community can't fault individuals who may nor wish to attend the parade irrelevant of their support or non-support.  I understand and enjoy the celebration personally but the pride parade being the one day of the year *generally not withstanding the major press as of late with the push for LGBT marriages in the US* that garners much media coverage many small town minded individuals (hence one that I also grew up in) get a very dis-representation of the identity and culture-mindedness of the community with the exploitative gratuitous nature presented.


its easy to get bent up and out of shape over his misguided and uncouth manner and immoral behaviors he has undertaken as our head elected official however being what it is and that he is now undeniably colored our city in a smokey hue so to speak we as Torontonians need to suck it off and get off our high horses and embrace it and find the humor in it for what it is.  


The best way to deflect bullets and the wrath of stigmatizing onslaughts is to laugh at oneself, like Ford has.  I think it best just to let it flow - surely the like-minded astute citizens of this city will duly do what is best for the city come October 27th and send him out the door to some back-alley crack-haven soon enough.


Should he somehow garner himself Ford more years will take it in stride and anticipate just what kinda secondary term scandals he has left yet that he hasn't already overturned.


Ford or no Ford - subways or LRT bike lanes on Jarvis or Sherbourne truly trivial details - tax dollars flow in and flow out some on good ideas some on actually truly who cares = the only real annoyance with his first term officiating was getting rid of plastic bags -- which leaves me to wonder just exactly what kinda lil baggie was his stash of crack placed in anyways??




Heroic Hal
Heroic Hal

The U.S. media made even more fun of Sarah Palin and she didn't win, so don't go putting Rob Ford on us.

Heroic Hal
Heroic Hal

The U.S. entertainment industry, featuring the likes of Seth Rogan and Ryan Reynolds and Lorne Michaels and Ryan Gosling and Avril Lavigne and Rachel McAdams and Keanu Reeves and Jay Baruchel and Robin Thicke and the late Cory Monteith and ....

andrewstoronto
andrewstoronto

This is a joke right? 


The man is a homophobe because he doesn't attend pride? He said the Olympics wasn't a place for people talk about their sexual orientation and it's hard not to agree with him. He attended a pride flag raising event and he also says he doesn't like the parade because it's just half-naked men/women running down the streets, which it is. 


Your craziest argument is that he hasn't saved money. He says he does save money, the city manager says he saves money because the city manager bases what he says off financial statements and annual reports. If you did a quick Google search you will find all that information is freely available to the public.


He doesn't care about poor people and at-risk youth and crime? I'm sorry if he didn't care about those things why would he have spent his time coaching a football team of at-risk youths and going door to door to help people living in poor conditions in TCHC? Most recently, he even paid to put a family of 4 who had been displaced in a hotel (of course this wasn't all over the news, so I don't expect you to be familiar with it.)


You also refer to councillors as mature? Turning your back on the person speaking and completely ignoring them reminds me of a child in kindergarten angry at a friend. They also blindly disregard any motion the mayor tries to move on the floor of council.


Face it, your points are weak. The only valid attacks against the mayor are those against his personal behavior at this point. The only people turning this into a circus are the city councillors and the media. Why on earth would they repeat the same segment about Rob Ford every 15 minutes on TV if he truly was an embarrassment? It's very easy to base a conclusion off only the negative things you can find about a person, but when you put all the facts together, this starts to look like it was written by someone who gets all their information from the local media. 

Bluelady
Bluelady

Wow.  I always count on the Americans to tell me how to vote.  Whatever shall I do if they stop enabling Rob Ford?  Really?  If you think Torontonians are going to vote for Ford because he appeared on American t.v. then I think we have bigger problems (i.e. a city full of idiots rather than just one man) to worry about.  I also don't get "I'm so embarrased to be a Canadian because of Rob Ford and Justin Bieber".  What an insecure nation we must be.  I don't see Americans apologizing for George Bush or Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen.  I also doubt that any Americans bothered to read this lengthy diatribe.  They don't care and are not going to be outraged on our behalf. 

GeorgeKyriazis
GeorgeKyriazis

This article is so poor.....How can somebody be a homophobe by not attending a pride parade....thats like saying I hate black people by not going to carabana THATS RIDICULOUS.....


Also, Ford can actually prove his numbers saved and even though we will owe more money (apparently) by borrowing while he's in office Its not like a city thats debt free even EXISTS......


Wake up and smell the roses...This guy has this cities back when it comes to everything that has an effect on us.....There is not ONE candidate that can do anything more then Rob Ford, until I get proven this he 100% most definitely has my vote. He even called me back and talked to me about it.....NOW THATS A MAYOR.....wake up.

robfordformayor
robfordformayor

That whole thing about kuwait, Rob Ford will have his revenge, we voted mayor Ford, by them stripping his powers is a slap in the face to tax payers. Why don't you research what council did after he was stripped of his powers, 3 days after he was stripped of his powers you'll be surprised to see all the changes that were made without the mayor. How much councilman take advantage of taxpayers money, its ridiculous. to bad that doesn't make the news.

robfordformayor
robfordformayor

im not a homophobe, i don't plan on attending the gay pride parade, does the make me a bad person? a homophobe? Whoever wrote this article is the dumbest person alive. i live in vaughan so i couldnt even vote for rob ford, but i can see all the good he's doing and money he's saving. 


You make outrageous claims with no real evidence you just run your mouth. your talking about a guy who  is mayor to one of the greatest cities on the planet who doesn't take home a salary from the city. America is helping promote him yea i get that, and jimmy Fallen isn't a stupid person either. He sees the good that Rob Ford is doing.  Despite his little speed bumps, we all have them, noone is perfect.


They should do a drug test on everyone in city hall, then you'll see how many will have to step down. One of many reasons all these chairmen are against him is because there are over 40 councilman in the city of toronto, he wants to reduce it to just under 20. A bunch of highly paid, sit on their asses and do nothing degenerates with spending budgets that are ridiculous. First class everywhere even a trip with their family is paid for with taxpayers money. Rob Fords recent trip to LA, hotel and flight were paid for out of his own pocket!


Why don't you go see whats going on in Montreal,  Their mayor was arrested for corruption, they've been going through mayors like crazy, their all caught for corruption and being paid off. try and google "Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay" or "Mayor Michael Applebaum" if you want to see a bad mayor.


oh and by the way that 65 million dollar subway plan that was cancelled, it was just cancelled, there was some research done that cost a little bit of money yes, research costs money, but he cancelled it and got the shepard subway line, he cancelled it because they wanted to add more street cars. Making the gridlock even worse. That st. clair lines a disaster. thank god he cancelled it or there would have been more streets like it. But the numbers were nowhere near 65 million, do your research a little bit better someone with half a brain might actually read your post ;)



Viewer9010
Viewer9010

Just because Rob Ford doesn't attend the Gay Pride Parade doesn't give you the right to label him as a "homophobe". What if he doesn't feel comfortable going and watching people in giant dick costumes running around the streets? I know I wouldn't. He shows every Torontonian equal respect nonetheless, including the LGBT

PeonyPants
PeonyPants

"as a Torontonian who is extremely happy and proud of this city..."

You're "happy of" the city? This should be "happy with and proud of this city." I'm sorry, it's important to me and I can't not say it. 

Montrealer
Montrealer

I'll trade you Pauline Marois for Rob Ford any day !!!

ADL0417
ADL0417

I am no fan of Rob Ford. I have always said even before he was elected that he is a buffoon! Sadly, this could have been a great article. However, it was ruined by what were posed as main arguments against Mr. Ford, when they are in fact some of the good things that he has done. For instance:


1. Thank GOD he got rid of the bike lanes on Jarvis St. That was a stupid waste of money by the previous David Miller council!


2. The previous transit plan was also NOT a good one as it did not include subways. If Toronto wants to be a world class city, which it is far from being, it better invest in a world class transit system that includes subways not more ridiculous archaic streetcars that do NOT move large amount of people efficiently and effectively. This was partly proven during the ice storm of this winter when street cars were immobilized. The subways kept going!  There are other daily glaring issues that demonstrate their inefficiencies.


3. If you consider Adam Vaughan diplomatic and mature, well I must question your judgment.


Also, we are currently dealing with the repercussions of other horrible mayors and councillors of the past like, David Miller, Olivia Chow, Jack Layton, Adam Vaughan et al. All of the sitting councillors need to be fired and a whole new group of forward thinking visionary individuals with great business sense and experience should be elected. So I don't think that your having "pride" in your city comment to Torontonians has any validity, as voters in the past have never shown 'pride" with the way that they have voted. Rob Ford is a buffoon, and is an embarrassment to himself, but he is not an embarrassment to us all. The backwardness of this city and its pathetic infrastructure caused by the left leaning politicians who have run this city into the ground over the past several years is what's embarrassing!

truth
truth

@_Meeeech @michaeldow_  seriously? that's your answer? please don't vote again, ever.

truth
truth

@MadzInMtl @mclortie  it's NOT the first surplus in years! he's using surplus funds from miller's administration. and look around you - the city is a mess. a pretty good job?

DelectablyChic
DelectablyChic

@Blitzblutz Sure, but Rob Ford wants to build subways to Scarborough, when what we need is another line going downtown.  Sorry, but more "suburban" subways will just make the YUS line (ummm, I mean, Line 1) all the more packed.  

RakshaCat
RakshaCat

@jay chan you lost my respect at "consoler"

seanumich
seanumich

@andrewstoronto  

sO YOUR ARGUMENT IS THAT EVEN THOUGH HE IS AN ADMITTED criminal (SMOKING CRACK) YOU ARE OK WITH HIM?

aS FOR THE oLYMPICS NOT BEING ABOUT POLITICS, YOU MUST BE INSANE. tHE ONLY REASON THE GAMES WERE IN THAT STUPID HELL HOLE WAS BECAUSE OF POITICS.

torontonian
torontonian

You clearly don't understand how city council works at all. Toronto is a weak mayor system, meaning even before Ford was stripped of his powers he didn't have all that much influence on items passed by council. Toronto budgets take months to prepare and are created by a committee that is appointed by the mayor. Ford appointed the budget committee, this did not change after he was stripped of his powers, nor did the contents of the budget. The idea that council is running wild now that Ford is stripped of most of his powers is ridiculous and anyone who makes that argument is utterly ignorant of how the system works.

RakshaCat
RakshaCat

@robfordformayor You're absolutely right. Someone often in such a "drunken stupor" to the point of amnesia that is willing to say this without shame publically several times is a WONDERFUL role model for our young people and a great message to the international community about what we value in Toronto. Because hey, being drunk to the point of semi-consciousness should absolve us of all of our wrongdoings, right? He's just an ordinary guy. Yes cause so many of us ordinary folks try crack when we are drunk. Many of us "average guys" don't even get to that state of drunk nevermind trying crack while we're at it.... ever.
Maybe we'll find out he murdered someone. Eh ok with you as long as he was too drunk to remember it and saves you imaginary money?
Unbelievable. Again, I say @Bluelady... you were saying?

torontonian
torontonian

LRTs aren't streetcars you massive dummy