Megan Harris' Toronto Sun article criticizing Rob Ford is unprecedented, considering that the Toronto Sun is a right-wing tabloid that's pretty much the house organ of the so-called "Ford Nation" of discontented suburbanites.
This is remarkable. I wonder what the response will be?
It’s time for Mayor Rob Ford to stop using his football team as a convenient photo-op and as an excuse for his lack of judgment.
[. . .]
During his time as a city councillor, Mayor Ford did what many ambitious elected officials do. They find issues to support that build their profile and credentials with voters.
Ford moved quickly to establish himself as a penny-pinching city councillor who respected taxpayers’ money. He did this by not using his allocated city hall budget to purchase office supplies, choosing instead to use his own money to cover these expenses. He thus earned a reputation for frugality and criticized other city councillors whom, he said, misused city resources to promote themselves.
In March, 2008, he established the Rob Ford Foundation. Its purpose is to raise money to help schools in underprivileged neighbourhoods run football programs.
This is both laudable and welcome but the kids involved should not be used as publicity tools.
I would absolutely agree with Ford when he says he does not benefit from the Foundation, if he didn’t brag about it at every opportunity.
No one disputes Ford’s passion for the game of football and helping kids, but does this give him a free pass to ignore and skirt rules and regulations he does not agree with?
Unlike Ford, the kids who participate in his football program cannot do the same thing in life without suffering serious consequences.
When Ford does it, he is being a poor role model for these young people, as much as he may sincerely want to help them.
If it was just a one-off situation, most people would look the other way. But as the litany of the mayor’s bad judgment calls is revealed, what lessons are these kids actually learning from him?
This latest controversy about using city resources and staff to help his football team once again puts the kids right at the centre of Ford’s poor judgment.
Leaving an executive committee meeting at city hall to go and coach his football team is wrong. Using his taxpayer-funded staff and resources to support the work of his private football foundation is wrong.
Surely, Ford knows this.
Instead of using city staff and resources for his football team, why doesn’t Ford simply hire and pay a coach, rather than duck out of his responsibilities at city hall, using the kids as an excuse?
Ford needs to occupy a higher moral ground if he wants to be taken seriously as a mentor and role model to these young men, to say nothing of being the mayor of the fifth largest city in North America.