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Thread: Ex-Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford dies of cancer

  1. #1
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    Default Ex-Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford dies of cancer

    You may remember him

    Sadly he died

    TORONTO—Rob Ford, the controversial former Toronto mayor, died Tuesday after a cancer diagnosis put an end to a political career that had been watched around the world because of the politician's admitted drug use and public lewd behavior.

    Mr. Ford, who died at a Toronto hospital at age 46, had been receiving treatment since the fall of 2014. The Ford family announced the death in a short emailed statement to media, requesting privacy.

    A veteran municipal councilor and the son of a family prominent in Conservative Party circles, Mr. Ford beat out the city's deputy mayor and Ontario's deputy premier to take the October 2010 mayoralty race. He successfully projected himself an everyman, despite his family's wealth, focusing on bread-and-butter issues and attacking what he called the city hall "gravy train."

    That approach allowed him to build a loyal suburban base that became known as "Ford Nation," and to exploit the divide between suburban and downtown residents, whom he derided as elites and whose support he never won.

    He never abandoned the political formula he used to win the 2010 mayoralty election by a wide margin and without significant support from downtown wards. He championed cutting waste at City Hall, challenging organized labor and ending a vehicle registration tax.

    But his sharp political instincts were often overshadowed by his outlandish behavior, which became increasingly the focus of national and then international attention as his antics escalated through his term.

    In July 2011, after less than a year in office as mayor, Mr. Ford was accused of making an obscene gesture at a woman and her daughter as they waited at a stop light next to a car the mayor was driving. The woman told reporters she had given him the thumbs down while he talked on his cellphone, an illegal act for Toronto drivers. At the time, the mayor's office called the incident "a misunderstanding."

    The next year he was accused of reading while driving on a busy Toronto expressway. He told reporters at the time, "I'm a busy man."

    In the spring of 2013, Mr. Ford's troubles became more serious and earned international media attention when the Toronto Star newspaper published an investigative report alleging that the mayor smoked crack cocaine.

    In response, Mr. Ford said he didn't use cocaine and wasn't a crack addict. But then in November, Mr. Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine "during one of my drunken stupors." He apologiesed, but refused to step down, saying he was neither an alcoholic nor drug addict.

    Mr. Ford's refusal to step down posed a crisis for the city, since the city council lacked the authority to remove him unless he were convicted of a crime and imprisoned. Instead, the city council stripped him of the most of his powers, leaving him roughly on the same level as an ordinary councilor.

    Still, the mayor retained much of his political support, confounding many of his skeptics as he continued to push his populist message of "fighting for the little guy," and insisted that he would run for re-election in a vote scheduled for the fall of 2014.

    Mr. Ford embraced the celebrity he earned on late-night television. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's ABC show in March 2014, and Mr. Kimmel introduced the Toronto mayor by saying "our first guest tonight has tripped, bumped, danced and smoked his way into our national consciousness."

    An Ipsos Reid online poll conducted following his November drug-use admission showed he retained a job-performance approval rating of 40%, down 49% from June 2012, but still fairly solid. It was 45% in the western suburb of Etobicoke where he was born and launched in 2000 his political career as a municipal councilor, promising to curb spending and taxes.

    Mr. Ford retained that rating despite the allegations against him and even though couldn't always back up his political promises with action. In 2013, he supported a property tax increase to fund a new suburban subway line and his campaign promise to eliminate the city's land-transfer tax went unfilled.

    He was first out of the gate Jan. 2, 2014, to declare his mayoralty candidacy for the October 2014 municipal election, but in May took a break from the campaign to seek treatment for what he described as a "problem with alcohol." He made the announcement after Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper reported it had seen him on a video smoking what the newspaper said appeared to be crack cocaine—for a second time.

    He returned to his duties in June, recommitting himself to his re-election effort. But then in September he withdrew from the race to undergo chemotherapy to treat a malignant liposarcoma, a type of cancerous growth that develops in the soft tissue structures such as fatty tissues, blood vessels and nerves.

    His older brother and campaign manager Doug Ford took over the mantle from his sibling, declaring his candidacy for the October 2010 election, while Mr. Ford ran for city council member seat.

    Mr. Ford won that council seat. Doug Ford was defeated by John Tory.

    Rob Ford is survived by his wife, Renata, and two children.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ex-Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford dies of cancer

    well it's such a shame many people are missing out

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