Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I’ll admit it. I live in the nuthouse.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford. I’m certain that unless you live under a rock in the Sahara Desert you’ve heard about him. I’m here to tell you, having spoken to the man a couple of times (once one-on-one for several minutes) back when he was merely a Toronto city councillor and I was teaching in his ward, that he is as arrogant and just plain dumb as you might think. Every day, we’re faced with new revelations, justifications and confrontations. As I’ve already said, it is all completely jaw-dropping.

Yesterday was a case in point: Mayor Ford and his brother Doug baited the public gallery during the special council meeting called to remove funding from the mayor’s office budget and to remove even more of his powers than they did last week. I am not exaggerating that fisticuffs nearly broke out between the Fords and the people they were baiting. It was exceptionally ugly. Now our mayor has “declared war” on everyone who opposes him. We’re all holding our breath to see what that means.

You see, because of the way municipalities’ powers have been set up by the Ontario government, Toronto cannot throw this man from office unless he is convicted of a crime and cannot attend his duties because of incarceration. We can only vote him out (And how he came to be elected is a sad story in itself.) Mayor Ford refuses to step down as has been requested. He says he was elected to serve and serve he will. I think council should have voted to remove all the furniture in his office and cut off the light and heat, too.

You can’t make this stuff up. Believe me, we all wish it was made up.

Anyway, there’s no lack of water cooler conversation these days. You can’t move anywhere in this city without hearing someone talking about the latest act of The Ford Follies. Talk about buzz! Wish he would share it with some of us poor writers.

I am positive that several non-fiction crime writers are hard at work on the Ford saga, adding new chapters as each day dawns. What a gold mine it must be. Where will it end? Who knows? But the first thing I now do every day is turn to the online news feeds to see what has happened over night.

Toronto has always had a fetish with wanting to be in the news. It now is, but for all the wrong reasons.


The reason my post this week is so short and somewhat off-topic to what is usually discussed on Type M is because yesterday my wife and I welcomed our first grandchild into the world: Jackson Reno Blechta, son of Jan and Rena. I will spare you all the usual baby photos, but he is a good-looking lad. To say the least, my attention has been somewhat distracted.


Donis Casey said...

It's so nice to realize that ALL the nut-case politicians don't live in the States. Apparently there is enough arrogance and insanity to spare for you dear Canadians. And congrats on the grandbaby, Rick. p.s. I, for one, don't mind baby pictures a bit.

Rick Blechta said...

The first time I met Rob Ford (in a school staff room), he made my jaw drop by what he was saying. Thirteen years later, he's still doing it.

Now that's consistency!

I'll send you some baby photos by separate email.

Barbara Fradkin said...

Awwww! congrats, Rick and Vicky!

Aline Templeton said...

Fascinated to read the inside story. We've been following it over here with jaws dropped - especially the bit where he knocked over the grey-haired lady senator. Makes the British Parliament look positively civilised, for once!bphaCle

Rick Blechta said...

Quite simply, the Fords are bullies. I know people who went to high school with them who are still petrified of the three of them (there is a third brother, Randy, who is apparently the scariest of all). What was seen this week was the real unvarnished Fords and what were they doing? Bullying everyone in sight. At City Hall, Doug Ford is known as "Doug The Thug" -- because that's what he is.

Rick Blechta said...

And thanks, Barbara. Needless to say, we're thrilled!