A Ford in the road

At last, Rob Ford has done something normal for a holder of his high office. The mayor yesterday attended the closing ceremony of the Pan-Am Games in Mexico to accept the flag passed along to the next host city, Toronto.

What a disappointment he must be to those who voted for him. What a civic humiliation he is to the rest of us. And Toronto has had some looney-tunes leaders. William Dennison (1966-1972) once greeted a visitor by holding up a writing instrument and saying, “This is a ball point pen.” “I know,” came the reply, “I was educated at Oxford.” Talking about a trip to Africa, Mel Lastman (1998-2003) said, “I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me.”

Those comments now seem like minor gaffes compared to Ford giving the finger to a woman who wanted him to put down his cell phone while driving or his expletive-filled tirade last week to a 911 operator. Nor, after a year, has he made any progress on his “stop the gravy train” election promise. He agreed to a four-year police contract that set a record and approved a police budget that’s the same as last year after demanding a 10 per cent cut.

Some people grow in office, others never should have been allowed in. We can only hope by the time the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am games comes to an end, that a new mayor is handing over the flag to the next host city. Meanwhile, all we can do is duck and hope any damage done is limited.

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