Is Rob Ford still fit to hold office?

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The last time Canadians caught up with Toronto's mayor, it was in photographic form: The mayor, behind the wheel cruising down the Gardner Expressway, eyes firmly fixed on the notes he was trying to read. And now it's the conflict of interest allegations, which could actually result in Ford being kicked out of office. Setting aside the fact that the Rob Ford story is really the only Toronto story the rest of the country enjoys hearing about, we ask the question today: Is it time for Ford to go?


Is Rob Ford still fit to hold office? - Panel

In Toronto, the mayor's chain of office often seems to have a magnetic lock on the city's most flamboyant personalities. We played a clip from Rob Ford when he was a city councillor. Now he's not only the mayor of Canada's largest city, he's one of the few Canadian politicians who can make headlines outside the country.

The headlines he's making this week are all about whether he can continue as mayor. He's in court defending himself from a conflict of interest charge. It has to do with his using city letterhead and staff to raise cash for his charity. The integrity commissioner thought he should pay the cash back -- but he didn't really want to. What's more, he took part in council vote that ruled he didn't have to. He's facing allegations that he contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, but the mayor just doesn't see it that way.

Still, if found guilty, Ford could be forced to vacate his seat. It's easy to find an argument in Toronto over the case. But it really depends where you live in Canada whether this kind of thing is worth storming the ramparts.

Rob Ford won in a landslide, but he is a deeply polarizing figure. If the mayor did break the law, his supporters don't think he broke it very much and it's not much of a law to break. His detractors however would like to see him drive back to suburban Etobicoke, never to return.

Sue-Ann Levy is a City Hall columnist for the Toronto Sun. And Christopher Hume is an urban issues columnist at the Toronto Star. Both were in our Toronto studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Josh Bloch.


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