It’s no secret that mayor Rob Ford, was a force to be reckoned with in the political world, and publicly struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Ford passed away on March 22, 2016, at the age of 46 from a rare form of cancer. As the world mourns Ford, we also remember some of the outlandish things that this mayoral rock star did. It’s pretty safe to say that the rest of the world has never been so interested in a Canadian politician until Ford came along.
Nearly everywhere the mayor went, he garnered attention from the public. While his popularity waned in recent years, it didn’t diminish completely. Ford was sure to keep people interested with his antics. He was known for relating to all people the same and taking an “everyman” approach to politics, even though he came from a privileged upbringing. Ford was also pretty popular with children, and started playing with the kids during a Gardiner Expressway playground opening when he should have been taking care of his mayoral duties. Even when Rob Ford wasn’t exactly doing too well in the public eye, Canadian citizens didn’t heckle him and proved to the world how polite they are once again. Ford often showed up at events with his tie undone, said inappropriate things in meetings, and denied things that could easily be proven. However, there’s no denying that Ford will be remembered for years to come. Here are 12 things you may not have known about “crack mayor” Rob Ford .
12. Ford Got a DUI—Then Lied About It
Back in 1999 when Rob Ford was 29 and hadn’t yet become the mayor of Toronto, he was charged with a DUI and marijuana possession in the state of Florida. Later, the marijuana charge was dropped, but Ford wasn’t honest about the fact that he had a DUI on his record. Instead, he said that he was charged with refusing to take a breathalyzer test. We’re not sure why Ford lied about something like this, especially when a quick scan of his criminal record would prove that his story wasn’t true. Twisting the truth about things would soon become a political trademark of Ford’s, unfortunately.
11. Ford Had No Compassion For the Homeless
You would think that a person in public office would have some compassion for, well, the public. However, we’ve seen the cold-hearted way that politicians can behave at times, and Ford was no exception. As a “remedy” for the homeless problem in Toronto, Ford suggested that a “public lynching” was more practical than having a “public meeting.” This was back in 2002, and Ford was able to serve in office after this. Granted, there’s a good chance he was high and/or drunk at the time of his suggestion. Either way, suggesting that homeless people be hanged as a punishment for being poor is just inappropriate.
10. Ford Threw Tantrums During Council Meetings
In February of 2003, Ford had a tantrum at a city council meeting. He called one of his colleagues a “slithering snake” and suggested that the colleague belonged in the zoo. This was the beginning of an uncivilized circus, according to Canadian standards. After all, Ford was supposed to be leading people who are known for being gracious and polite, but it seemed he had a lot to learn when it came to basic manners. Two years later, Ford referred to Gloria Lindsay Luby, a fellow city council member as “a waste of time,” “a joke” and “a waste of skin.” Nice.
9. Ford Had Interesting Views On Helping to Solve the AIDS Crisis
Rob Ford made it clear that he didn’t want to spend huge amounts of money to help resolve the AIDS crisis. In 2006, Ford protested against using $1.5 million to combat the disease. He stated that “if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.” After Ford was informed that more women are contracting the disease because of men’s reckless sexual practices. The mayor simply replied that “maybe” these women were “sleeping with bi-sexual men.” We’re still not really sure how Ford was able to serve as mayor for as long as he did, when it was obvious that he lacked compassion for the general public.
8. Ford Was Racially Insensitive
As if making a reference to lynching wasn’t racist enough, Rob Ford also made racially insensitive remarks against Asians. Or as he called them, “Orientals.” Ford was supposedly trying to compliment Asian individuals by saying “Those Oriental people work like dogs…they sleep beside their machines.” Ford also said that “Oriental people” are “slowly taking over” because of their work ethic. We’re guessing Ford was trying to say something positive, but it just didn’t come across that way. He either didn’t have someone writing his public statements for him, or chose to ignore the advice of the people who were hired to assist him.
7. Ford Often Got Drunk In Public
It’s no surprise that Rob Ford drank heavily. He was often seen getting intoxicated in public. In 2006, when he was a city councilor, he was kicked out of a Maple Leafs hockey game for getting into alcohol-induced arguments with fans who came to enjoy the game. Ford referred to them as “communists.” When a reporter asked Ford about the incident he said that he “wasn’t even at the game.” Once again, Ford was caught denying something that could clearly be proven. A few weeks after the game, Ford admitted that he was there, and apologized, saying he’d had “one too many beers.”
6. Ford Was a Drug “Dealer”
Not only was Rob Ford known for doing drugs himself, he also “helped” his friends to get their drugs of choice. In June of 2010, Ford told one of his constituents that he’d try to score some OxyContin for him. The phone call was recorded, so Ford couldn’t deny what he’d said—even though that wasn’t a guarantee that he wouldn’t try. Clearly, there were times when Ford would use his power and influence in the wrong ways. We understand that holding political office can be stressful, but obviously, Ford had a serious problem that was often trivialized in the media. Unfortunately, we’ll never know if he would have been able to truly get the help he needs.
5. Ford Tried to Kidnap His Children
On Christmas Day in 2011, Rob Ford’s mother-in-law called the police between 4am and 5am, according to the Toronto Star. She was reporting that Ford had been drinking heavily and was trying to take his son and daughter to Florida. Ford’s wife Renata was afraid and, of course, didn’t want Ford to take the children anywhere in his drunken state. The Toronto Star also reported that after seeing numerous police and 911 reports, several emergency calls were made to Mayor Ford’s home on Edenbridge Dr. in the South Etobicoke division. It’s unclear how many calls were made, which is an indication that home life was turbulent for the Ford family.
4. Ford Had a Rocky Marriage
It’s pretty logical to assume that Rob Ford had a rocky marriage. He struggled with drug and alcohol use, and this changes a person’s attitude dramatically. Ford was also known to have unexpected outbursts, which doesn’t make for a stable relationship. Ford was once charged with assaulting his wife and making threats to harm her. Since Mrs. Ford couldn’t quite recall the events accurately, and there were inconsistencies in her version of the story, the charges were dropped. Perhaps Renata Ford just didn’t want to get her husband in any more trouble. Or maybe she was under so much stress that she really couldn’t quite recall the details of the assault.
3. Ford Was Caught Reading and Driving
As if he didn’t engage in enough reckless behavior, Rob Ford was also caught reading and driving. When a Twitter user photographed the mayor and posted it online, Ford was going about 70 km, which is over 40 miles an hour! Ford was asked whether it was true that he was reading and driving, and he said, “probably. I’m busy.” We don’t doubt that the position of mayor is a time-consuming one. However, Ford refused the chauffeur services that are offered to the person who is serving as mayor. We understand that maybe he wanted to be independent, but that’s taking it a little too far.
2. Ford Made Advances At Other Women
Not only was Rob Ford accused of assaulting his wife, but he was allegedly unfaithful to her as well. In March of 2013, Ford was accused of grabbing political rival Sarah Thompson inappropriately during a photoshoot. Thompson says that Ford grabbed her backside and told her that she “should have been in Florida with him last week because his wife wasn’t there.” It’s not shocking news that some politicians cheat on their wives. Ford, however, was bold enough to make advances at his rival at a photoshoot! This is further proof that Ford had a pretty inflated ego, and that alcohol can really make you do some strange things.
1. Ford Was Fired As Mayor—But Didn’t Quit
In 2012, a judge removed Rob Ford from the office of mayor. Ford was ordered to step down because he violated conflict-of-interest laws. However, Ford was able to appeal the judge’s decision and kept his position as mayor. We’re guessing there were days he may have regretted this decision. Chances are he was just fighting for the mayoral spot from a place of pride. If Ford would have left when the judge ordered him to, he may not have been scrutinized so closely. For example, after getting back in office, Ford let an f-bomb slip after he walked directly into a TV camera. Then one St. Patrick’s Day, Ford was escorted out of Bier Markt bar after he rushed the dance floor and was extremely drunk and erratic. These things probably wouldn’t have created such a buzz if Ford wasn’t mayor at the time.