The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Toronto mayor Rob Ford caught with crack cocaine

As of Nov. 5, another government official has run afoul of the law: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

According to CBS News, after Canadian police allegedly recovered a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine, the mayor retorted that he was in a state of severe drunkenness.

But does his argument justify smoking crack as mayor?

“His justification was that (he smoked) in a blackout drunken state, but why was he in the context of accessible crack?” said senior Kaitlin Estill, whose father and sister are Canadian citizens. “That raises a lot of questions.”

To the dismay of Canadian citizens, Ford’s misdemeanors don’t end with the crack cocaine incident.

“He has admitted to driving under the influence, and he’s been seen acting belligerently while in council and in public,” Toronto citizen Sébastien Lemieux told The Guilfordian in an email interview. “He clearly has an alcohol consumption problem, and he’s been linked to people that are involved in suspected drug trafficking.”

Ford denied all accusations of smoking crack until Toronto police reported the recovery of video footage.

“What bothers me about the situation is not so much that he smoked crack and that there are videos of him acting violently when very drunk circulating the Internet,” Estill said. “It’s the fact that, when the videos came out, that’s when he owned up to it and made the public statement.”

Toronto constituents are widely displeased with their mayor, not only for his personal actions but political decisions as well.

“He’s been a horrible mayor,” said Lemieux. “Unfortunately, he’s got strong support from a very conservative group called Ford Nation. He’s been acting irresponsibly, been interested in very few social issues and does not represent the diversity and liberal views of Torontonians.”

On Nov. 14, just one week after Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine, Forum Research randomly surveyed 1,843 Canadians ages 18 or older.

The result: 69 percent concluded that Ford should resign.

“I think a lot of Canadians are ashamed by his actions and wish he would have resigned a long time ago,” said Lemieux. “Unfortunately, there still seems to be group of misguided conservative(s) that support him.”

Due to the Canadian law system, little can be done to remove Ford from office.

“The only way he would be removed from office would be if charges were brought against him by the police,” said Lemieux. “The police have investigated him, but so far no charges have been brought up.”

Although he cannot be removed from office, Ford’s power can still be limited.

“He’s still mayor, but his council won’t work with him and has stripped him of most of his powers and budget,” said Lemieux.  The question now remains: is the act of smoking crack cocaine in a drunken stupor forgivable?

In 1990, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was also videotaped smoking crack cocaine. As a result, FBI officials arrested Barry and he served six months in a federal prison.

“Barry was not only a criminal but also a terrible politician,” said senior and D.C. citizen James Rowe. “Ford’s actions are very similar to (those of) Barry.”

While little can be done to forcefully remove Ford from office, many Toronto citizens await the day his term comes to an end.

“They just want him gone,” said senior Christopher Haswell-Henion.

Citizens hope that Ford will take responsibility for his actions and personally resign from his mayoral duties.

“It’s time he does something selfless for a change and moves on,” said Lemieux.

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