Notorious former Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, has passed away, leaving behind a rather trifling legacy. The contentious Canadian politician died on March 22 at the age of 46. It’s been reported that Rob Ford died after battling with cancer for almost two years. The news was confirmed by Rob Ford’s official Twitter account with a tweet saying “Just posted a photo” and tagging the late mayor’s photo on Instagram.
@TorontoRobFord aren’t you supposed to be dead
— Sam (@ASAPAlltwinkle) March 23, 2016
For days before his death, the news of Rob Ford being hospitalized had already started generating death hoaxes. To reach out to his supporters for blessings, Rob Ford’s team had asked the followers to send their messages on a web site dedicated to his health. In the month of March, Rob Ford’s Twitter was flooded with the tweets asking how his health had been and how the Ford family was handling the situation.
Already at almost 1,000 comments and growing, thank you for your support.
Send your message to Councillor Rob Ford https://t.co/tONA5G7wGZ
— Rob Ford (@TorontoRobFord) March 7, 2016
For those who are unaware of it, in September 2014, Rob Ford had been diagnosed with a rare cancer called pleomorphic liposarcoma. Prior to his diagnosis, Rob Ford had been suffering from abdominal pains, which led him to undergo chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor. Rob Ford had been suffering from the cancer for over two years and was hospitalized in critical condition on March 17, which unfortunately led to his succumbing to the disease days later.
Rob Ford’s death has been an eye-opener for powerful politicians implicated in drug abuse. Before being diagnosed with cancer, Rob Ford had been infamous for his addiction to crack cocaine. After several videos of his neurotic behavior as a result of consuming drugs started surfacing on the Internet, Ford publicly admitted to his substance abuse in 2013.
Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine isn’t the first case involving addiction for this politically powerful family. The Ford family’s history with drug dealing dates back to Rob Ford’s youth; his sister also struggles with alcoholism. During his days as football coach of a school team, Rob Ford was sued for physical assault and drug abuse. So, let’s count down some of the controversial incidents that landed Rob Ford in an uncanny spotlight of political leadership.
DUI and Drug Possession in 1999
Before Rob Ford entered the political arena, he had been quite an outlaw himself. During his mayoral campaign in 2010, Rob’s reputation was smeared when a mugshot photo and criminal records from his 1999 arrest on the charges of driving under influence (DUI) and possession of marijuana surfaced. Even though the charges were withdrawn and Ford agreed to pay the fine, this became quiet hurdle for his start into politics.
Hockey Game Incident in 2006
Before Rob Ford was elected as Toronto’s mayor in 2010, he had been in trouble as a city councilor. In April 2006, Rob was at a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game at the Air Canada Center when some sort of chaos was created by the then-councilor. It was reported that, while watching the game, Rob had insulted a couple that was sitting behind him. It is said that Ford went so berserk that security had to escort him out of the stadium.
Racism and Homophobia
Rob Ford is also accused of being racist after hearing his speech as a city councilor in 2008. Rob Ford made a controversial speech on cultural diversity and allegedly insulted the Asian communities by saying, “Those oriental people work like dogs… That’s why they’re successful in life…[sic].” Rob dissed the cultural work ethics of people by talking trash about Asian countries like North Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. While some of the listeners found Rob Ford funny, most of them—including his —were irked by his insensitive racial slurs.
In 2010, Rob Ford endorsed pastor Wendell Brereton for the latter’s anti-gay comments. Ford spoke of supporting “traditional marriage” as opposed to same-sex marriage. A debate transcript from 2006 showed Rob blaming the homosexual community for the spread of HIV and AIDS. Ford said, “If you’re not doing needles and you’re not gay, then you won’t get Aids probably [sic],” which became a public statement illustrating his homophobic attitude.
Drug Abuse and Assault Allegations
Rob Ford’s wife Renata charged him for threats and assault in 2008. Even though she withdrew her charges within 10 minutes, this became a setback for Ford’s political career. He was also charged for sexual assault by his political rival Sarah Thomson, who stated that Ford had been profane with her while under the influence of drugs.
Speaking of drugs, it’s been alleged that his extensive drug abuse and addiction to crack cocaine is what led to Rob Ford being dead. Cancer is known as a common symptom of overdosing on these fatal drugs. Videos of the ex-mayor of Toronto ranting in gibberish after taking the drugs still circulate from time to time. In fact, there’s one video that revealed Rob Ford’s drug problems and even showed him consuming crack. News blogger Gawker and Canadian newspaper Toronto Star claimed to have had footage of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine with local gang members. This made Rob Ford burst into an unfavorable limelight as a drug addict. And sadly, that will likely be the most significant part of Rob Ford’s legacy.