This past Tuesday, the infamous former mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, passed away from cancer.
Ford was voted into office in 2010. After a string of scandalous events in the media in 2013, Toronto City Council reduced his mayoral power to a ceremonial basis after his numerous rejections to requests that he resign.
These events began when Gawker and the Toronto Star reported on a mysterious video of Ford smoking crack. The coverage went international, bringing Ford and Toronto under major scrutiny and mockery from every major media outlet you can imagine.
However, the notorious crack-smoking mayor’s death has brought about kind memories and praise of his passion for the city. Say what you will about him, but Rob Ford loved his community.
With that in mind, here’s a list of Ford’s top three successes in his political career.
He made Toronto relevant in the international sphere.
Toronto is a major city, one of the largest in North America. However until Ford received media attention, Toronto was mainly known as the bottom for Drake.
After the video scandal broke, Toronto was at the centre of the world (regardless of what kind of attention it was receiving). Most notably, comedians Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel, to name a few, took the opportunity to poke fun at Ford’s interviews.
Regardless, of the negative attention, Ford kept pressing forward, attending interviews and meeting with media outlets to emphasize that he wants people to understand how great Toronto is.
Even further, Ford inspired conversation among non-Toronto citizens. Although the conversation was negative, people were talking about Toronto and looking into the culture of the city.
Thanks to Ford, Toronto was brought into the media world and is becoming more of a cultural epicentre.
He worked hard to come back and serve his city.
As far as politician genuineness goes, Ford was the cream of the crop. His work as a City Councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North earned him a reputation as a passionate and dedicated politician for the people. Though he had a reputation for controversial comments, Ford was also known for passionate debates at Council meetings where he championed the cause of strict spending.
He was especially passionate about football, having acted as the couch for Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School from 2001 to 2013. After he was ousted as a drug addict, Ford went to rehab to get over his addiction. And when he was diagnosed with cancer, he withdrew from the 2014 mayor race to get better and come back fighting harder than ever. Ford loved Toronto, and although he was a flawed human being he only wanted to support his city and its citizens.
Brought conservatism back to Toronto.
Before Ford, Mayor David Miller was mayor of Toronto and was associated with the NDP. Before that, Mel Lastman was associated with the Liberals.
John Tory, who currently holds the mayoral office, led the Conservative Party of Ontario until 2009. Following Rob Ford, the city of Toronto is becoming more conservative, a trend he inspired. That’s arguably the biggest success of his political career.
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