EDITORIAL: Toronto mayor’s troubles relevant across the country

Former Parksville mayor points to the power of Canada's largest city

Dude, get some help.

Canada’s largest city has a leadership crisis. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted smoking crack and almost every day some new, embarrassing revelation comes to light. On Thursday it was a video of an expletive-filled rant. Who knows what’s next.

The late-night talk show hosts south of the border have a had a field day with this story. To us, the story is not funny. Not sure it ever was.

What does this have to do with Parksville Qualicum Beach? Not a lot, perhaps. It does remind us, however, how fortunate we are to have the leaders we do, despite the philosophical disagreements we see every week around council tables in the region.

Ed Mayne is a former Parksville mayor, and he grew up not far from Toronto. Once in a while he listens to Rob Ford’s radio show through the Internet.

“You know, he’s not a dummy when it comes to most things,” said Mayne. “But his personal life is a train wreck.”

The Ford saga may be a relevant story for all of the country, considering the influence Hogtown has in national circles.

“The mayor of Toronto has more power than the premier of, say, Saskatchewan,” said Mayne. “I’m not picking on Saskatchewan, I’m talking size alone, population, budget-wise.”

Is this the worst kind of behaviour by a mayor Mayne can remember? How about the Montreal/Laval men tossed from office in corruption cases?

“That’s almost honourable compared to what this (Ford) is,” said Mayne.

West of Kenora, actually, west of North Bay, Toronto isn’t the most loved city. We’ve heard it has something to do with the perception that Hogtowners believe they reside in the centre of the universe, or something like that. Or perhaps it’s because it is the media centre of the Canadian universe, which sticks in the craw of westerners. One thing is for sure, regardless of the city: you get what you deserve when you cast your vote. In that vein, we leave the last word to Mayne:

“That’s the same group of people who elected Mel Lastman four times.”

— Editorial by John Harding