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Rob Ford saga ignites discussion at Langara

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford garnered a great deal of attention recently when he was publicly embarrassed no fewer than three times.

Langara students and faculty weighed in on Ford’s particularly bad week.

“I personally think that he is wrong to have not resigned because it is not his office, it is the office of the Mayor of Toronto,” said Ameer Mohammad of the Langara Debate Club. “The sanctity and reputation of the office has been impacted and damaged in the eyes of the country and world.”

Damian Jesus Sandoval (left) of Langara's New Noise Club believes all the talk about Rob Ford's personal life is keeping people from looking at real problems. Photo by Nick Eagland
Damian Jesus Sandoval (left) and Jake Palmour (right), members of Langara’s New Noise Club, believe all the talk about Rob Ford’s personal life is keeping people from looking at the real problems at hand. Photo by Nick Eagland

Political science instructor Stephen Phillips said the mercurial Ford’s “political longevity has yet to be determined.”

“An ordinary politician would have long since been hobbled by previous indiscretions and if not, had their political career effectively terminated. He seems to have weathered a lot of storms and defied the odds on past occasions. This time it kind of looks like he’s reached the end of the line because his most loyal supporters are beginning to abandon him.”

Student Angela Liu, co-chair of the B.C. Youth New Democrats, said she didn’t think Ford would resign unless he was offered a better job.

“I don’t think that he’s a very responsible politician, given what he’s done. I think that the next election coming up in Toronto is going to be very important for the city and it’s going to be a big turning point for them.”

Student Jesus Damian Sandoval of the New Noise club at Langara said the focus on Ford’s troubles detracts from more important issues.

“Aside from his personality or deficiencies as a politician, I feel like focusing on an addiction, something that’s maybe a result of mental illness as a means to dehumanize or delegitimize somebody–I don’t see that as justifiable. What does that say about people living in the Downtown Eastside that are living with addiction?”

Student Jake Palmour, also of New Noise, voiced similar concerns.

“There are thousands of people living on the streets of Vancouver that are victims of the disease that Mr. Ford has characterized, who unfortunately don’t get any help. Our outrage to somebody having an addiction, which could be equated to type 2 diabetes or cancer or mental health issues, is pretty unjust.”

With Toronto’s mayoral election taking place on Oct. 27, 2014, Ford has given himself a year to prove his critics wrong or go down in flames.

Reported by Nick Eagland

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