Friday, September 29, 2017

Naming a stadium after Rob Ford would be the worst kind of revisionism

Current Toronto mayor John Tory has blotted his copy book with his plan to rename Centennial Park's sports stadium after the late, disgraced Toronto ex-mayor, Rob Ford.
Tory says that we should "put politics to one side" and recognize someone who "gave a big part of his life to public service". In reality, what Tory is probably doing is avoiding giving brother Doug Ford political capital before he joins the race for Toronto's next mayor. Another way of looking at it is weaselling out and taking the easy route rather than coming out with the truth that Rob Ford was the single worst and most divisive mayor Toronto has ever had, and that he inflicted substantial damage on the city's reputation during his tenure which is only now being repaired.
Maybe it is churlish to speak ill of the dead, but sometimes you just need to tell it like it is. Rob Ford was not a hero or a national (or even municipal) treasure, he was an unmitigated disaster. To reward him for bad behaviour is wrong-headed, sends the wrong message completely, and represents the worst kind of historical revisionism. Grow some political balls, Tory.

Cooler, or at least more sensible, heads have prevailed, and Toronto City Council has voted 24-11 against a Rob Ford Stadium.
I have a suspicion that John Tory was maybe relying on that, and is probably heaving a deep sigh of relief right now.

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