Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, dubbed “Crack Mayor,” took a trip to Los Angeles this weekend, stating that he planned the trip in order to “promote Toronto.” Ford arrived at LAX on Saturday, where he was greeted by late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel.
However, there are some who were skeptical about Ford’s motives and whether Ford’s presence would effectively promote their city. People took to Twitter saying that it was more likely that the mayor would embarrass the people of Toronto.
Ford spoke to CBC News by telephone on Sunday afternoon, saying that he was simply doing his job while in LA. “I’m here to promote and sell Toronto,” Mayor Ford told CBC News during the interview.
He added, “Tourism Toronto must be doing cartwheels getting all this free advertising and that’s the purpose of the trip.”
Councillor Ford, the mayor’s brother, was adamant that the trip was purely political and that Toronto’s “taxpayers are not paying for a penny of it.” He added that the trip was being paid for partially out of their own pocket and that the rest of the cost was being covered by Kimmel’s show.
Meanwhile, back in Toronto, Councillor Joe Mihevc said he doesn’t believe that the mayor travelled to LA simply to promote the Toronto.
Speaking with CBC News at his Toronto home, Mihevc said Sunday, “It is another chapter in the absurd story that we’ve been living over the past few years.” He added, “For [Ford], I think it is really trying to leverage his notoriety and be attached to the star power that he hopes will then lead on to a successful election campaign this October.”
Drug Scandal and Controversies
Mayor Rob Ford has campaigned under the guise that he is “an average, hard-working guy,” yet his actions – past and present – have involved him being in the spotlight as more of a celebrity. And it’s generally not positive publicity.
The mayor is best known, of late, for his admissions to smoking crack and showing up drunk at the policemen’s gala.
He has become a widely recognized public figure and the butt of jokes by many a late-night comedian, including Kimmel, who has been mocking Ford for months in the wake of the drug scandal. Yet, Kimmel managed to snag the mayor as a guest on his show Monday night.
Ford said that, after many requests, he agreed to go on Kimmel’s show after receiving a personal appeal from the host, telling CBC News that Kimmel “personally called me on my cellphone to invite me down here.”
But councillors at Toronto’s City Hall on the Monday prior to the LA trip dismissed Ford’s claim that his trip was solely for the purpose of promoting Toronto’s film industry and predicted his visit would do more harm than good.
Councillor Jaye Robinson said, “It is more related to him being notorious than him being famous.”
Councillor Mihevc added that “maybe someone should tell the mayor … the world is laughing and they are not laughing with him, they are laughing at him.”
A Brief History of Ford’s Political Career
Mayor Rob Ford, 44, is a married father of two, and is in the fourth year of his mayoral term. Prior to being elected mayor in 2010, Ford served as a city councilor for 10 years.
He is currently running for re-election for Toronto Mayor, despite numerous requests to step down in the wake of the drug-related scandal that cast him and his city in a negative light on the international stage.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.