An open letter to Toronto City Council

Hey guys,

Tough week, hey? We all knew Mayor Ford was trouble, but the last few days have really highlighted just how much trouble–although I suspect, and I know you suspect, that more will soon be revealed. (I’m not even going to bother linking to anything here; THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS, AND IS TALKING ABOUT, WHAT CHUMPS WE ARE.)

So, here’s the thing. The guy is obviously a drug addict and alcoholic losing his shit fast, and by not finding a way to kick him out, you’re enabling him. We’re all enabling him. He does this crazy, destructive, divisive shit and suffers no consequences; he’s not entirely to blame for insisting, and apparently believing, that he doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. Every time he is not called to account for his behavior this belief is confirmed for him. That’s on us.

This guy has got to go. I don’t care what you need to do. How are you going to explain to your constituents that you didn’t do everything possible to get him out–including possibly risking your own job–in the interests of their, and this whole city’s well-being? It’s a community; we’re all responsible, but you, Council, have more direct power than any of us on the outside.

Consider this analogy: Many years ago, my husband and I sublet a room in a house. Another subletter, let’s call him Hamish McFarlane, was a bit rough when we moved in but by the end of the summer, was in full alcoholic meltdown. He wasn’t paying rent. No one could find him to ask him for rent for months at time. When he was there, he wouldn’t come out of his bedroom; he would refuse to answer when anyone knocked. He would stay in that room for 12, 16, 24 hours at a time, if that’s what was required to avoid talking to anyone.

Once, when he thought no one was there, he got up and discovered, when he broke into my and my husband’s room, that he wasn’t alone. I’d been asleep and only woke up when I realized he was standing at the edge of the bed right behind me…and just watching. That was bad. He came in in the middle of the night once and started rifling through stuff…claimed to be looking to borrow a lighter when my husband busted him.

We all (us and the other subletter) put up with this for too long. Eventually, we realized, we were willing to risk pretty much anything (having the cops called on us, being sued, being threatened, paying all the rent ourselves), to just not have this guy in the house anymore. So one day when he was at work, we broke into his room, put his stuff outside and got the locks changed. My husband then called him to tell him this had been done.

Here’s the thing: yes, it was ugly and sneaky and hard and frightening–we really didn’t know what he’d do–but it had to be done, and this was confirmed when we went into that room. The stench was gag-inducing. There were pint glasses full of Hamish’s piss all over the room. Bags of we didn’t know what. Filth like I’ve never seen before or since.

The point is, the real disaster was infinitely worse than the corner, the little baby finger, of the disaster we were seeing when he was around. This is always the case with practicing drug addicts and alcoholics.

We’re starting to get the whole picture with Mayor Rob Ford, but we’re just beginning. It’s great that Toronto City Councillors are starting to agree that Ford needs at least a leave of absence; but what are you doing? What are you doing right now to make this happen? Talk to us, for fuck’s sake. Tell us what you are doing. Tell us what you can and can’t do. Tell us what we can do. Because appealing, publicly, to this guy’s either shame or decency is obviously not working.

So, talk to us. The entire city is glued to the news, to Twitter, to Facebook. We’re available.

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2 thoughts on “An open letter to Toronto City Council

  1. We don’t get all the details here but when we were listening to public radio Monday and they quoted your mayor as saying yeah he had smoked crack probably during one of his drunken stupors we were astonished. One of his drunken stupors says my husband? Which means there have been many. The dude needs rehab, stat. Good luck in getting him out of office!

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