Thursday 22 March 2018

Former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford (46) passes away

David Lawler in Washington

Rob Ford, the populist and scandal-plagued former mayor of Toronto, died yesterday, his family announced in a statement.

Beloved and ridiculed during his tumultuous political career Ford (46) came to international attention in 2013 in the wake of drug and alcohol abuse scandals.

He defied calls to resign from office, but withdrew his re-election bid for mayor the following year after a cancerous tumour was discovered in his abdomen. He ran for city council instead, and was elected overwhelmingly.

John Tory, Ford's successor as mayor, said he was saddened by the news of his death.

"His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto," Mr Tory said in a statement.

"He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed."

Ford was a conservative who ran for office with the promise to cut government spending in order to ease the burden on taxpayers.

He made international headlines in 2013 when a series of videos surfaced of him appearing highly inebriated. One particularly damaging video appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

He initially denied using drugs, but eventually admitted that he had smoked crack in "one of my drunken stupors".

The scandals continued to spiral, with another video appearing to show a drunken Ford making threats of violence.

Ford apologised for his drug use and for the apparent threats, but insisted that he was not an addict.

He refused to resign from office despite the city council voting overwhelmingly to ask him to step down.

He finally took a two-month leave of absence beginning in April of 2014.

He had been in treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer called pleomorphic liposarcoma. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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