For those of us in Canada and abroad who have kept an eye to the news, there have been some very shocking revelations in the ongoing Rob Ford scandal, above all else that the mayor of Toronto has admitted he smoked crack cocaine and purchased illegal substances.
This, in and of itself, should rightfully merit charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act if we are to apply the law evenly to a holder of office as we would to anyone else on the street. Cocaine is a Schedule 1 controlled substance carrying a mandatory minimum sentence. Due to the recent toughening of Canadian drug laws and drug policy, law enforcement does not look kindly on either simple possession or transactions for the purposes of obtaining an illegal substance.
What most of us don’t know, however, is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Mayor Ford’s behaviour, and the subsequent investigation, have allegedly come to light as part of a much wider ranging surveillance effort by police called Project Traveller, and there have been extensive interviews, observation reports, and other investigative work done by constables and detectives with respect to not only the mayor, but a large number of individuals tied to the case who have alleged gang affiliations and criminal history.
CBC has been covering this story extensively.
Here is the full collection of documents, which spans some 474 pages and has been edited with personal identifiers and trial issues redacted by the publishing entity. The vast majority of the data, however, is out in the open and readable by anyone who wishes to download it.
Were I in Mr. Ford’s position, the honourable decision in this case would be to resign. Every unprofessional decision to date, be it using staffers for personal purposes or taking part in illegal activities, casts a state of ill repute upon his office, his city, and our country. It’s clear that he needs intensive counselling and intervention for his problems, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of his subordinates or constituents. This is a sad time for Canadian politics indeed.