Finally, Some Clarity in the Rob Ford Scandal

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.

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