Scarborough politicians react to Rob Ford’s latest legal debacle

“Ford is turning Toronto into a joke, and people in Europe and the U.S are laughing at us because of his antics,” said Scarborough Centre councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who is not impressed with Mayor Rob Ford.

On Nov. 26 Ford was ordered out of office by a judge for breaching conflict of interest guidelines and De Baeremaeker was adamant that Ford was thrown out of office for legitimate reasons.

“The mayor continues to behave inappropriately and that is why the judge made this decision. People need to understand the dangers of corruption and fraud, these are very serious issues,” De Baeremaeker said.

He went on to say that Ford’s defence that he was ignorant of the rules and that he was just trying to collect money for his charity is unacceptable.

“This is not Ford’s first day on the job, he has been a councillor for 10 years. It is his responsibility to be aware of the rules and to obey the law,” De Baeremaeker said. “He is supposed to set an example to other citizens, we expect more from people who hold office.”

Ford is facing several other legal problems as well, including allegations that he spent money in violation of the election finance act and a restaurant slander lawsuit.

I am embarrassed by this mayor.

— Glen De Baeremaeker

“Politicians are expected to obey the law especially when it comes to financial matters,” De Baeremaeker said. ”We are not supposed to take money from people even if it’s for a charity. This is considered a tipping fee, it is inappropriate.”

The councillor did not hold back when reacting to the way Ford has behaved in the past.

“Ford has been drunk at a hockey game, has called someone a waste of skin, chased reporters. I am embarrassed by this mayor,” De Baeremaeker said.

Jim Karygiannis, MP for Scarborough-Agincourt also said he was not enthralled with Mayor Rob Ford.

“For ethics he was ordered by a judge to step down. As a politician of 24 years, I try my best to adhere to a high ethics code of conduct,” Karygiannis said.

Although he was hesitant to comment on the details of Ford’s legal troubles, Karygiannis, who is the Liberal multicultural critic, admitted that he is not a Ford supporter.

“I didn’t vote for Ford and would never vote for him,” Karygiannis said. “Ford does not try to build consensus, he delayed the construction of the LRT.”

The MP insisted that the work the mayor is doing will only be judged by the voters in a by-election or mayoral election.

De Baeremaeker went on to criticize Ford’s record on the environment, claiming that Ford is the worst mayor in history in regards to his position on these very serious issues.

Ford has stopped investment on the green bin plan for highrises and has also cancelled a project to protect wetlands.

“The environment is something that is very important to me. I have worked very hard to protect the Rouge Valley and to ensure clean water and air,” De Baeremaeker said. “All the good work that we have done to try to protect the environment Ford has either stopped or put on hold.”

About this article

By: Valentina Krgovic
Copy editor: Elita Tsilo
Posted: Dec 8 2012 11:19 pm
Filed under: Opinion