The Gift That Just Keeps Giving

As best we can, we promise not to make this a weekly (daily?) habit. Highlighting the latest Rob Ford eye-popping head-scratcher is too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel. A barrel with no water. And with one of those huge ass, on-the-shoulder anti-tank guns.

So easy as to almost make you feel embarrassed for doing it. A bully picking on the fattest, dumbest, most disagreeable kid in the school yard. You don’t want to but you just can’t help yourself.

Besides, the man is running for mayor.

We’ve already publicly shaken our collective heads at some of candidate Ford’s ideas that emerged during the first unofficial official mayoral debate last Monday. Somehow this little gem whizzed in under our radar until a couple days ago. It seems that a Mayor Ford (the bowels loosened a little just writing that) would seek to bring back Julian Fantino as Toronto’s police chief.

Wha’!?-Huh?!?-You Got To Be Joking!-Are You Nuts?!-What The Fuck Is On Your Mind!?!-Wh-wh-whaaAAAATT?????

It is a testament to just how out of step Ford is with what’s been going on in this city that he could even contemplate restoring such a divisive figure as Fantino to the office of police chief. Has the councillor not noticed how quiet and peaceful relations have been between the public and the police since Fantino left in 2005? Aside from the annual questions about its ever-growing budget demands, calm has descended under Bill Blair’s watch. Meanwhile controversy and cantankerousness have followed Fantino to his position as OPP commissioner just as they did here in Toronto and during his tenure as police chief in London throughout the 90s.

Why would Ford even contemplate stirring up the hornet’s nest again with Fantino? What does it say about him as a politician and possible mayor? (Yikes! The bowels went jittery again.)

Like Fantino, he displays little aptitude for working well with others. He has no time for those who don’t share his point of view. What he thinks of as down-to-earth bluntness and straightforward directness is, in fact, bull-headed, willful stubbornness and single-minded ignorance. Qualities you might find admirable in a guard dog but wholly ill-fitting in a mayor of a metropolitan city.

Why, oh why, is anyone other than the truly boneheaded taking this man’s candidacy as mayor of Toronto at all seriously?

non-rhetorically submitted by Cityslikr

5 thoughts on “The Gift That Just Keeps Giving

  1. Last I checked, the majority of the controversy that has dogged Chief Fantino lately has to do with his efforts to keep the more egregious white supremacists from stirring the pot over efforts by the Six nations to reclaim some of their stolen land in Caledonia. I don’t think that controversy has more than one right side, and Fantino, for whatever reasons, has taken the right side. Just something to keep in mind: it doesn’t do to assume that someone in a conflict must have taken the wrong side of it.

    • Dear Mr. Spragge,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke wonder if you’re suggesting that the police should be allowed to ignore the laws that they have sworn to uphold as long as they are going after the “right” kind of target? And by “right” we, of course, mean “wrong”. In this particular case, the targets are alleged white supremacists.

      Should we set aside Section 123 (2) of the Criminal Code of Canada that rules it illegal “to influence or attempt to influence a municipal official in municipal activities by means of threats” as long as the police are going after true bad guys?

      That aside, our post was not a direct attack on Chief Fantino. We were only mulling over the political acumen of Councillor Ford who vowed to bring Fantino as police chief if he was elected mayor. What possible reason would he have to do that? As we stated, regardless of your opinion of Fantino, he has proven to be a contentious figure in at least 3 of his postings in London, Toronto and now the O.P.P. A certain calm and quiet has descended since Chief Blair has assumed the top spot on the Police Services. If John Lorinc is to be believed (), Bill Blair has been as close to an ideal police chief as one could humanly expect unless you’re John Sewell and much of the bitter struggle we witnessed between the city and its police force in the early part of last decade could’ve been avoided had Mel Lastman and his cadre simply followed protocol and appointed Blair chief in 2000 and not parachuted Julian Fantino into the job.

      What could possibly be gained by overturning this particular apple cart?

      • OK – obligatory disclaimer. Chief Blair has done an excellent job, and I do not endorse replacing him with Mr. Fantino. Nor do I endorse any of the rest of Mr. Ford’s platform, aside from noting that he’s actually managed to come in to the left of Rocco Rossi on bike lanes.

        All that said, your invocation of “controversy” around Fantino’s behaviour, and subsequent question about whether I think the ends justify the means, ignores two things: first, the crown withdrew the charges against Mr. Fantino, ruling that he did nothing wrong. And second, reading the criminal code sections concerned, it seems to me utterly ludicrous to claim they prohibit an official of the police from asking of demanding that municipal politicians not contribute to the promotion of civil disorders.

        In short, I regard your choice to make Mr. Fantino the focus of your sneers against Rob Ford ill-considered. Bringing Mr. Fantino back to replace Mr. Blair makes no sense from any perspective, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Fantino doesn’t deserve a fair account of his actions.

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