On the morning of Rob Ford’s passing, did we hear a rehash of his notorious behaviour and larger-than-life personality? No. We heard that Rob was a man of the people. That he worked tirelessly in the best interests of the people and his beloved Toronto. That there was a reason his popularity was so high.
Countless man-on-the-street comments echoed the same sentiment with an unquestionable ring of truth: Rob cared about the people. He would show up at your house, in person, to help you with a problem; he battled unions if it meant reducing unnecessary redundancies and waste in city hall; he cared.
All the comments from so many different walks of life could be reduced to one, undeniable truth: Rob wanted only the best for his city and his people, and was prepared to fight hard for them.
The only reason I know the name Rob Ford is because of the sensationalistic reporting of his exploits while in the grip of substance-abuse demons.
I never heard of the characteristics that got him elected mayor of Canada’s largest city in the first place. Never heard of his tireless, often very personal, support to his citizens. Never heard of his work in city hall to make it more efficient, cost-effective and useful.
It saddens and angers me in equal measure to find out after the fact that there was so much more to Rob Ford than the nonsense.
Rest peacefully now, Rob. On so many levels, you deserve it.