March 24, 2016
Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, on Tuesday of this week, Toronto city councillor and former Mayor Rob Ford died at the age of 46. As a former mayor of Toronto myself, I rise today to pay my respects to one of our country’s most noted political figures.
There is no denying that Rob Ford was an astute political representative who cared about his city. He inspired devotion in his supporters, who took to describing themselves as members of “Ford Nation.”
I have no doubt that this was a man who cared deeply for his constituents and was prepared to work tirelessly toward what he felt was in their best interests. Yet, though he seemed larger than life to supporters and opponents alike, Mr. Ford was ultimately a human being, with all the complexities and faults this entails. In his case, these troubles were strewn across screens not just in Canada but around the world, and were magnified even further by a painfully obvious drug and alcohol addiction — one that he himself finally admitted to by checking into a rehabilitation clinic in May of 2014.
Following his time in rehab, he was revitalized and was anxious to continue working for the people of Toronto. As we all know, these endeavors were cut short by an aggressive form of abdominal cancer, which eventually took his life.
A complicated man who leaves a mixed legacy, Rob Ford will retain the adoration of countless Torontonians. He was loved deeply by his friends and his family, especially his two young children, who now find themselves without a father. I believe I can confidently speak for all of us when I say our thoughts and sympathies go out to all of them.