News, Politics

Rob Ford’s Problems Follow Him To Chicago

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Shaun Merritt
Mayor Rob Ford, seen here in happier times, hasn’t had much to smile about recently. Image: Shaun Merritt

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford went to Chicago, Illinois in the U.S. this week. He went to promote goodwill between the two cities and also to make some business deals. But he couldn’t shake the scandal that he’d left behind in Toronto.

The mayor has been accused of using city staff to help with his personal hobby of coaching football. He has also been accused of charging the cost of his car and other expenses to the city, even when they are used for football.

But if the city pays, it’s really the taxpayers who are paying. Taxpayers are the people who live in Toronto and who pay to run the city. That’s why there’s a law that says politicians and others who work in government cannot use the resources of the city (staff time, money, city equipment) for their own personal use.

Last summer, the mayor was in court because he voted in favour of a motion that said he would not have to give back some money that was donated to his football team.* The court has not made a decision on whether that was illegal or just bad judgement. The mayor said in court that he didn’t know that he was breaking any laws.

If Rob Ford is convicted in court, he could lose his job as mayor.

While he was in Chicago, the mayor made some good contacts. However, he also made a geography gaffe, mixing up Winnipeg, Manitoba with the Ontario city of Windsor. Speaking with a couple who said they had visited Canada, the mayor asked them where they’d been. They said it was where you ‘go past Detroit and the river.’ And the mayor replied that they had probably visited Winnipeg, Manitoba. (It was likely the couple had been in Windsor, Ontario.)

*The reasons Ford went to court are a bit complicated. An article in The Star explains it here.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Have you ever messed up and said the wrong thing? It’s very easy to do. Try to think of three reasons why Rob Ford may have accidentally said “Winnipeg” instead of “Windsor.”

Reading Prompt: Word Choice
There are many ways to say the same thing. For example, “Einstein was smart” means that same thing as “Einstein was intelligent.” But, then again, does it really mean the exact same thing? Although the ideas are the same, those two sentences give the reader a different feel and understanding. You see, the words we choose to use, like the colours a painter chooses, express more than our ideas–they also express our personality.

Reread today’s article and circle five words that reveal the style and personality of the author.

Primary
Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts  (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Junior
Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Intermediate
Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Grammar Feature: it’s vs. its
One of the most common mistakes in English is the confusion around it’s and its. It’s is a contraction and means two words: it is. For example, “It’s too hot to play outside.” Its, however, is not a contraction. It is a possessive word and means that something belongs to it. For example, “Its feet have long nails.”

Use the correct form of “its” and “it’s” in the examples below:

1. “___________ not fair!” she exclaimed.
2. He explained that ___________ mother flew away.
3. The family said that _____________ car was stolen.
4. They all agreed that ________________ too late to go to the movies.
5. “The penguin and _________ family travel together,” explained the teacher.