News, Politics

Toronto’s Mayor Gives Himself A Time-Out

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This photo of Rob Ford was taken in 2011; image: West Annex News.
This photo of Rob Ford was taken in 2011; image: Louise Morin, West Annex News.

The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, said Wednesday night that he is going to stop being mayor for awhile so he can get help with his drinking problem.

In a statement yesterday the mayor said that “for some time” he has struggled with “alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence.”

Now, he says, he realizes that he needs to get help.

He is in the middle of an election campaign. In October, the people of Toronto will vote to decide who will be the next mayor.

Rob Ford has been campaigning for re-election. However, he has decided to stop campaigning and stop being the mayor—at least for now. His lawyer told CBC News that Ford is not dropping out of the election.

Rob Ford has been the focus of international attention this year. There have been many reports of the mayor saying and doing inappropriate things.

There is a large group of people in Toronto, often known as “Ford Nation,” who support the mayor because they say he does not raise taxes and saves money for the people in the city.

In his statement, Ford asked his supporters to “please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.”

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly; image: Andrew Louis
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly; image: Andrew Louis

The mayor did not say exactly what he will do to get help, but reporters say he left Thursday morning in his car, with a suitcase.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has taken over all of Ford’s responsibilities. He has the power to make decisions and to represent the city.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Many people believe that Rob Ford has an addiction problem.

What is addiction? What does it mean to be addicted to something? What kind of help can people get who have addiction problems?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
Tell this story from Rob Ford’s point of view, from the point of view of a Toronto resident, and from the point of view of leading mayoral candidate Olivia Chow.

Junior
Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Intermediate
Identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Language Feature: Antonym
An antonym has the opposite meaning of a word. For example, an antonym for ‘happy’ could be ‘sad’.

Think of antonyms for the following words in the article:
1. night
2. stop
3. struggle
4. dropping out
5. support
6. saves
7. difficult
8. help