Monday, November 26, 2012

The Last 24 Hours

Tuesday November 27, 12:25 a.m.

It must be a great day to be a journalist of any kind in Toronto. I can imagine reporters everywhere kneeling in their bedrooms tonight and just looking upwards with a beatifically joyous gleam, screaming "THANK YOU, LORD!!! OH, THANK YOU!!!"

I would've thought that the only thing that could steal the headlines from the Argos winning the Grey Cup (the first time the team has done so on home turf in 50 years) was a miraculous agreement between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association. I was quite wrong. Instead, it turned out to be the firing of Mayor Rob Ford, around 12 hours after the Argos made it official.

Ford was found guilty of breaking conflict-of-interest rules for using official City Council resources to ask for donations for his football foundation back when he was still a councillor. This was back in 2010, and I guess it isn't just the arm of the law that's is the memory. And the judge was having none of it. Citing the need for administrators of high office to be held to a high standard, the judge took away Ford's council seat and gave him 2 weeks to clear out his things and get out of City Hall. Wow! I thought this reality was the least likely option; my feelings had been that the judge would've given Ford a stern lecture and ordered him to return the donated money but allowed him to keep his job.

But with this verdict, the journalists are just jumping and jiving. And it looks like the population may be evenly divided. In any case, Ford was at his most truculent and said that he would fight the verdict "tooth and nail". Politics just became a nuclear hotbed in this city. And the ironic thing is that the Argonauts are gonna have their victory parade later today which will involve the team handing over the trophy to guess who? It should make for a fascinating and awkward moment.