Rob Ford has long railed against the liberal elites coalescing in a vast conspiracy to take him down. Now Ford could say the same thing about right-wing conservatives who are abandoning the mayor.
One thing seems clear after Monday’s events: both right- and left-wingers want Ford out of office, either temporarily or permanently.
The latest to distance themselves from the crack-smoking civic leader are Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.
“These latest allegations are troubling,” said Harper spokesperson Carl Vallée in an email Monday. “Our government does not condone illegal drug use, especially by elected officials while in office.”
It was the first time the Prime Minister’s Office had weighed in on the Ford scandal.
Hudak, who’s also been quiet on Ford until now, said earlier Monday that the mayor should take a leave from office because “he needs to get healthy.” Hudak also said he’d support Premier Kathleen Wynne if Toronto’s city council wants more powers to deal with the mayor.
These are tough times for Rob Ford, seemingly standing alone on the political stage with only brother Doug at his side.
The pro-Ford Toronto Taxpayer’s Coalition still supports any politician who stands for lowering taxes, including the mayor. Yet its endorsement comes with a caveat:
“If the ongoing controversy surrounding the mayor impacts on his ability to do his job or to carry out his agenda he should consider at least temporarily stepping aside,” said the coalition’s president, Matthew McGuire, in an email. “We need to end the media circus and we need the mayor to seek out help for the good of his health.”
The mayor has lost support of every right-leaning member of council, save for his brother Doug. That includes former staunch supporters such as Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, Michael Thompson and longtime ally Giorgio Mammolitti.
Minutes after the mayor admitted smoking crack, the federal Justice Minister and close ally to Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay, spoke out against Ford.
“I’m the justice minister,” MacKay told reporters on Nov. 5, “you know where I stand on the use of illegal drugs. As a human being, I think that the mayor of Toronto needs to get help.”