March 22, 2016
Toronto, ON – It is with profound sadness that we come to terms with the death of former mayor, Rob Ford. The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition sends our condolences and our prayers to his wife, Renata Ford, his children Stephanie and Douglas, and the entire Ford family.
We looked on with pride as Mayor Rob Ford continued campaigning for election as councillor in Ward Two after being diagnosed with cancer in 2014. That action embodied the spirit of Rob: determined to serve his community, determined to represent the taxpayer, selflessness above all else.
Rob Ford served his constituents as councillor for 10 years, and as Mayor of Toronto for 4 years. During that time he built was is referred to as “Ford Nation”: a coalition of taxpayers (both citizens and permanent residents), who were often ignored by the political elites and the establishment but found a genuine champion in Rob Ford. It is this coalition of voters in his ward, and across the city, where Rob Ford found his greatest support. He was the champion of the everyman. The champion of the resident who is often ignored.
Rob Ford re-defined what it is to be a retail politician. Rob would regularly visit constituents at their home, TCHC residents at their buildings, and call whoever he could not reach directly. He was passionate about people and public service, and represented constituents without prejudice. That is a quality rare in modern politics.
Many of our Coalition members were proud supporters of Rob Ford. To us, he showed incredible kindness and partnership, and a genuine desire to make Toronto great.
When Rob Ford faced well-documented personal struggles, Ford Nation stood by him and many others looked on with wonder. To us, his support amidst the turmoil made sense: Rob Ford made people feel special. The least we could do was show him the love and compassion he showed Torontonians as their representative.
Every person deserves a second shot at a better personal life. Unfortunately, Rob Ford was denied this due to the terrible disease that is cancer. Our thoughts our with his family.
Rest in peace, Mr. Mayor. You will be missed.