Former Toronto, Canada mayor Rob Ford dies after struggle with cancerous tumors

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rob Ford in 2011.
Image: The City of Toronto.

Former mayor of Toronto, Canada Rob Ford died yesterday morning aged 46, following a cancerous tumor found in his abdomen in 2014 and two more in his bladder in 2015.

A statement issued by Ford's chief of staff Dan Jacobs called Ford a "dedicated man of the people" who "spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto."

The former mayor, whose father, a businessman, served on the Ontario Provincial Parliament, was elected mayor in 2010. Before entering office, he had served as a councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North, a district in Toronto. He described himself as an "ordinary guy" who wanted to show "respect for the taxpayers", and proposed measures to reduce taxes. Ford was known for personally returning phone calls from constituents and hosting a summer barbecue every year.

As a mayor, Ford supported expanding the city's subway system over expanding transit through cheaper means; this caused debate within the city council. Ford also implemented cost cutting measures for the taxpayer, including the abolition of a vehicle registration tax.

In 2013, Ford received global media coverage after a video apparently showing Ford smoking crack cocaine was shown to the press. This caused police to investigate Ford and discover he had links with drug dealers. In November of the same year, Ford admitted he may have smoked crack in a "drunken stupor". Then, videos apparently showing Ford making offensive comments to minorities and women surfaced. The resulting scandal caused the Toronto City council to remove most of Ford's powers; he wasn't removed from office, however, due to a technicality.