Toronto, Ontario – Robert Bruce Ford, born May 28, 1969 in Etobicoke, died Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 at the Mount Sinai Hospital, aged 46, following a lengthy 18 month battle with cancer.
He leaves behind his wife, Renata, and two young children, Stephanie and Dougie. Potentially the world’s most famous mayor, Mr. Ford leaves behind an impressive political legacy, fraught with scandal. Ford served three terms as city councilor from 2000 until October 2010, known for his critique of councilors’ spending and his passionate arguments at Council. He once proposed to cut each Councilors’ office budget stating “If we wiped out the perks for council members, we’d save $100 million, easy.” according to the Globe and Mail. Ford made a priority of responding to constituents concerns, often returning calls himself.
After his time as the representative for Etobicoke North, Mr. Ford set his sights on the Mayoral office of Toronto. In October of 2010 he received 47% of the vote. First diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma in the middle of his re-election campaign forcing him to abandon his bid. After his diagnosis his family set up a website, www.getwellrobford.com where well-wishers could leave messages of support. The Ford family left this statement on the page: “We would like to thank the great people of Toronto for all the support that we have received in light of Rob’s recent developments with his battle against cancer. We decided to create this website to provide a venue for you to reach out to Rob and leave him a special message and/or post your pictures with him. Thank you once again, from our family to yours. Sincerely, – Doug Ford”.
It becomes clear as you read the messages left on the page that Mayor Ford was a man beloved by the people whose lives he touched. One post reads “Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the greatest city in the world, Toronto.” another says, “Ford was a man that cared for us, the people.”
Those are just a few of the hundreds of messages left by mourners. One thing is clear, Robert Ford had a passion that went beyond politics. Although his years in office were rife with controversy it is clear that he was truly a man of the people. Mr. Ford was an inspiring individual who will be missed most dearly by those who were close to him.
Rest in peace Mr. Ford,
Contributor, The Athenaeum