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5 things Rob Ford accomplished in 2012

Posted by Derek Flack / December 19, 2012

Rob Ford 2012It's the holidays, so I'm in a giving mood. That means now is probably the best time to think back to what Mayor Rob Ford accomplished over 2012, an admittedly difficult year for Toronto's political leader. From his vindictive (and expensive) firing of former TTC GM Gary Webster, to the loss of his subway-centric vision for Toronto rapid transit, to multiple court appearances, the mayor's failures were plentiful and embarrassing this year, but let's shake things up a bit by looking back at some of his accomplishments, even if a few of them deserved the tag "dubious."

He managed to remain mayor
You know you're in trouble when this is the first item on the list, but given the verdict in his conflict of interest case, Ford should probably thankful that he was granted a stay during the appeal process. It seems dubious that he'll win that appeal, so the bigger question is whether or not I'll be able to add this item to next year's list of accomplishments.

He coached the Don Bosco Eagles to the City Finals
You know you're in trouble when this is the second item on the list, but even if he had his struggles on the floor of city council, Ford was able to take his high school football team almost all the way, finally suffering defeat at the Metro Bowl. So apparently skipping out of all those council meetings paid dividends after all.

He won the bag ban battle
It's probably not entirely fair to credit Rob Ford for victory on this one, as it was really the threat of legal action from interest groups that scared city council to reverse its decision on banning plastic bags. That said, the final outcome was one that aligned with Ford's desires, so I'll throw him a bone on this one.

He implemented private garbage collection west of Yonge
Not everyone will agree that this is a good thing, but the privatization of garbage collection was something that Rob Ford wanted to implement and he was able to see it through. Despite some first week hiccups, the Green For Life pick-up service seems to be getting the job done just fine and at a better rate for the city (for now).

He continues to attract interest in Toronto politics
Has city hall ever been more entertaining? Possibly. But the presence of Ford and his brother on council (not to mention the rise of #TOpoli on Twitter) have ensured that scores of new folks are tuning into see what's going on in the clamshell. And while many of these new observers might be critical of the mayor and his policies, renewed interest in local politics is surely a good thing. Thanks Rob!

Photo by BruceK in the blogTO Flickr pool



hendrix / December 19, 2012 at 04:15 pm
He managed to keep all that weight on.
Mayor of Spencerville / December 19, 2012 at 04:18 pm
He looks like an evil albino monster from outerspace
Hugo / December 19, 2012 at 04:49 pm
He took mayoralty to a new low, not just in Toronto but globally. He starred in one of the most amusing GIFs of the year
McRib / December 19, 2012 at 04:52 pm
6. Turned Toronto in to an international joke.
John Edgar / December 19, 2012 at 04:53 pm
Derek ❤ Rob Ford.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from McRib / December 19, 2012 at 05:18 pm
Seriously. You had:

- the embarrassing trip to Chicago, remembered only for "not one red cent", "Winnipeg" and being called "obnoxious" by a snarky Chicago newsblog.

- the Wall Street Journal noticing the utterly ridiculous Mayoral Weigh-Ins.

- the New York Times dispatching reporters from their Ottawa bureau to write about Ford's war with the Star

- American and international blogs dedicated to design and urban issues now regularly refer to Rob Ford as a nemesis, a barrier to good planning and one who casts a massive,dark shadow over the city.

- the BBC took note of Ford's astonishing removal of bike lanes and his devotion to plastic bags.

- and let's not forget the utter destruction of Ford (and Toronto, for that matter) in this negative essay in the Economist.

Even the most blind Ford supporter (Mark? Are you on unannounced vacation too?) would have to agree that this set of press clippings is a terrible achievement that cannot be merely blamed on the usual pinkos, commies, downtown elite, etc.
Malcolm Bastien / December 19, 2012 at 05:23 pm
I don't like being associated with the city I grew up in anymore.
steve replying to a comment from Giancarlo / December 19, 2012 at 05:36 pm
You new to Toronto?
SAML replying to a comment from Malcolm Bastien / December 19, 2012 at 05:46 pm
Then fuck off somewhere else last thing we need here is another crying bizatch
Parker / December 19, 2012 at 05:54 pm
Reading while driving on the Gardiner Expressway

Ditching Pride and LGBT Events

Hijacking 2 TTC buses full of passengers to chauffeur Don Bosco footbal team
Ace McNugget / December 19, 2012 at 05:56 pm
Hardly made international news, so he hasn't really ruined the reputation of Toronto on an international level. I remember reading when he was in Chicago his presence was not noted once in the US press despite regular coverage in the Canadian press. And most of the world doesn't know Toronto exists, so any coverage anywhere of his antics will at least raise the profile of our fair city.
Ace McNugget replying to a comment from SAML / December 19, 2012 at 06:01 pm
nice one SAML, anyone who doesn't agree with the way their city is being run should be forced to leave- impeccable logic. Extra points for your awkward faux-swearing.
Laka Dukus replying to a comment from McRib / December 19, 2012 at 06:10 pm
The joke is all the lefties who act like dictators and think everything should be their way and all the city budget should be spent downtown.
johnsonstarfish replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / December 19, 2012 at 06:31 pm
Actually, he is an international embarrassment. I just got back from 6 months of backpacking and met people from all over the world. I was surprised at how many people actually knew who he was. I felt like an American, having George Bush as a president. It was embarrassing to admit that he actually got voted in by the people of Toronto.
steve replying to a comment from Laka Dukus / December 19, 2012 at 06:35 pm
Ah Yes, think like a right winger. That is only fair all the money goes downtown. Since all of it generated down there. Downtowners are sick of the suburbs sucking at the teat of government. Stand on your own. /sarcasm
parkaboy / December 19, 2012 at 06:38 pm
His biggest victory would have to be the enduring support of so many of his minions, despite his blatant disregard for, well, anything but himself.

Hmmm. Maybe that's less his victory, than it is Ford Nation's failure.
MrsPotato / December 19, 2012 at 09:02 pm
I wish 'get teeth fixed' was on his accomplished list :(
pauletta d. replying to a comment from Laka Dukus / December 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm
What has Ford even done for the suburbs? I seriously can't think of one thing.
I can think of a couple of things he's screwed up in the suburbs:
His subway fantasy was just that - a fantasy. They are never going to be built, the funding and need just isn't there. Heck, Ford and pals did their best to lose the funding for any sort of transit expansion in the suburbs.
His, and his brothers, casino dreams have effectively killed their old, very expensive, shiny toy "woodbine live" which is in their own ward.
Here's just a few of the suburban investments I can think of off the top of my head that the last administration implemented: billions in transit expansion, the tower renewal project, priority neighbourhood funding and policing etc...
I get it, some people are "conservative" and they'll back their brand every time. I'll disagree with them on most issues - that's ok, and expected. but, Rob Ford is not a conservative, he's just a fool and a disaster - let him go.
ohyeah / December 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm
look it is a lefty circle jerk, got news for for you. Ford will easily win the next election he is loved in the burbs. Don't need down town to win anymore.
ohyeah replying to a comment from pauletta d. / December 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm
He got rid of the car tax, that is all we wanted. And as the poster before me stated he has my vote too!
WhyYouHating / December 20, 2012 at 12:21 am
I don't like Rob Ford at all. But the number of comments on BlogTO articles commenting on his appearance are just plain stupid and sad... You can hate his political moves (which I do) but to see comments like hes a fat pig, an albino monster (2nd comment above) is just disgusting. Your weight or appearance have nothing to do with your capabilities as a politician
Sean / December 20, 2012 at 02:34 am
He got rid of the stupid vehicle tax.
steve replying to a comment from Sean / December 20, 2012 at 07:01 am
Sp your vote is worth $60.
PMRSMITH / December 20, 2012 at 09:06 am
Toronto needs some vision and the billions of dollars need to implement it.Starting with its infrastructure

Some sources Municipal Bonds,,Provincial and Federal Governments,may require an amendment to the constitutionPPP(private public partnerships,) increases,use city and TTC property to generate revenue,never sell land ,rent it.
TO hog / December 20, 2012 at 09:20 am
not really a ford fan, but numbers dont lie regarding budget and the past fiscal year (s). . although it may be due to service cuts, he is on track with what he promised in saving the city / taxpayers some cash. sorry guys.
Albino Rhino replying to a comment from Mayor of Spencerville / December 20, 2012 at 09:24 am
Dear Sir or Madman, This is to notify you that I intend to sue you over the offensive characterization of Evil Monsters as albino.
Sean replying to a comment from steve / December 20, 2012 at 09:34 am
yes got a problem with it?
hats all the time replying to a comment from TO hog / December 20, 2012 at 09:51 am
you mean the balanced budgets of the past years which had larger surpluses, service increases and massive infrastructure investments? you know, city building, future thinking budgets?
j-rock replying to a comment from Sean / December 20, 2012 at 10:28 am
I really hope you were able to take your whole family on vacation with the $5 a month you saved in vehicle registration. That's 16 cents a day in case you find the math a bit too challenging. I lose more than that in my couch.

Not only are the members of "Ford Nation" ignorant and petty, but their votes can be bought for next to nothing.
AllanG replying to a comment from Sean / December 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm
That was in 2011. Doesn't count.
livingintheburbs / December 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm
I live in Etobicoke, drive, and I think Ford is a goof; aside from GFL garbage collection (which seems to be operating fine around here), he hasn't done anything notable here. Regarding the vehicle tax, seriously $60 is small price to pay to drive...I really can't believe people are so vehemently opposed to it, as it works out to $0.16/day.

That said, I wish there was better transit. It would be fantastic if there was an LRT that went completely across the south end, from the Missisauga/Etobicoke loop to the Exhibition (where one could transfer to other routes).

Also, get some tolls on the Gardiner; I wouldn't mind paying for a highway that's in a good condition, and maintained regularly.
Rick / December 20, 2012 at 01:32 pm
God Bless that fat bastard.
He's done good by the tax payers, although not perfect, I would say if you pay tax in Toronto, this is the guy you want to manage it.

He need to kick more ass in 2013. Hopefully he comes back with vengenace and a will to "clean house" with regards to unions and over paid fat cats that think they represent their Constituents fairly.
Ace McNugget replying to a comment from WhyYouHating / December 20, 2012 at 03:53 pm
+1, whyyouhating
steve replying to a comment from Rick / December 20, 2012 at 04:03 pm
How much have you saved?
What value add has Ford added to growing the economy in TO? Do feel gutting the city and removing and cutting services are what business are looking for to locate here?
Kim replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 20, 2012 at 04:15 pm
You people only read the bad, clearly. Why don't you go do some research. He has removed millions and millions of wasted spending. Look at the TCHC and the waste that was there. He is trying to limit the ridiculous spending from many of our departments. $300K here, $1 million there. The Christmas fund?? HAHAH! The volunteers are still volunteering, so why do they need 100's of thousands spent to ensure toys are distributed?? You should all be ashamed of yourselves for siding with flare media, and not truly reading. Go look at the budget graphs. The Star turned him into an international story.
Mike replying to a comment from steve / December 20, 2012 at 04:18 pm
Chris replying to a comment from Mike / December 20, 2012 at 04:33 pm
Geez, Mike - your head hurt from all that shouting?
Best Mayor Ever! replying to a comment from Kim / December 20, 2012 at 04:43 pm
Yeah, you're right Kim - people are only focused on the bad. Thank goodness we have people like you to remind us how City Council has been wasting our money supporting a fund to help distribute Christmas gifts to needy families in the City, especially when that Fund amounted to approximately .001% of the City's annual budget. And more importantly, reminding us how Ford made it his mission to put a stop to such wasteful spending - unless of course, our money is spent to pretty up the driveway of his family's company, or to charter TTC buses for his high school football players so they don't have to walk in the rain, in which case, its money well spent!

As a taxpayer, car driver, metropass holder, cyclist, pedestrian, resident and property owner in this City, I'm so glad to have a Mayor like Rob Ford looking out for me in this way. Thank you for reminding me of all the good he does.

It's sometimes easy to forget in this cynical world of socialist media in which we live. I mean geez, the Globe, the Post, the Economist, all those Commie rags with their criticism of our Mayor? Who the hell do they think they are?
Douglas replying to a comment from Mike / December 20, 2012 at 04:56 pm
Here is a perfect specimen of Ford nation - give a simple fallicious argument and if all else fails scream and bully at people in caps to stop them from responding.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Kim / December 21, 2012 at 05:13 pm
Yeah, I missed that positive report of Ford and waterfront development in the Economist, or that time the New York Times raved about his environmental policies, or when the Huffington Post gushed about him in a piece on Toronto's resurgent economy. Oh wait, that was David Miller.

The only Ford action that made the international news in a remotely positive way was the trash privatization, which was just more fodder for pointing out how lowbrow he is:

So Ford fans think the entire global media is somehow waging a lefty Star-like war against wholesome Rob? How dense are you? The man is an idiot and everyone is laughing at him. And now you.
GOFORDGO / December 21, 2012 at 06:00 pm
Ford Needs to think bigger and take hudaks job at queens park, he can clean up queens park as well!
GOFORDGO replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 21, 2012 at 06:02 pm
Come on cry louder, the more you lefties cry the more votes ford gets. Keep up the good work my friends.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from GOFORDGO / December 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Another idiot Ford fan making an idiotic response with no content whatsoever. The fact that I might be conservative never even occurs to them -- anyone who hates Ford must be a lefty, right?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Giancarlo / December 23, 2012 at 08:52 pm
David Miller did a whole lot more than Ford to make the city livable-what did Dumb Robbie do?
Crusher / April 9, 2013 at 06:05 pm
Dear Torontonians, please chill, please refrain from screaming and please decelerate your negative comments before steam comes out of your ears! Relax.. You've all made mistakes just like Rob has yet no one publically lynches you. I know.. "He's a politician". Therefore, the smart readers of this article will likely agree that not all politicians "do" what they should or what they promised. What ever your thoughts are on this guy is your opinion but you surely must agree that he hasn't quit, he's continued strong and seems to he winning battles along the way. Be proud Toronto! He's your mayor!!!
chris replying to a comment from McRib / November 2, 2013 at 02:46 pm
Actually Toronto Star did.
Tom replying to a comment from McRib / February 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm
The already Maple Leafs did that.
Brenda / May 13, 2014 at 07:36 pm
Are there any positive things that Rob Ford has done for Toronto?
Other Cities: Montreal