UPDATED: Doug Ford knows what his constituents want for Christmas: $20 bills from Doug Ford
Rob Ford and Doug Ford have built their reputations on being willing to help out the little guy. Your neighbour’s pile of sand is bothering you? The mayor is on top of it. Pothole on your street? Mayor. Want a free hamburger? The Fords will give that to you, too (though you may have to wait on line for a couple hours to get it).
Even so, there’s something old-school shady—Boss Tweed-like, even—about the sight of Doug Ford literally peeling $20 bills off a wad and handing them to people at a public-housing complex in his ward. This happened on Wednesday night. We know about it because it was filmed by a CBC news crew (skip to 4:20 to see the relevant bit) and then reported on by the Globe.
“There’s no difference in going to Tim Horton’s, waiting in line and getting gift certificates,” Doug Ford told the Globe. “I didn’t have time. I went and bought toys for kids. The parents were standing there, so I gave them $20 to go buy themselves a coffee.”
Ford’s Pac-Man Jonesing didn’t go unnoticed by his fellow councillors. “It is fundamentally corrupt and corrupting,” Gord Perks said when asked about it by the Globe. “One of the most dangerous things in a democracy is when elected officials use their money to try to win favour with the public. History has all kinds of examples of how bad things end up at the end of that road. I thought I had lost my capacity to be shocked by the Fords, but I’m shocked.”
UPDATE: Doug Ford has apologized for his behaviour. He tells the CBC that he’ll stick to Tim Hortons gift cards—the working man’s $20 bill—in the future.