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Worthwhile Canadian Scandals?



This investigative report reveals that:

  • Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s brother, sold hashish for several years in the 1980s.
  • Another brother, Randy, was also involved in the drug trade and was once charged in relation to a drug-related kidnapping.
  • Their sister, Kathy, has been the victim of drug-related gun violence.

The thing about this interesting story, though, is that while I have less than no use for Rob Ford, it’s not really clear to me what the political scandal is here, per se. Rob Ford wasn’t a drug dealer (although apparently he might be a drug user, this story doesn’t provide any new evidence there.) There is some evidence of the ongoing scandal of the War (on Some People Use Some) Drugs:

There’s nothing on the public record that The Globe has accessed that shows Doug Ford has ever been criminally charged for illegal drug possession or trafficking. But some of the sources said that, in the affluent pocket of Etobicoke where the Fords grew up, he was someone who sold not only to users and street-level dealers, but to dealers one rung higher than those on the street. His tenure as a dealer, many of the sources say, lasted about seven years until 1986, the year he turned 22. “That was his heyday,” said “Robert,” one of the former drug dealers who agreed to an interview on the condition he not be identified by name.

If Ford’s brother lived in less affluent conditions, the legal results may well have been different. But Ford himself was not in charge of enforcing the laws at the time.

This scandal about Canadian senators receiving illegal travel expense reimbursements — in one case getting covered up by Harper’s chief of staff — is more interesting. The graft is particularly striking since for all intents and purposes, Canadian senators don’t do anything. To which I say, score one for my native land. If American history has taught us anything, it’s that if there’s anything worse than senators being paid large sums of money for doing nothing, it’s senators being paid large sums of money to do something. If we would give a shiny million-dollar bill to every senator to just rubber stamp all the legislation coming from the House and all executive appointments and then spend the rest of their time jetting around the world at taxpayer expense, I’d call that a bargain, the best I ever had.

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