Toronto mayor Rob Ford is still dodging allegations that he smoked crack cocaine, but now he seems to think there's a silver lining to the international attention brought upon his city by the scandal over his (alleged!) drug use: tourism dollars. At least that's what Ford told Toronto radio DJ Maurie Sherman on Saturday when asked if the extra high-profile press, from morning shows like Good Morning America and Today to late-night hawks like Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart, was hurting the city. "No. It's whatever people perceive it as. Any time you can get Toronto on the map," Ford said. "I think people have to come to the city and see what we have to offer. And we have great arts and culture, great theatres, great restaurants, great sporting teams. I encourage everyone to come to Toronto."
Yes, the would-be crack-smoking mayor just justified his crack scandal as a tourism opportunity.
Sherman called the mayor to respond to a protest outside city hall calling for him to step down. Protesters used chalk to write anti-Ford messages like "honk if Ford should resign" across the concrete concourse. "That's alright, everyone has the right to protest," Ford told Sherman, with a laugh. The mayor has been tough on graffiti clean-up across the city. "They can go out, but the only time we're going to find out if people want me or not is October 27, 2014." That particular date is when Ford will be up for reelection, something he insists he'll run for. He repeated his reelection threats on his weekly Sunday radio show: "The support I'm getting is phenomenal," said Ford. "I'm just itching to go on the campaign trail. It's like a caged animal here. I want to put my record and let the people decide."
Though, it should be noted that if things keep going the way they're going, then Ford will lose spectacularly come election day. The most recent polls show only 34 percent of Toronto residents would vote for Ford if an election were held tomorrow. Ford's lucky the election is almost two years away; maybe he can finally get this whole thing straightened out by then.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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