Toronto’s Centennial Park stadium will not be named after late former Mayor Rob Ford after being voted down by the city council.
After being plagued by controversies over drinking problems and crack cocaine use during his tenure, Ford sought a second term in 2014 before being diagnosed with cancer. Ford was forced to drop his bid for re-election and died two years later aged 46.
Current Mayor John Tory said he was surprised by the public’s push against the plan to name the 2,200-capacity stadium in his predecessor’s honour.
According to The Star news website, Tory said yesterday (Thursday) after the 24-11 vote: “I think a lot of it had to do with the public reaction to this, which was stronger than I expected.”
He also noted that he knows how many councillors were pressed by their constituents to vote against Rob Ford Memorial Stadium.
“The reaction was quite strong, because some (councillors) who had actually been quite supportive of Rob Ford when he was the mayor actually voted against this,” Tory told reporters, according to The Star.
Doug Ford, the late mayor’s brother who was a Ward 2 councillor while his brother was in office, said: “It’s a shame, it’s pure politics, they’re a bunch of hypocrites. They preach one thing, about not being divisive, but they’re the most divisive group in the city.
“Our family will figure out one way or another how to honour Rob. It’s disgusting really. My worst enemy I wouldn’t vote against.”
Image: Shaun Merritt