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A football stadium named in honor of the late Rob Ford? | Rob Ford 1969-2016

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A football stadium in the city's east could be named after it by the late Rob Ford. (Archives)

  • Cédric Lizotte (View profile)Cédric Lizotte

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Toronto city councilors want to honor one of the most controversial political figures in the country's history.

The Centennial Park football stadium in Toronto ;Etobicoke, Toronto may soon have a new name: Rob Ford Stadium. The former Toronto mayor, who died in 2016, is best known for his extravagances as well as his problems with alcohol and drugs.

However, Mr. Ford was also a football coach at the high school level.

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Rob Ford was the younger brother of current Ontario Premier Doug Ford (left). This photo was taken in August 2013 when Rob was mayor and Doug was a Toronto city councilor.

And even though Mr. Ford's reputation is tarnished domestically and internationally, he still has many admirers in the Ford stronghold, the Etobicoke district.

Rob Ford 1969-2016

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Rob Ford 1969-2016

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Toronto city councilors will vote next week on whether the stadium should be named after the late former mayor. Mayor Olivia Chow has already spoken out in favor of the motion, presented by Councilor Paul Ainslie.

Nevertheless, many are opposed to the idea of ​​honoring Mr. Ford.

Mr. Ford made international headlines in 2013 when a drug dealer contacted the American gossip site Gawker with the aim of selling them a video of the mayor of Toronto smoking a pipe of crack. A few weeks later, he admitted to having consumed crack in one of my alcoholic stupors and apologized.

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Rob Ford apologized to Torontonians on November 5, 2013.

Late night comedians from major US networks are jumping on the news.

Stephen Colbert, on his Comedy Central show, sarcastically defends the mayor of Toronto by smoking from a pipe himself, then stating: What do members of the media not understand about the words "drunk stupors" ;?

Jay Leno, too, plays the irony: To be honest, there's not much to do in Toronto, so…

Video of Mr. Ford smoking crack in the drug dealer's kitchen came to light in 2016.

It's not about the only controversy that left its mark. He faced allegations of sexual misconduct and conflicts of interest. He apologized for making racist remarks. And its appearance at the Taste of Danforth food festival in August 2013 also made headlines.

It should be noted that Mr. Ford's popularity was not shaken by these scandals, according to the results of a November 2013 poll. His satisfaction rate was then 44% among Torontonians.

It is municipal councilor Paul Ainslie who will table the motion on Wednesday to rename the football stadium. Everyone who served with Rob Ford on city council knew he had two passions: representing his constituents, not only throughout the city, but particularly in his home community of Etobicoke, and football, we can read in the motion.

However, this is not the first time that the City has considered renaming the stadium in #x27;honor of Mr. Ford. A similar motion was rejected in 2017, a little over a year after his death.

Some advisors already say they are resistant to such change.

Councillor Josh Matlow told CBC Toronto that some people are more deserving of such an honor.

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Josh Matlow is a city councilor for Ward 12, Toronto – St. Paul's. (Archives)

I can think of many people who have not been dishonest, misogynistic, homophobic, or have not who were caught smoking crack with gang members and who did not disgrace our city, who would be more deserving, he said. I cannot, in good conscience, support this motion.

For his part, Myer Siemiatycki, professor emeritus of politics at Toronto Metropolitan University, affirms that the mayor's fans know how to separate things. I don't think Rob Ford's flaws are forgotten or overlooked in this case. […] A large number of Torontonians, especially in Etobicoke, supported and appreciated Rob Ford.

Also of note, Mr. Ford was fired as head coach of the Don Bosco Catholic High School football team in May 2013.

The motion will be submitted to the municipal council on Wednesday. To be considered by the council, the motion must receive the votes of two-thirds of the city council members.

With information from Tyson Lautenschlager de CBC

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