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Wayne’s World ~ The enemy within

Posted on November 4, 2013 by Maple Creek

I planned to write about Remembrance Day in this column and was looking forward to having some quiet time to reflect on the sacrifices that soldiers have made to keep our nation democratic and free.

In my opinion, the lack of accountability by some Canadian officials is making a mockery of our democratic process which men and women fought and died to preserve. I continue to be totally shocked and offended at the attitude of some public officials who break the trust we place in them and then refuse to resign. One of the most visible is the star performer in Toronto’s ongoing gong show. It features Mayor Rob Ford who is accused of not only associating with individuals who are on the wrong side of the law, but crossing that line himself and then denying anything wrong occurred. His actions and routine denial of any wrongdoing are giving the city and all of Canada a black eye that will not heal.

As of Nov. 3, criminal charges had not yet been laid which could lead to Ford’s removal from the mayor’s chair, but that could happen any day. A video was allegedly taken of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, but he denied it as usual and stated there was no such recording. However, last week police discovered a video which journalists had seen earlier and reported on. The chief of police said the recording appears to be consistent with previous media reports about the mayor’s actions.

To be fair, a person must consider that Ford may be telling the truth. He said a video of him smoking crack did not exist, and that may have been totally accurate since the police found the recording in a computer file that had been deleted. Furthermore, Ford said he does not smoke crack and that may be technically correct also. It could have been tobacco, pot, hash, opium, heroin or banana peel that the mayor was smoking. It also appears the video was recorded at an alleged crack house and also featured gang members, one of which was gunned down earlier this year. Another associate that has been dubbed a friend because of his many dealings with Ford has been charged with trafficking marijuana and three-other drug-related charges.

Alleged illegal activity is only part of the gong show. Factor in public drunkenness (which he denied of course and then admitted after the crack-smoking video surfaced) and the mayor’s credibility crumbles even more. There is a video that shows the Ford urinating in a public place and a background check revealed he received two charges in Florida in 2010. One charge was for driving under the influence and the other was for possession of marijuana. This combined with other allegations and questionable actions all indicate the guy is not fit for public office, especially the position of mayor.

I would be so embarrassed if a mayor of our small town did a fraction of the things Ford has done. Most disconcerting is his attitude and proclamations that he has done nothing wrong and therefore will not resign. The guy not only has a serious problem with his public image, he doesn’t have the moral integrity to be a leader. He accuses others of lying about him and then changes his story when evidence is uncovered that substantiates their statements. His actions remind me of three senators who are being investigated by the RCMP for submitting false expense claims.

Like Ford, all three senators: Pamela Wallin (of Wadena), Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau, claim they have done nothing wrong. They have been kicked out of the Conservative Party and the Senate will vote this week if they should be suspended without pay, even though criminal charges have not been laid. Of course they should be suspended without pay, as should Toronto’s mayor for conduct that is unbecoming of a public official! Their actions and that of Toronto’s mayor remind me of barnyard animals that refuse to back away from the trough.

I was disgusted to learn a former leader of the Senate says she thought Wallin had a sense of entitlement, but was not out to scam the system. If so, it was a sense of entitlement that led Wallin to submit expense claims totaling more than $500,000 since 2009. Then there is Duffy who now claims he is the victim, a victim of the Conservative strong-arm tactics. It’s odd how they all claim to be victims when their conduct is questioned.

Unfortunately, these public officials have forgotten that standing on guard for our country is more than military service. It is a duty we all have to be upright citizens and not take advantage of others, and that includes taxpayers.

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