Controversial Canadian politician Rob Ford has died of Cancer at the age of 46.
He was known as a man who spoke his mind and will be remembered as the politician who called you back. Ford gained notoriety when he admitted to smoking crack cocaine during his time in office. He had been fighting a battle with cancer and only recently declared himself cancer-free.
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Ford famously made his cellphone and home number available to the public. Not only would he call people back to discuss their concerns, he would occasionally show up at people’s doors, listening to them complain about everything from potholes to city taxes.
After news of his death broke, people lined up at city hall to sign a condolences book and others left flowers at an impromptu memorial at the Douglas B. Ford park in Etobicoke, named for Ford’s father.
Those who met him during his stint in City Hall fondly remember him as an approachable guy who took a real interest in the lives of people in Toronto.
Al Mosher, who lives in the riding of York Southwest, recalled Ford as a matter-of-fact politician who cared about what his constituents had to say.
Mosher called the mayor about requiring cabs to have snow tires, and much to his surprise he got a call back.
“He said that was a good idea, and then low and behold the next winter they had snow tires,” he said.
“I was absolutely blown away that a politician was actually calling people back.”
Although some remember him for the scandals, there was an outpouring of support on social media for a populist mayor who posed for selfies, shot the breeze like an average guy and always said what was on his mind.
Shehroz Shabbir said he met Ford several times at his local Etobicoke gym, took a selfie with him and talked to him about starting a football program at his old high school.
“He was a very welcoming, social person,” he said.
“He took pictures with everybody who approached him.”
Shabbir started seeing Ford at the gym, bodyguard in tow, about a year ago. Although he was battling cancer at the time, Shabbir said he made a consistent effort to get on the treadmill and sweat.
It was a political style that endeared him to many people.
Alex Antoniou, who said he volunteered on Doug Ford’s mayoral campaign, described on Facebook being overwhelmed by the support of Rob Ford’s constituents.
“The moment I hit the streets, the reception at the door was something I had never experienced before and was not expecting,” he wrote on Facebook.
“When I had a problem, Rob Ford came right here to my house’ an Italian woman in her 60s insisted as she pointed at the ground in front of her,” Antoniou recounted on Facebook.
#RIPRobFord I never agreed with the majority of your political views but I admired your fighter & never give up attitude. Rest In Peace, Sir
— Danny Canuck (@DannyCanadian) March 22, 2016
— Stacey Simon (@StaceySimonSays) March 22, 2016
MAYOR ROB FORD SMOKING CRACK VIDEO 2014 (NEW & REAL)
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