Some Ward 2 residents are questioning the ability of Rob Ford to serve as city councilor while receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer.
“Rob withdrew from the mayoral race because he couldn’t handle the pressure of doing the work for the city. Similarly, the ward deserves somebody who can do something for it,” said Muhammad Ali, a Ward 2 resident.
During his election victory speech, despite going through cancer treatments, Ford promised to continue doing his job.
“I’ll be taking care of my health, I’ll be taking care of the people of Etobicoke North, and I’ll be taking care of every taxpayer in this city like I always have,” Ford said on election night.
Ali said be believes if Ford is sick, he should come out of the race altogether and give the chance to someone else who can “do something” for the ward.
“Then later on, if (Ford is) really sick and need(s) a lot of hospitalization and all this, then it might result in a by-election and stuff like that, which is not the best thing,” he said.
Andray Domise was another council candidate in Ward 2 who was widely expected to be Ford’s main opponent – his candidacy was the subject of much media attention including an endorsement from the Toronto Star, Torontoist and Now Magazine – but finished in a distant third to Luke LaRocque at the end of election night.
Upon losing, Domise said he is not going to give up just yet and will keep a close watch on Ford’s work on council.
“If the current councilor is not up to the task, which he hasn’t been, then as a private citizen, I am going to do my job to make sure Ward 2 becomes a better place to live and work” Domise said.
Domise said he plans to go forward with his Texdale project that teaches young children how to make video games and apps through teaching everything from programming to software development to story boarding to art.
“Instead of just sitting at home and playing (games and apps), we are going to get young people interested in that field to get out,” Domise said. “Enough of us looking at Harvard and MIT for the next software developer.”
Ali said he is concerned Ford’s term in office because actual work has not been done in this ward in a long time.
“At least in the next four years, I would like to see some community organization,” he said.
Residents that voted for Ford are staying positive in their hope for his recovery as they support his policies and politics.
Mohammed Malik, a computer shop owner in Ward 2, said he voted for Rob Ford because he believes Ford is a good politician, despite his flaws, and believes he will pick up on his duties once he recovers.
“We had a robbery here at the store and he checked up on us three times to follow up if the police were doing their job with the investigation. He was a good mayor, and when he recovers, he is going to continue being a good councilor,” Malik said.
Rob Ford came out of the mayoral race on Sept. 17 after discovering a tumor in his abdomen, which was later found to be a rare and difficult to fight form of cancer called liposarcoma, according to the Toronto Star.
He instead put his name in for the councilor seat in ward 2.
Doctors have said Ford’s form of cancer has a 50/50 survival chance, according to the Toronto Star.