Rob Ford scandal: What MPs in Ottawa had to say
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s decision to enter rehab following new reports of his alleged drug and alcohol use drew swift reaction from all levels of government.
Ford’s announcement that he will take a leave of absence was the talk of Parliament Hill Thursday. Here is what MPs had to say about the embattled mayor and the lewd comments attributed to him in an audio recording made public Wednesday:
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair: “Well, first of all, his comments on women are grotesquely inacceptable. It defies understanding and at some point enough’s enough. I’ve been calling for some time for Mr. Ford to get help and to step down. He seems to have gotten the first part of that right, but frankly, his continued presence there not only hurts Toronto, but it ultimately hurts all of Canada, and you know, the sooner he’s gone the better.”
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt: “The comments are troubling. I don’t think it’s appropriate to use imagery about violence against women when you have a problem or a confront with a colleague. I just think it’s unacceptable. So I wish him luck, you know, good luck with his life choices and all that stuff, but that’s not acceptable language in any sphere of politics or otherwise.”
Employment Minister Jason Kenney: “I hope Mr. Ford gets the support and treatment that he needs for the problems that he obviously has. I’ll just leave it at that, I think you know my views about Mayor Ford.”
Question: Do you think he should resign?
Kenney: “My view has not changed. I said some time ago I wish he had sought help for his problems … and not having done so I thought his continuation in office was bringing discredit to public service.”
Question: Do you think he needs counseling of another kind, not just substance abuse?
Kenney: “Oh, I think he needs all sorts of counselling.”
Finance Minister Joe Oliver: “Well, look, first of all I am very troubled by what he said, but I am pleased that he is seeking help, that is something he should obviously do. On the course of his treatment I cannot comment. He said a number of things which I’m not going to repeat. They are frankly unacceptable.”
Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino: “I’m glad that he is in fact seeking help and I hope that he gets the kind of help he needs right now. We’re all obviously always concerned about people who need help and we talk about that all the time about people with post-traumatic stress disorder. We encourage people who are affected by it to seek help. So let’s wish him well.”