Wednesday 21 May 2014

Yes, Rob Ford can be fired and so can you.

When I tweeted a previous post, “If Rob Ford was an employee, he would be fired” (May 11/2014), somebody wrote back,

Firing someone for substance abuse would be violating human rights. It would depend on the company policy and employment contract.

You wrote he would be terminated with cause because of his substance abuse? That is a direct violation of human rights law.

This person then pointed me here

Ontario Human Rights Commission
Drug or alcohol dependency and abuse as a disability

This person is right. If you were an alcoholic or you were a drug addict, you could not be terminated for having an addiction. An addiction is considered a form of disability. Also, if you previously had a problem but are currently sober, you are protected.

However, this person missed the point of my article.

Throughout the television series The West Wing, the staffers are heard to say to President Bartlet, “I serve at the pleasure of the president.” The person mentioned above, you, and even I serve at the pleasure of the president. Any one of us could be dismissed at any time. The company is under no obligation to retain our services.

However, the law protects us as individuals from frivolous dismissals: no racism, sexism, or discrimination of any kind including I don’t like the way you knot your tie. Nevertheless, a company can decide to get rid of any one of us if it follows the law which means a company can kick us out the door if it sufficiently compensates us. Such compensation is usually one year’s salary. Of course, an employee can take it to court, but he or she may have an uphill battle and is it going to be worth it?

Where did I get this?

I sat down and talked one on one with an acquaintance, the head of human resources. We talked in general terms about the real world then specifically about Rob Ford. Ford has violated so many company policies; he would have been kicked to the curb a long, long time ago. In fact, his whole history is so questionable; the company never would have hired him in the first place. This isn’t about alcoholism or drug addiction; this is about behaviour.

Being an alcoholic and not admitting it and not seeking help: you’re out.

Being a drug addict and not admitting it and not seeking help: you’re out.

Absenteeism: you’re out.

Blatant sex talk towards a female colleague = sexual harassment: you’re out.

Having alcohol and or drugs at work: you’re out.

Drunk in public, urinating in public, racist rants in public: you’re out.

Outrageous behaviour which could negatively impact the image of the company: you’re out.

There are so many witnesses to the above issues, it’s ridiculous. I haven’t even touched upon his texting while driving, driving while inebriated or stoned or both, the on-going investigation into his involvement in drugs, and the new conflict of interest allegation. I will be so interested when the documentation is released to the public as to why Ford was dropped as football coach at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.

As I said above, if the company gives a compensation package to the employee which matches the letter of the law, the employee has nothing to sue for, nothing to go to court for. A company would thoroughly document the transgressions of the employee and be able to prove the employee had not just violated policies, but failed to live up to his end of the bargain, that is, the satisfactory execution of their job.

The H.R. person added, “Rob Ford is a brutish lout.”

This isn’t about Rob Ford having a substance abuse problem. This is about his on-going bad behaviour. This isn’t about his private life as what he’s done and what he’s doing is very much public. Rob Ford hasn’t crossed just the line; he’s crossed the line, drawn a new line, and then crossed it.

Can you fire a mayor?
Good question. Several American comedians brought up this idea but it would seem that unlike a company, the city of Toronto has an election process, not quite the same as the hiring of an employee. It never envisaged finding itself being led by an emotionally unstable personality having a full-blown meltdown.

Alcoholic Thinking
In my December 9, 2014 posting “Rob Ford: Alcoholic Thinking and a Gullible Public”, I put forward the premise that bad thinking, rationalisation, a distorted view of reality, arrogance, egotism, etc. can persist even when a person is sober. It can persist for months, sometimes years after a person becomes sober. Rob Ford’s bombastic style, his self-absorption, his one-sided view of the issues are all indicative of a person who suffers from an addictive personality and how this man made it this far will be a topic of discussion for political analysts for years to come.

A Distorted View of Reality: $1.1 Billion
Ontario has been going just ape-s**t over the Liberal fiasco of cancelling two gas plants in order to gain votes. That cancellation has now ended up costing the taxpayers $1.1 billion.

Am I the only one who sees the similarity with Rob Ford?

Robby is running around trying to rationalize his year of stupidity by telling us how he’s saved Toronto a billion dollars. I’ve had my issues but I’m doing a good job for the hard-working people of the city.

Rob cancels the Scarborough LRT. That cancellation will cost at least $100 million but will probably be higher.

Rob votes for a subway line and that will now cost the Toronto taxpayers an extra one billion dollars.

Total cost? $1.1 billion. What a coinkydink. Now Ontarians can talk about the Liberal’s Gas Plant Fiasco and Ford’s Public Transit Fiasco.

Final Word
I think Rob Ford and his whole family may be mentally unbalanced. I wish them all the best in sorting out their lives.

But more importantly, I think Rob Ford is a lousy mayor. He never should have been elected in the first place. He being in office is the folly of the electorate. Stop the gravy train? Please, stop the insanity.

I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face. The fickle voter wants quick fixes and falls victim to the next snake oil salesman. Please, I beg of you, remember this: “If it was that easy, it would be done by now.” Rob Ford is full of s**t. He gets himself elected on a platform of all those before him were crooks, cheaters, and bad spenders of the taxpayers’ money then he turns around and railroads the collective we in a direction of ill-informed decisions lacking in true leadership. He has a poor grasp of the big picture and the long-term benefit of the city and is instead pandering to the dissatisfaction of a public who think all politicians are evil.

I remind everyone of Ford’s campaign. He publishes a video of him looking at the so-called perks of the city council by holding up the free subway passes they all get. That totals $70,000 per year. Stop the gravy train.

Hel-lo! Rob Ford has cost us as much money as the Gas Plant Fiasco. Free subway passes? Are you s**ttin’ me? Ford returns calls from constituents about getting potholes repaired? He just cost you one point one billion dollars. Never mind Ford, are you, yes you, crazy?

Trying to sort out fact from fiction is difficult. Trying to stop listening to the repeated mantra of I’m right and everybody else is wrong is nearly impossible. Toronto is being bamboozled by a brutish lout. We elected him and we are going to be paying for it for years to come. If we re-elect him in October, we are far more stupid than he is. Unfortunately, by the time we figure that out, the next guy is going to be laying the blame on his predecessors and we’ll be swallowing that line of B.S. hook, line, and sinker. If it was that easy, it would be done by now.


Toronto Star - Nov 28/2013
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s $100-million boondoggle: Editorial
Ford is quick to attack McGuinty for the gas plant scandal. Fair enough. We too have criticized the former premier, in this space, for that fiasco. But Ford is guilty of the same wasteful offence.

He flushed away $100 million of taxpayers’ money to please Scarborough residents expecting delivery on a reckless “subways, subways, subways” promise. That’s $100 million in sunk costs gone to buy — nothing.

The drain on taxpayers doesn’t end there. Far from it. The actual bill for Ford’s three-stop Scarborough subway extension amounts to more than $3 billion . The province is carrying most of that burden, with Ottawa kicking in $660 million, but it still leaves Toronto in need of almost $1 billion.

my blog: Rob Ford: Alcoholic Thinking and a Gullible Public - Dec 9/2013 (Updated)
I'm not going to talk about drugs and I'm not going to talk about the comedic fodder for late night talk shows. I am, however, going to talk about the hyperbolic bravado of political leaders vying for my vote who are counting on me being naive and uninformed.

Published on May 1, 2014 by The National
Rex Murphy: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (3:11)
Point of View: Rex Murphy's take on the new Rob Ford revelations.


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Boru said...

Very good article, maybe cities and municipalities need to rethink their rules around removing an elected official from office.

Ms. Quote said...

I'm not familiar with the government structure in Toronto, but in the US, cities have city charters that outline dismissal protocol for elected officials. Could the city council/commission dismiss him by a majority vote? Could someone petition a special election for a recall?

I'm surprised at the inaction that has allowed Rob Ford to misbehave and disgrace the office of mayor and City of Toronto for has long as he has. Addictions that are out of control absolutely need to be treated as a medical condition, but the "patient" has to take responsibility to seek and follow through with treatment. I have a feeling that he's not taking his initiative seriously. I think being out of office and out of the media spotlight would help.