Confessions of a former Rob Ford supporter

All kidding aside, who is Ford? He’s the self-proclaimed “300 pounds of fun” currently serving as the 64th mayor of Toronto. A fiscal conservative with populist leanings, he was a penny-pinching city councilor for a decade who defended taxpayers and small businesses at every turn. Ford often put a smile on the faces of right-thinking Torontonians like me — and many others to boot.

He was elected mayor in the 2010 municipal election on a four-point plan of “putting people and families first, focusing on the fundamentals, reducing waste, and eliminating unnecessary taxes.” He championed fiscal prudence, greater transparency at city hall, reforms such as privatizing garbage collection and building more subways, and bringing an end to “the gravy train.”

In a city that has stubbornly promoted liberal platitudes throughout living memory, Toronto’s conservative mayor represented a fresh, exciting, and rather unexpected change of pace. Although he suffered some embarrassing ordeals, including a public attempt to lose weight that failed and a career-threatening conflict-of-interest case, he kept soldiering on to protect the taxpayers’ hard-earned money.