Toronto Mayor Rob Ford missed two hours of a city council meeting on Thursday in order to coach a high school football team.
No, this isn't a repeat. This is a new one.
And this one involves pulling a city bus off of its busy route to use as a private transportation for his beloved Don Bosco Eagles.
Ford has been placed in the crosshairs many, many time over his proclivity to choose football over politics. His response is always the same: He loves those kids, and anyone who thinks he should prioritize a city council meeting or a session with his executive committee is a hater.
And haters are going to hate.
According to the Toronto Star, Ford bristled when asked about missing part of a council meeting to coach the game:
I only missed two hours. A semi-final football game. It's the playoffs. We're undefeated. We're number two in the city. We're in the championship game. If I'm (not there), what are we gonna do, just forfeit the game? These kids live — this is their education that rides on these games.
The Star report also details how a Toronto Transit Commission bus was pulled from its public duties to be dispatched as a charter service. This happens occasionally in cases when the public is displaced, by an apartment fire for example. This time, the bus was used to shuttle Ford's football team home.
If you think the constant coverage has humbled the Eagles players, think again.
From the Star:
One Don Bosco player boasted about the "personal TTC bus" on Twitter. When someone asked him how Don Bosco had gotten one, he responded, "Bro our coach is the mayor of Toronto lol."
In September, Ford missed a session of his executive committee because of a football-related issue, prompting opponents to dismiss him as a part-time mayor.
The Star reported this week that his council allies later held a private meeting — an intervention — telling Ford he couldn't keep putting football ahead of his responsibilities as mayor.
His response was to go onto his radio program last weekend and announce he would be playing hooky from a council meeting on November 27 to coach football. With prompting, he later said he was joking (but stay tuned).
For brevity, we will not address Ford using city resources and staff to run his football teams.
Or reports that Ford issued a request for provincial funding to buy his team an awesome new stadium.
Or Ford's request to city managers to have the area around his family's business spruced up ahead of a party. I mean, that one doesn't even involve football.
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(And we also won't mention the scrap at city hall over whether Ford's office issued a list of preferred candidates for committee appointments, or the pending decision in a conflict of interest case, or that whole thing about him wanting to eliminate city hall watchdogs.)
Ford defiantly told reporters on Thursday that he wasn't a quitter, and wasn't going to turn his back on his commitments.
Unfortunately for the residents of Toronto, he was referring to coaching his football team, not his mayoral duties.