Why The Rob Ford Verdict Is Good For Canada

That Justice Charles Hackland found Mayor Rob Ford in violation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and ordered him removed from office bodes well for a more progressive Canada.

[ Read the full text of the decision here. Thanks to Torontoist for posting the document. ]

For the past 30 years, neoliberal, neoconservative and most recently, self-styled “libertarian” politicians have almost dismantled the Canadian welfare state, plunged our beloved health care system into uncertainty, handed social services over to the private sector and they’ve turned the bureaucracy into a corporate-style machine, whose members suffer personal humiliation when they don't provide advice to bolster the ruling regime's political agenda.

But, try as they might, those who would tear down government piece-by-piece have failed to completely destroy what is left of the accountability mechanisms that protect citizens from a leaner, meaner and continuously retreating state.

Today’s ruling showed that accountability is not about how much money is at question in a conflict of interest matter. It showed that accountability is an issue of what is right and what is wrong.

Democracy does not just "happen" every four years when we cast a ballot. It needs to be protected at all times from those who would damage it for personal advantage while society at large is increasingly left in the cold.

That's why today’s ruling is bigger than Rob Ford. It’s a good day for people who believe that the state has a positive and protective role to play in the lives of citizens.

Two notes: Justice Hackland suspended the force of his ruling for 14 days to allow the city to deal with the magnitude of the decision. Rob Ford also stated he will appeal the decision.

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