Back before Rob Ford took his leave of absence, a tape was leaked to the press documenting Ford discussing Karen Stintz in a tone that can be described as disrespectful. Or more accurately, it was wildly misogynistic, crude and shameful.
During a speaking engagement Stintz did for the Women’s Executive Network on Thursday, May 15, the subject of Ford came up. According to the Toronto Star, Stintz offered some praise for Ford’s work in office but voiced her displeasure with his history of misconduct and overall level of bigotry.
“I take some issue with the fact that Rob speaks as if he’s the only one with a record,” Stintz said, talking about her and Ford’s shared values and accomplishments. “Because I have that record, too, but one thing I don’t have is a belief system that is misogynistic, bigoted, homophobic, rude. I don’t break the law on a regular basis.”
Thus far, most of Ford’s competitors in the mayoral race have been handling him with kid gloves, so you really have to give Stintz due credit; she was able to critique his policies and his rhetoric without getting personal. Honestly, she had every reason to go for the jugular there (especially after what he said about her in the aforementioned tape), but she kept her tone civil and to the point.
Despite some of the speculation about Ford winning another round in office, I do remain cautiously optimistic that Toronto is smart enough not to go back to this particular well again. As Stintz pointed out, the guy has a belief system that is fundamentally bigoted, pretty much across the board. When it comes to representing Toronto on the public stage, we can do better.