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Toronto villains: Newsmakers 2014

The people who shaped our year for the worse

The Fords and Ford Nation

The end of an error, as it were. With the Ford brothers finally out of the mayor’s office and the city regaining a comparative sense of normalcy under the Tory administration, it would be easy to write off the last four years of drug videos and drunken stupors as a collective bad dream. But the Fords did tremendous damage to Toronto’s civic character, cracking open the veneer of acceptance that had been fostered for decades to reveal a hotbed of intolerance, resentment and division. Even politically neutered, the Ford family remains a potent symbol of a portion of the city that isn’t interested in accepting the LGBT community. Sadly, we still have lots of work to do to repair our fractured city.

Jian Ghomeshi

With accusations mounting, sexual assault charges looming and your former employer lawyering up, what’s the best possible PR strategy to save face? How about blaming your allegedly non-consensual violent sexual behaviour on an erotic subculture of which you have little to no understanding? Ghomeshi stands accused of some pretty heinous acts, but his decision to use the BDSM community as a scapegoat on social media was a very public mistake that effectively hoisted the fallen host by his own petard.