Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fact #25: Rob and Doug Ford used your tax dollars to help close their private business deal


It's true. "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his councillor brother Doug Ford helped one of the world’s largest commercial printers, RR Donnelley and Sons, lobby city staff about taking over part of the city’s printing operations around the same time the Ford family’s label business was negotiating to accept business referrals from Donnelley, a Globe and Mail investigation has found."

"The first meeting between Doug Ford and Donnelley that is captured by public records – the City of Toronto’s lobbyist registry – was on May 3, 2011. Two Donnelley representatives, including the company’s director of sourcing services, Barry Waddick, met with Councillor Ford. A little more than a month later, on June 9, 2011, the mayor joined Mr. Waddick and Councillor Ford for another meeting, according to the registry. The next week, the city’s director of purchasing at the time, Lou Pagano, received a phone call from the mayor."

“I just got a call from Mayor Ford … he said to me that a supplier wants to meet to see how he can bid on printing contracts. I offered to meet with the supplier directly, but [the mayor] said that he wants to be there,” Mr. Pagano wrote in a June 14, 2011, e-mail. The next day, Mr. Pagano was told to come to the mayor’s office, where he was greeted by six representatives from Donnelley – including the president of RR Donnelley Canada, Allen Hallis, and Mr. Waddick – as well as Councillor Ford and Mayor Ford."

Why should I care?

Doug Ford loves to talk about the Rotary Club's motto: Service before Self. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have been listening.

Politicians are elected to serve the public's interests, not their own. Tax dollars were spent, at the Ford brothers' request, to entertain an untendered business contract that would directly benefit the Ford family business. Citizens of Toronto with real needs were pushed aside so that a Deco business partner could get priority access to senior bureaucrats. While Rob and Doug Ford (who doesn't even bother to have a constituency office) should have been solving problems for Torontonians, they were busy trying to boost their company's bottom line. Other companies, with potentially better products and prices, weren't given the same chance to compete. When a politician abuses the public trust to promote their own businesses, taxpayers lose more than just their money.

But Rob Ford is losing weight in "rehab", so all that corruption stuff is in the past, right?

How do I know you're not lying? 

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