It's true. On September 30th, 2014 a woman was struck and killed by a streetcar on St. Clair West. Rob Ford happened to be in the area and remained at the scene while rescue crews arrived and tended to the victim. Rob also made calls related to the accident, including to TTC CEO Andy Byford.
Mayor Ford says he happened to be at Keele & St. Clair where woman was struck by streetcar & died. Ford called TTC CEO Andy Byford. #Toronto
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) September 30, 2014
While still on the scene, Rob also stopped to pose for selfies with onlookers. In one particular case the ambulance and emergency personnel are plainly visible in the background:
Why should I care?
The fact that Rob remained at the scene of an accident is not an issue (assuming he stayed out of the way of emergency workers). However, this incident raises yet more questions about his sense of judgement.
First, by calling the TTC's CEO about an (admittedly serious) accident, Rob shows that he still doesn't understand the difference between executive and operational roles. By skipping established notification procedures, Ford took up both his and Byford's time on a matter when neither were in a position to do anything. He also duplicated the effort (i.e., "gravy") of first responders who are specially trained and paid to manage accident scenes. Rob's actions on St. Clair are just like how he insists constituents should call him to get their potholes fixed rather than just call 311 directly, which is faster and more effective. The mayor's job is to make sure the city is running efficiently, not to pretend to run it themselves.
Second, posing for photos in front of an accident scene where someone has just died is mind-bogglingly inappropriate. That the accident involved city employees and a city vehicle makes it even more so. Rob could easily have said no to the photo, yet he did not. For Ford, the only thing that appears to matter is his celebrity (or failing that, his notoriety).
If it's possible to encapsulate the mayoralty of Rob Ford in a single photo, then this is it:
Rob Ford is the mayor who interferes with the work of city employees, adds no value and then vainly poses for photos with clueless admirers. Meanwhile, not thirty feet away, one of his constituents has just lost their life.
Ford more years indeed.