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Politics

The Ford years: A look back on Rob Ford’s 4 years as mayor

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto has a long history of controversial mayors.

TORONTO – Rob Ford is no longer mayor of Toronto. He won’t be leaving municipal politics though; he was re-elected to his old council seat in Etobicoke during the Oct. 27 election.

To mark the end of Rob Ford’s tenure as mayor, Global News has listed eight memorable moments, in no particular order, from the last four years.

1. Election day, 2010

Ford was swept to victory over former health minister George Smitherman in 2010 with over 330,000 votes.

A brief honeymoon period followed where the mayor was able to get a number of his campaign promises passed by council, including eliminating the vehicle registration tax, making the TTC an essential service and contracting out garbage service west of Yonge Street.

2. I cannot comment on a video that I have not seen or does not exist

The Toronto Star and Gawker originally published stories alleging Ford had been filmed smoking crack cocaine in May 2013. He said nothing for almost a week before holding a press conference at city hall during which he told reporters something that would be repeated over and over again during the coming months:

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As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.

3. Project Traveller

Chief Bill Blair announced in October 2013 that police had a video, obtained during Project Traveller raids in June, of the mayor that matched media reports of him smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine.

In May, 2013, police began Project Brazen II. The investigation focused on on Alexander “Sandro” Lisi and Rob Ford, spurred by allegations made by the Toronto Star and Gawker.

In the ensuing months, media outlets including Global News fought to publish hundreds of pages of police documents detailing the police investigation.

4. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine

Ford’s denials continued for roughly six months until he goaded reporters, including Global News’ Jackson Proskow, to ask him a question he had originally been asked in May.

“You asked me a question back in May, and you can repeat that question.”

“Do you smoke crack cocaine?”

“Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.”

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5. Council strips Rob Ford of mayoral powers 

In the weeks following Rob Ford’s admission he had smoked crack cocaine councillors stripped the mayor of many of his powers, transferring them instead to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

The mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, at one point got into a shouting match with residents watching the proceedings.

During the chaos Rob Ford bowled over Councillor Pam McConnell. He later apologized and claimed he’d been trying to rush over to the other side of the room to help his brother.

Following the raucous council meeting, the mayor equated the transfer of powers to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991.

“Well folks, if you think American-style politics is nasty, you guys have just attacked Kuwait,” he said. “Mark my words, friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election.”

6. Another video and rehab

The Globe and Mail published a report in May 2014 alleging possession of a second video showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Within 24 hours, the mayor had taken a leave of absence and checked into a Muskoka, Ont.-area rehab facility.

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7. Rob Ford steps aside

Ford was forced to bow out of the mayor’s race in September after being diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, after a 12cm by 12cm tumour was found in his abdomen.

His brother, Doug, entered the mayor’s race while Rob switched to run for council in Ward 2.

8. Election night, 2014

Rob Ford, in the midst of chemotherapy, was re-elected by a landslide to his old council seat during the Oct. 27 municipal election.

During his victory speech he promised Ford Nation would once again see a Ford challenge for the mayor’s job in 2018.