Ethiopian- Canadian and former city council candidate Samuel Getachew complained that Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford should apologize for using inappropriate language. The story made it to major news outlets in Canada including Globe and Mail, Toronto star, CBC and more. Samuel was on various radio shows today talking about his complaints on Rob Ford.
Toronto resident Toronto’s integrity commissioner is asking Rob Ford [see key political stats for Rob Ford] to respond to a resident’s formal complaint that Ford violated the city’s code of conduct by using racial slurs.
“I want to have the mayor admit his shortcomings, apologize to the community for using a historically hurtful word and immediately commit to take … anti-racism training,” Samuel Getachew wrote in his July 8 complaint.
Integrity commissioner Janet Leiper sent a letter to Ford this week providing him with a copy of the complaint and offering him an “opportunity to respond to the allegations contained.” Under council rules, Ford has until July 29 to provide a written response.
Under the City of Toronto Act, council may choose to reprimand or dock a councillor’s pay — as it did last week to Giorgio Mammoliti [see key political stats for Giorgio Mammoliti] — if the integrity commissioner finds a member has contravened the code of conduct.
Getachew’s sworn affidavit includes examples of Ford using slurs that “seemed to be targeted to the multicultural communities of Toronto,” culled from various recordings and media reports.
For instance, last May the Star reported Ford was recorded in a March telephone conversation uttering slurs about Jews, blacks and Italians.
“Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f—ing k–e, n—-r, f—ing w-p, d-go, whatever the race. Nobody does. I’m the most racist guy around. I’m the mayor of Toronto.”
Getachew’s complaint also refers to the mayor’s former aides telling police about Ford referring to a taxi driver as a “Paki.”
“Many, many people have been disturbed with everything the mayor has been doing, especially the use of the n-word used to describe African Canadians,” Getachew said in an interview Wednesday. “I’ve never heard anyone in that position describe me, or people who look like me, in such a way.”
After returning to city hall earlier this month after a two-month stint in rehab, the mayor offered a general apology to Toronto residents for exercising “poor judgment” while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
In subsequent interviews, Ford said he “can’t even imagine” saying what he did about various minority groups in the city.
“When you have this disease, you say things, you do things, that aren’t you,” he told CBC. He added: “I think that goes along with having this disease.”
Getachew said he does not accept Ford pinning the blame on his disease.
“When I drink, what I say I’m accountable (for). Just because he’s too drunk, or taken cocaine, it doesn’t mean he has the right to say such a word … if it’s not in his heart, there’s no way that would come out when he’s drunk.”
While some of the mayor’s remarks were made public months ago, Getachew only filed his complaint last week.
“I waited until I assumed somebody else was going to do it, and maybe a prominent leader of the black community. And no one has done so, so that’s why I decided to proceed,” he said.
“We can get caught up with fighting every hurtful or negative comment, or we can spend our energy building, educating and empowering our youth,” said longtime community and youth advocate Gwyn Chapman, by way of explanation for that lack of a more prompt complaint about Ford’s behaviour.
She added: “What’s inside the heart of an individual is revealed through their words. It’s enough to know the truth, and based on that, we can then make educated decisions on who we will respect or who we trust as leaders.”
In a profile in the Star published earlier this year, Getachew was described as a “community organizer, journalist, translator, campaigner and activist.” In 2010, he ran unsuccessfully against Paul Ainslie [see key political stats for Paul Ainslie] for city councillor in Scarborough East.
He is supporting John Tory’s bid to become mayor.
“I have attended a few events of his, his campaign launch and at Afrofest, and I have also written friendly blogs about him,” Getachew wrote in email. “However, I have no other connection to him or his campaign nor any other role in his campaign.”
Ford apologized on the floor of council last week for a robocall last fall targeting Ainslie that
Source : Toronto star