Elias Pelcastre

Donald Trump is the American Rob Ford, Canadians say

American presidential candidate Donald Trump has been dubbed the “American Rob Ford” by Canadians after multiple comparable instances of disrespect and slander towards the country.

Canadians are weighing in on the American presidential elections as their tolerance of Donald Trump’s behaviour has categorized him with Toronto’s previous mayor, Rob Ford. The city was put on the worldwide radar after speculations of drug use and videos of Ford in a drunken stupor surfaced.

After keeping a close watch on Ford during his 2014 highlights and pitfalls as Mayor of Toronto, the media has turned its attention to the American presidency and its notable candidates: particularly, the man who has reminded the world of Rob Ford’s notorious life in the political hot seat.

Both public figures have made themselves heard through obscure statements and expressing their opinions, public displays of anger, and feeding off of the media’s hype for years now.

Rob Ford was under extreme surveillance last year, from incidents with crack cocaine, to odd commentary on his personal life, to Ford lashing out during council meetings and viral videos of him impersonating Jamaican accents. Now that the mayor has stepped out of the limelight during his recovery from cancer, Canadians have been on high alert for what’s to come from the next potential American president.

The Trump scandals particularly soared after a series of racist remarks towards Mexican immigrants were made during his presidential campaign speech on June 16th.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best,” Trump declared. “They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people…”

Donald Trump and Rob Ford, photo from torontosun.com

The startling stream of comments resulted in several companies and associations backing out of partnerships and deals with Trump Enterprises, including cutting Trump from his reality show, The Apprentice, as well as TV network Univision choosing not to air the Spanish language taping of Trump’s Miss USA Pageant.

Canadians similarly acted on their disgust with the business mogul’s statements by rallying outside of the Trump Tower in Toronto on August 6th. 75 members of a hospitality workers’ union gathered, along with a mariachi band, to celebrate the city’s diversity in spite of Trump’s cruel comments.

On Canada’s behalf, The Weinstein Company in charge of TIFF, Toronto’s annual film festival, has also declined a return to the Trump Tower for this year’s festival.

An online poll done by Insights West also showed that a staggering 62% of Canadians believe that Donald Trump’s presidency would lead to misery for Canadian citizens, while only 16% see him as a good fit for office.

Despite Trump’s bridge-burning and name-calling, former Toronto mayor is rooting for his fellow alienated political colleague, going so far as to say: “…Mr. Trump is a very successful man and a very good candidate for president,” as quoted in a Toronto Sun article by Joe Warmington. The article continues to discuss a number of occasions in which Trump had returned the courtesy to Ford, and never jumped on the Ford-shame bandwagon.

Looks like Rob Ford 2.0 isn’t afraid to take the original’s place in giving Canadians someone to talk about.