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Rob Ford mourned; ‘He’s the mayor of heaven now’

Rob Gillies
Associated Press

Toronto — Mourners paid their respects Wednesday to infamous ex-Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who died last week at age 46 after fighting cancer.

His tenure as mayor of Canada’s largest city was marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. As he sought a second term in 2014, his cancer diagnosis forced him to do what months of scandals could not — drop his bid for re-election.

He had been lying in repose at City Hall the last two days, an honor only granted a few times in the past. A procession Wednesday morning started from City Hall and ended with a funeral at St. James Cathedral.

His young daughter Stephanie paid tribute to her dad in a speech.

“I remember at the hospital he smiled at me and he said, ‘Stephanie, I may not be here for too much longer, but I want you to remember that I will always love you. I need you and your brother to be strong for your mom,’” she said.

“I know my dad is in a better place now and that he’s the mayor of heaven now.”

Ford was loved by some and loathed by others during his four years as mayor.

The international spotlight fell on Ford in May 2013, when Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported the existence of a video that appeared to show the mayor inhaling from a crack pipe. Although he became the subject of a police investigation and admitted to reporters that he had smoked crack cocaine, Ford was never charged with a crime.