NOW files integrity complaint over nearly-naked Ford cover

Just when you thought you could finally get NOW Magazine‘s nearly-naked picture of Rob Ford out of your head, it’s back.

A couple weeks ago, NOW Magazine received national and
international attention
after someone at Toronto City Hall’s custodial services
department allegedly ordered all copies of the publication’s March 31-April 6
edition — featuring a barely-clad photoshopped image of the mayor — removed
from City facilities.

Well, that now infamous image is sure to resurface now that
the publication has filed a complaint with Toronto’s integrity commissioner.

According to an article in NOW, the affidavit names Ford as
the subject of the complaint and argues any attempt by the mayor’s office to
remove copies from city property violates the Code of Conduct for Members of
City Council.

The article continues:

“In particular, section VIII, which states ‘No member
of Council shall use the influence of her or his office for any purpose other
than for the exercise of her or his official duties.’ The affidavit also cites
section XIV of the Code, which reads ‘All members of Council have a duty to
treat members of the public … appropriately and without abuse, bullying or

NOW editor and CEO Alice Klein is quoted: “This is a
disturbing infringement on the right to free expression and speaks to a
careless disregard for democracy in the highest office of city government. We
have a right to know who ordered this infringement of our democratic rights and
to see that there are consequences for those who are responsible for this
outrageous act.”

If the integrity commissioner agrees with NOW, and finds
that Ford has violated the Code, the mayor could face an official reprimand, or
a pay suspension of up to 90 days. It’s also within the commissioner’s power to
order Ford to make an apology.

It’s interesting to note that not everybody is sympathetic
with NOW. Even fans of the publication took to the comment boards to say,
maybe, NOW went too far with the cover:

“In defense of the Mayor’s office (never thought I’d
say that), that issue was a real low point in NOW history. The cover was
arguably inappropriate to be on city property. Why not fight back with better
journalism on Ford? There’s plenty to write about. NOW is more than

At the time, some journalists, including National Post
national editor Rob Roberts, said media should leave the mayor’s weight out of
any political commentary or editorial:

“On behalf of fat guys everywhere, I’m tired that part
of the left has decided that you can attack Rob Ford based on the fact that
he’s fat. They do it with a certain amount of impunity and every kind of
snickers. And it’s unbecoming.”