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Councillors to hold 2 special meetings to limit Ford’s powers

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 15th, 2013

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Toronto city council has passed two motions that will limit Mayor Rob Ford’s powers.

In the first of two special sessions on Friday, councillors voted 39-3 in favour of a motion that limits Ford’s power on committees.

He can no longer remove the deputy mayor or take councillors off committees, including members of the executive committee.

Ford said Friday he will challenge the ruling in court.

Responding to questions about a legal challenge that arose during the city hall debate, the city solicitor said that, while “one never knows what a judge will do…we feel confident in our ability to defend council’s decision in this circumstance.”

While council has had this power, it is first time it has taken such an action, Anna Kinastowski said.

Ford, his brother Coun. Doug Ford, and Coun. David Shiner were the only three who voted against the motion.

The motion was proposed by councillors John Filion and Paul Ainslie.

The second motion, to strip Ford of emergency powers, passed 41-2. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will now assume responsibility in the face of an emergency.

The mayor and his brother voted against the motion.

During the debate, Doug Ford fought back against the proposal, saying that “folks here don’t have the moral authority to be doing…what they’re doing here today.”

He later added that there will be two courts that will be looking at Friday’s decisions: The legal court and the court of public opinion.

In contrast to his brother, Rob Ford said he had to defend himself, but understood why councillors were taking action to strip him of powers during an emergency.

“I’m not mad at anybody,” adding if another mayor did what he did, he would support councillors.

The second motion was also proposed by Filion.

Both motions will remain in effect for the rest of Ford’s term.

The proposals come a day after Ford used graphic language on live TV and admitted he may have driven drunk. In the past weeks, he has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, refused to speak to Toronto police about an ongoing investigation, and a swarm of media – both international and local – descended on city hall.

Ford’s locker room vulgarity also drew wide condemnation from fellow councillors, who literally turned their backs when he spoke during the day’s various debates.

And Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she could intervene if council made it clear it could not function as a result of the Ford scandal, but would consult opposition parties before doing so.

The crush of media clamouring for news of Ford prompted city staff to declare city hall unsafe for children on Thursday.

School tours next Monday and Tuesday will be going to the Toronto Archives instead, a spokeswoman said.

A third motion to be debated on Monday would see Ford’s office essentially moved to the control of the deputy mayor.

With files from The Canadian Press

Comments

  • Bc Johnson says:

    Toronto needs another rainbow for this darkness.Something to smile about.The santa parade wont be enough if the mayor kicks a football and kills santa that will be just another dumb azz joke, opps he was you know time to move on he saw red.

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