Council vote goes against Toronto’s crack mayor
TORONTO: Toronto’s City Council voted overwhelmingly yesterday to strip mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers, trying to box in the brash leader who has rebuffed huge pressure to resign over his drinking and drug habits and erratic behaviour.
The motion, approved in a 39- 3 vote, suspends Ford’s authority to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and his executive committee, which runs the budget process. The council also voted to give the deputy mayor authority to handle any civic emergency.
“We need to take away his power for the good of the city,” said councillor Denzil MinnanWong.
Councillors are frustrated by Ford’s refusal to step aside since he admitted to smoking crack last week but they lack the authority to force him out of office unless he is convicted of a crime.
An unusually subdued Ford vowed to fight the motion in court while saying he understood why the council was taking the measures. The mix of defiance and contriteness has been typical of the mayor throughout the scandal that has been escalating for months.
“If I would have had a mayor conducting themselves the way I have, I would have done exactly the same thing,” Ford said.
The mayor and his brother voted against the motion.
“Folks here don’t have the moral authority,” Doug Ford said. “It’s not up to you folks to make this decision, it will be up to the people.”
The vote came a day after yet another series of antics from Ford that outraged city councillors, anti-drunk driving advocates and even Toronto’s football team.
In the span of a few hours on Thursday, Ford used obscene language to deny he pressured a female employee for oral sex, admitted he had driven while drinking and then apologised for his vulgarity and said he was seeking professional help.
Although Ford has admitted to excessive drinking and using and buying illegal drugs, he and his family have insisted he is not an addict and does not need rehab. – Sapa-AP
TAKING FLAK: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford