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What happens if Rob Ford doesn't return to City Hall?

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 1, 2014

toronto city councilWith Rob Ford officially on a "leave of absence" from City Hall and the election trail, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has assumed the duties of the mayor, including those that were still in Ford's command after he was stripped of his powers in November.

With Ford seemingly out of the picture for the foreseeable future, city council can, as of July 8, declare the mayor's seat vacant and appoint a new leader from within to fill the seat until Oct. 27. Alternatively, it can vote to excuse Ford's absence and allow the matter to continue until his return or the next election.

Section 204 (C) of the City of Toronto Act states: "The office of a member of city council becomes vacant if the member is absent from the meetings of council for three successive months without being authorized to do so by a resolution of council."

"We've got a May council meeting, a June council meeting, the mayor would have to return for the July council meeting or council would have to approve a resolution to allow his absence," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti at a press conference this morning.

If that happens, the act allows council to "fill the vacancy by appointing a person who has consented to accept the office if appointed" or hold a by-election. However, the Municipal Elections Act says "no by-election shall be held to fill an office that becomes vacant after March 31 in the year of a regular election."

Bottom line: If Ford doesn't return to council before the July 8 meeting, council will be forced to appoint a new mayor from within or vote to excuse a longer absence. The new mayor would likely be Norm Kelly, since he's already doing the job.

It's not clear, however, what would constitute a return for Ford. Since the drug issues first surfaced last year, the mayor hasn't had a problem turning up for at least a portion of the monthly council meetings. It also remains to be seen whether council would vote to excuse a prolonged absence, especially in light of his broken promises to clean up his act.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO.



devils ad / May 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm
Whether Rob Ford returns or not rest assured nothing will still get done at city hall.
Mayor McCokehoover / May 1, 2014 at 01:14 pm
Um, the citizens of Toronto are relieved and/or insanely happier??
Todd / May 1, 2014 at 01:36 pm
REMEMBER Rob had his power stripped? We've been without an active MAYOR for months.

I think city hall will be just fine as is under Norm Kelly BUT as they've all been complaining they can't work because of the circus WELL the circus just left town. Let's see some action down at city hall now councillors NO EXCUSES
Herm / May 1, 2014 at 01:41 pm
ENOUGH OF ROB FORD!!! Can we finally discuss the other candidates now?

Olivia Chow meets with, is endorsed by, ranting homophobe who encourages rape
Sally Snyder / May 1, 2014 at 01:47 pm
Here's what Canada's tough on drugs Prime Minister had to say about his close friend, Toronto's mayor Rob Ford:

Politics makes for interesting bedfellows.
Stu / May 1, 2014 at 01:52 pm
Good luck with that, Toronto.
Gail / May 1, 2014 at 02:14 pm
Rob WILL return to city hall and to his campaign. It takes 28 days to break a habit and he's taking a 30 day leave of absence and he'll be back clean, mean and redeemed.

Our support is here and awaits your return Mr. Ford. I stick by Mayor Ford as long as he's running.
p replying to a comment from Gail / May 1, 2014 at 02:29 pm
Gail, you're the worst kind of citizen. As long as he saves YOU tax money, you are willing to have the city led by a crack smoking, homophobic, racist, sexist alcoholic who THREATENS THE SAFETY OF ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS via his pal Lisi.
A normal persons response would be to pay a little more in taxes to be represented by someone else.
You are a bad person and you should feel bad about your choices.
Dixon Road Bloods / May 1, 2014 at 02:29 pm
Well our drug sales will be down in the core in the 2nd quarter. However, Rob Ford will have saved us thousands in security costs and freebies. No more Rob Ford Drug Gravy Train!
Gail's a cheap whore / May 1, 2014 at 02:31 pm
Not worth $10.
MER1978 replying to a comment from Todd / May 1, 2014 at 02:37 pm
You expect huge actions from a council in the middle of an election campaign?

Rob Ford has successfully killed off his mandate and we're basically waiting for a new mayor when it comes to big issues. This wouldn't be as much of an issue if we didn't have a stupid long campaign... but it's kind of late to change the rules now that we're in the middle of the campaigning period.
Gail replying to a comment from p / May 1, 2014 at 02:39 pm
WOW quite the assumptions about me.

Ford is both the message and the medium. The message and the messenger. We trust Ford to deliver on his hard-nosed, tight-fisted fiscal agenda of keeping the rise of taxes low, city expenditures moderate and to respect taxpayers' hard-earned dollars.

I do not trust Stintz, Tory or Minnan Wong to support, fight and implement a strong and stubborn fiscal agenda.
ROB FORD ON CRACK / May 1, 2014 at 02:57 pm
FORD MORE YEARS!! Back stronger and fatter than evha!!
Davy Gravy replying to a comment from Gail / May 1, 2014 at 03:23 pm
Here's a news flash for you. "P" seems to know you better than you know yourself.

As to the "hard-nosed, tight-fisted fiscal agenda" you believe your lying asshat reprobate hero is pursuing, why, for example, are my taxes and yours going up to fund a three-stop subway extension that no transit expert believes is warranted?

You've been brainwashed, defrauded, propagandized. And you can't wait to be conned for another term.
Toucan Sam / May 1, 2014 at 03:56 pm
Doesn't matter really. Bottom line is you have a very large block of supporters who vote ABC - Anything But Chow. Rob Ford dropping out would just make it easier. No more splitting the vote.
Marc replying to a comment from Gail / May 1, 2014 at 04:14 pm
Minnan-Wong isn't running, Chow is.

You're also racist. SURPRISE, SURPRISE.

Actually Minnan-Wong is half-white so you're only half racist at best.
Rick / May 1, 2014 at 04:21 pm
Rob Ford will come back more powerful than ever!!! He still has my vote!!! What ford really needs to do is to clean up all the ass hats in TO that think they're important because they take transit or march in a rainbow'd flag parade - please just stop.
The Shakes replying to a comment from Gail / May 1, 2014 at 05:08 pm
You must be copying and pasting this shit from somewhere. Tell whoever is paying you to spam the internet with propaganda, that they need a new copywriter.
p replying to a comment from Gail / May 1, 2014 at 06:42 pm
What's the assumption??

I said you support Ford for keeping your taxes low, despite the HUGE list of VERY dangerous problems with his conduct, and this makes you a bad citizen and that you should feel bad about it. What assumption I'm making about you that you didn't confirm Gail?
p replying to a comment from Rick / May 1, 2014 at 06:52 pm
Rick - he smokes crack with criminal gangs and threatens neighborhood safety and he still has your vote? Just so he keeps your taxes low?

Is this just because you've never felt cool and "downtowners" are the cause? Did they laugh at you in high school Rick? Is this the reason why you want to force this crack addled alcoholic liar on us?

How long have you been blaming other people for your problems Rick? Is your boss gay? Is that why you're a homophobe? Do you like that Ford doesn't want the rainbow flag at city hall? so you can snicker at your boss?

C'mon Rick, voting for Ford isn't going to make your Dad love you, being a good person is. Caring about the well being of your community is what makes a man a Man.
Be a Man, stop crying and start giving a sh!t about someone other than yourself.
Gail's still a cheap whore / May 1, 2014 at 07:08 pm
Still not worth $10.
Rick the Irrational / May 1, 2014 at 07:12 pm
He's a character from Alice in Wonderland. Rob 'n Doug are Tweedledum & Tweedledee so Rick the Dick is loyal.
Fred replying to a comment from Gail's still a cheap whore / May 1, 2014 at 08:40 pm
Name calling and finger pointing again shame. If you consider some of us beneath you please don't stoop to the same level.

Want to talk about the other candidates now? Or is that still considered a deflection by Ford Nation? We are not allowed to talk about the other candidates, all attention from the left MUST be on the Ford circus....
CSHunt / May 1, 2014 at 09:40 pm
Whomever still supports Rob Ford supports racism and sexism. Good to know. Looking at you: Gail, Rick, Fred.
ScarboroughStudent / May 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm
Well, we already established that Rob Ford supporters or as how they bill themselves as "Ford Nations", support all forms of bigotry and oppression including misogyny, homophobia, and sexism. Let's not forget the support on the countless lies and false claims. Also do not forget their support on being loyal to someone who clearly is not a good role model and representation to anyone, whether old or young. It's either their really blind, ill-informed, or just plain idiotic. I think it's all of the above.

That being said, in my opinion, as an Anti-Ford and Everyone-else-but-Ford (most leaning towards Chow because lets be honest, she's gonna take it) Supporter, I think we all should just leave the Rob Ford supporters in their own filth and let them rot with it.

Help spread the truth to pave over the lies.
Dawn Mills / May 2, 2014 at 01:11 am
Bottom-feeding 25% of mega-city + No-taxes suburban NIMBYs + Wealthiest 5% + Anybody-But-Chow cohort = Ford More Years!

This is Toronto. We've got it in us, we're just too polite to say so.
Ford Nation Strategist / May 2, 2014 at 03:44 am
There's still life in the brand, I say. Encourage Doug to step up to the plate, after a respectful silence. You want more Ford? Vote Doug Ford for Mayor! Let him carry on the good work.
Chow+Shiek sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g... / May 2, 2014 at 10:30 am
Ford has majority support in Toronto, still. He is going to be our mayor and there is nothing you can do about it. HAHA
jen replying to a comment from Chow+Shiek sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g... / May 2, 2014 at 11:56 am
25% is a majority of the population? I think you need to go back to high school and complete grade 9 math....

Ford Nation = stupid people
j-rock / May 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm
In addition to making the city a lot angrier (and that's true of his supporters and opponents), Ford has made it dumber too. What passes for political discourse in 2014 is depressing.
j-rock replying to a comment from Gail / May 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Please stop being so blind. The city manager has reported that he hasn't saved much more than previous administrations, and if he has at all, then it's because of revenue tools that the dreaded Miller put in place. The same ones that Ford campaigned against (although the LT tax is still with us), which allow him the luxury of spouting his nonsense.

How much money was lost by unilaterally canceling a FULLY-FUNDED transit plan, and paying all of the associated penalties, not to mention the sunk costs? One of his first acts was to give the police a huge raise.

I don't know what it is about this deeply flawed, limited, bigoted, deceitful man that so many people in this city love, but honey - he's lying to you. Just like the rest of us. Ford has wasted a lot of money, not to mention time, and he doesn't deserve to be taken seriously anymore. If he ever was in the first place.

Please take the blinders off. The emperor has no clothes (although that's a mental image I can do without). I abhor "Ford Nation", but I also feel a little bit sorry for you guys. You genuinely don't know, what you don't know.
LookWhoseTalking / May 2, 2014 at 04:06 pm
Poor, poor Jen. Still waiting for Chow to take the lead and posting false facts again.

No one in Ford Nation is a dumb as the stumps who would vote for a woman who never met a white d*k she didn't like.

Do you know who Olivia's team consists of Jen? The exact same people who propped up David Miller. Strange. I'd always thought Olivia was a member of the NDP. Wonder why a group of Liberal elites picked a bonehead like Chow to run for mayor of Toronto?

Guess you heard the happy news. Ontario is going to the polls. The news online? Not too many people like Wynnes budget (although I do, it's dreamy), or do they just not like her because she's a Liberal, or perhaps dishonest? Wonder how this information will play out.

Without Ford at City Hall, the straight answer is Toronto will be f*ked. The province is $15-billion in debt now. How much money do you think, seriously, they have to hand down to cities?

God help us. I don't want us to turn into Detroit. That will be our reality if we continue to over spend in a province already in debt.

Ford Nations not the dummies in this city Jen...
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