rob ford stripped powers

Toronto city council votes to strip Ford of his powers

Toronto city council has voted 39-3 in favour of taking away a chunk of Rob Ford's mayoral powers, including the ability to add or remove members of his own executive committee.

At a special meeting this morning, only three councillors - Rob Ford, Doug Ford, and David Shiner - voted against the action, drafted in the wake of recent accusations of drug and alcohol use.

Under the new rules, which stay in effect until the end of the present term of office, Ford is also unable to appoint or remove committee chairs. If vacancies do occur, city council will be required to fill the positions.

On 4 Nov., Ford told Newstalk 1010 listeners he would be "running the ship, even if it's by myself."

Rob Ford said he plans to take legal action against the decision. His municipal affairs lawyer, George Rust-D'Eye, believes the mayor may have a case, though city solicitor Anna Kinastowski said she is confident that council acted within its powers.

Ford said it will cost taxpayers "a fortune" for the city to mount a defence against his legal action.

At a separate special meeting immediately following the first, council voted 41-2 in favour of taking away some of Ford's duties in a city-wide emergency, such as the summer floods. The mayor retains the right to declare a state of emergency, however, as that right is protected by statute but some other duties now fall to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

"If wouldn't cost the taxpayers an arm and a leg, which obviously it's going to, I would have done the same thing," Ford said, shortly before voting against the motion.

"If I would have had a mayor acting the way I conducted myself I would have done the exact same thing. I'm not mad at anybody, I take full responsibility."

"Obviously, in my situation, I have to support myself," he said.

The clipping of Ford's wings may not be done yet. A third special meeting scheduled for Monday could hand "all powers and duties which are not by statute assigned to the Mayor" to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

The motion would also cut Ford's office expenses and hand responsibility for the balance of the operating budget to the city clerk and Norm Kelly, who would also become chair of the Executive Committee at the expense of Rob Ford.

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

Photo by John Tavares in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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