Morning Brew: Ford faces motions to remove his power and gets "support" for alcohol, city council turns away, Argos are unhappy, and kids kept out of City Hall
Rob Ford will face the first of two special council meetings later today that could end in him stripped of many of his powers. The "Motion to Improve the Decision Making Environment at City Hall" could hand Ford's ability to appoint and dismiss committee chairs to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, among others changes.
On Monday, council halve Ford's office budget, place Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in charge of the mayor's executive, and boot Ford from all committees. The biggest change, however, would be to take away "all powers and duties which are not by statute" - essentially making Ford a mayor in name only.
Following his bizarre (and really gross) denial of an affair with a prostitute yesterday, Rob Ford has said sorry for using coarse language in a press scrum and announced he is "receiving support from a team of healthcare professionals" after admitting driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Flanked by his wife, Ford called statements to police by former staffers Mark Towhey, George Christopolous, and Isaac Ransom "100% lies" and said he would be taking legal action.
Members of council clearly didn't buy Ford's latest apology - during a debate about ways to save the BIXI bike program many turned their back when the mayor rose to speak.
The decision to nix the Ford's weekly Newstalk 1010 talk show won't keep Toronto's most famous brothers silent for long. Sun News has confirmed Rob and Doug will host a show on Monday evenings called "Ford Nation." Details are scant, but Sun News personalities could drop in as guests, apparently.
First Santa, now his beloved Argos are backing away from Rob Ford. The team said the mayor's remarks about oral sex and driving intoxicated were "disappointing" while he was wearing the team's jersey. "The situation with respect to the Mayor and his leadership is unseemly at best," the football club said on Twitter.
Even kids are being kept away from the mayor. Cllr. Karen Stintz confirmed school trips to City Hall have been put on hold because the current environment is "unsafe."
The scandal is continuing to draw in unlikely characters. Yesterday actor Charlie Sheen offered Ford a "steady hand and compassionate heart" in an open letter shared on Twitter. Sheen was responding to a spoof news article that said he had called for Ford to quit.
A U.S. airline isn't complaining when it comes to crack scandals in Toronto. Clearly it's good for selling discount flights from Niagara Falls airport, as a new ad for Spirit Airlines attests.
In news totally unrelated to Toronto's wayward chief magistrate, the city's food trucks are preparing to batten down the hatches for winter. The hardy team at Gourmet Gringos and Hogtown Smoke say they will open on a on a reduced schedule during the cold weather. Others are parking the truck and working on side projects.
Finally, you know things are really bad when the video feed from Toronto city council makes for an extended bit on a comedy talk show. The horror.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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