Rob Ford may fight council decision to strip him of power
Toronto’s embattled mayor may have legal basis to counter council decision
Muneer Huda, Staff Writer
The city council’s decision to strip Rob Ford of his powers, leaving him as mayor of Toronto in title only, may be overturned by the court.
On Friday,Toronto’s council passed two motions, relieving Mayor Ford of his power to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor, or any members of the executive committee, and taking away his authority during a state of emergency. Ford was defeated overwhelminglyin a 39-3 and 41-2 vote.
But George Rust-D’Eye, a legal expert on municipal law, told the CBC that “what can be done by city council can be undone by the court on an application to quash or an application for judicial review.”
Rob Ford vowed to take the council to court after Friday’s decision. He has retained the help of Rust’D-Eye to advise his own lawyer, Dennis Morris.
“The city council of course has powers to amend or revoke bylaws that it’s passed, but at the same time those powers are all subject to the general principle that they cannot act inconsistently with provincial legislation,” said Rust-D’Eye. “And the provincial legislation in this case is sections 133 and 134 in the City of Toronto Act, which give responsibilities to the mayor.”
Rust-D’Eye suggested that, as head of the council, Rob Ford had special provisions to legally overturnthe decision and “not be hamstrung by the city council.”
Third motion to further reduce Rob Ford’s authority
Rob Ford’s public image has been tarnished over the last few weeks with a series of allegations and admission. These include smoking crack cocaine, having a drinking problem, threatening to kill someone on video and using crude sexual language in front of the press.
Torontonians against Rob Ford have taken to the streets in recent days as they are ashamed of their mayor’s antics, and see him as an international embarrassment. “[P]eople associate Toronto with this buffoon who makes us all look bad,” says Michael Bedford, a 30 year old protestor.
But despite opposition from his council and the public, Ford maintains a strong base of supporters, dubbed Ford Nation. A survey shows Ford’s approval rating falling to only 40 per cent after his admission to smoking crack cocaine, down from 49 per cent in June 2012. Many of his supporters, hailing from suburban Toronto, still see him as the man who helped taxpayers save their money.
“I like the job he’s doing. He did well coming in here and exposing some politicians for spending too much,” says Grant Hackley, 63, a security guard in Cloverdale Mall. When asked about the crack cocaine admission, Hackley says, “I figure it’s his private life, and what he does in his private life shouldn’t interfere with his job.”
The city is expected to pass another motion on Monday to reduce Ford’s office budget to that of a regular city councillor.
Muneer Huda writes out of Waterloo, Ontario. He enjoys all kinds of writing, but has a special love for speculative fiction. He aspires to support himself solely through his writing one day. http://muneerhuda.com