Chaotic Toronto meeting debates curbs to Mayor Ford’s powers

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack, among other indiscretions. Credit: Reuters
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack, among other indiscretions. Credit: Reuters

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shouted at hecklers and nearly knocked down a city councilor in a raucous meeting on Monday as the City Council debated imposing further limits on Ford’s power.

The mayor’s brother, City Councillor Doug Ford, denounced the meeting as a “coup d’etat” to depose Ford, who has been under fire after admitting to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and driving after drinking alcohol.

With Ford resisting calls to resign, City Council members on Monday discussed debated slashing his office budget and giving his deputy more power. On Friday the council had suspended Ford’s authority to dismiss the deputy mayor and the heads of council committees, and removed his powers to act during emergencies.

Ford stalked around the meeting room on Monday, getting into an angry verbal exchange with gallery spectators, some of whom shouted “Shame! Shame!” at him. At one point he ran across the room and collided with Councillor Pam McConnell, almost knocking her over. He later apologized.

At one stage, the mayor mimed drinking and driving – apparently a jab at a councillor whose license was briefly suspended after a roadside breathalyzer test. A video clip spread quickly on social media.

The council cannot remove Ford from office or strip him of roles laid out in provincial law, such as representing the city at events, but it has been looking for ways to limit him.

“What we’re doing is saying to our deputy mayor, please represent our city until 2014, because we trust you more than we trust the mayor,” Councillor Karen Stintz told reporters. Stintz, once a Ford ally, now plans to run against him in the October 2014 election.

Councilors were expected to vote later on Monday on motions that would name Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly as the leader of the city’s cabinet-like executive committees, instead of Ford.

“They’re trying to pull a coup d’etat and overthrow an elected official,” Doug Ford told reporters.

Ford’s lawyer, George Rust-D’Eye, was more circumspect. If the mayor cannot carry out roles mandated by provincial law because of the council’s decisions, a court could intervene, he said.

CHAOTIC MEETING

Ford, who told Fox News that he hopes to run for prime minister one day, recently admitted he has driven after consuming alcohol. And in 1999 he was arrested for impaired driving while on vacation in Florida, and pleaded no contest.

Doug Ford, meanwhile, brought a motion – later ruled out of order – that would call a snap mayoral election, something the mayor also has sought.

The revelations about Ford, which started in May when two media outlets said they had seen video of him smoking from what appeared to be a crack pipe, have thrust Toronto into the international spotlight.

A new television show featuring the mayor and his brother is set to debut on Monday evening on Canada’s right-wing Sun News Network. The network is touting new confessions from “the most wanted man in news.”

CNN will air a taped interview with the mayor at the same time, 8 p.m. Monday. CNN said on its website that the network also spoke with Doug Ford, who addressed allegations he trafficked drugs in the 1980s.

Doug Ford denied a report published in May by the Globe and Mail newspaper that he sold hashish for several years in the 1980s. But he said he did offer small quantities of marijuana to friends.

“Thirty-one years ago. I smoked marijuana. I didn’t deal marijuana. If you want to go calling, you know, going to your buddy and saying, ‘Here is a joint for 10 bucks.’ If that’s what you want to call (dealing), so be it,” he said, according to CNN.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.