Toronto council strips mayor of more powers
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
TORONTO — Amid cries of “Shame! Shame!” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was stripped of the last of his meaningful powers on Monday during a heated City Council debate, in which he argued with members of the public, charged hecklers and knocked a councilwoman down.
Ford called the move a “coup d'etat” and vowed an “outright war” in the next election.
“What's happening here today is not a democratic process, it's a dictatorship process,” the 44-year-old mayor declared.
The council voted overwhelmingly in favor of slashing Ford's office budget by 60 percent and allowing his staff to move to the deputy mayor, who will take on many of the mayor's former powers. Ford now has no legislative power and no longer chairs the executive committee, but he retains his title and ability to represent Toronto at official functions.
The debate became raucous as Ford paced around the council chamber and traded barbs with members of the public. The speaker asked security to clear the gallery and a recess was called, but not before Ford barreled toward his detractors, mowing into Councilor Pam McConnell.
Another councilor asked Ford to apologize. Ford said he was rushing to the defense of his brother, Councilor Doug Ford, and accidentally knocked McConnell down.
“I picked her up,” he said. “I ran around because I thought my brother was getting into an altercation.”
Visibly shaken after Ford ran her over, McConnell, a petite woman in her 60s, said she never expected the chaos that broke out.
“This is the seat of democracy. It is not a football field. I just wasn't ready. Fortunately, the mayor's staff was in front. They stopped me from hitting my head against the wall,” McConnell said.
The motion to strip Ford of his powers was revised from a tougher version to ward off legal challenges by letting Ford keep his title and represent the city at official functions.
The council does not have the authority to remove Ford from office unless he is convicted of a crime. It is pursuing the strongest recourse after recent revelations of Ford smoking crack cocaine and his repeated outbursts of erratic behavior.
“Mayor Ford has had many choices. ... Would he change his behavior? Would he step aside and seek help?” said Councilor John Filion. “The mayor unfortunately has chosen the path of denial. Now it's time to take away the keys.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Eastern European military officers say security, economic ties blunt Russia’s war threat in Ukraine
- Egypt decrees protection for election commission
- Guardsmen in Caracas block food-shortage protest march
- Syrian military seizes rebel town near Lebanon border
- Cuba allows phone access to some email
- Oil slicks spotted in hunt for jet with 239 aboard
- Crimea lawmakers schedule vote on joining Russia
- Dutch pot problems spill into its streets