Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 15, 2013

Toronto council strips mayor of powers

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The mayor, a conservative who touts his efforts to curb public spending and keep taxes low, later made it clear he intends to seek re-election next year.

"Councilors spoke today. The taxpayers of this great city will have their say Oct. 27," Ford told a crush of reporters at City Hall, referring to the date of the municipal elections. A few hecklers shouted "Resign! Resign!"

Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, called the council's actions a "coup" and said they have hired a municipal law expert to challenge it.

The vote came a day after yet another series of antics from Ford that outraged city councilors, anti-drunk driving advocates and even Toronto's football team, which protested when Ford wore a team jersey while making a profanity-laced statement.

"We need to take away his power for the good of the city," said Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former ally. "The tide has turned and there are very few people that are prepared to defend him given his vulgar comments and his admission that not only does he takes drugs but that he seems to be comfortable drinking and getting behind the wheel."

Morris, Ford's lawyer, said he thought the council's overwhelming support to strip the mayor's power came about because of the public outcry over the obscenity that Ford spouted a day earlier while denying that he pressured a female employee for oral sex. The mayor said on live television that he was "happily married" and used crude language to say he enjoys enough oral sex at home.

"If it wasn't for that stupid comment he made yesterday no one would have thought this (the council's action) was appropriate," Morris told The Associated Press. "It was a turning point for public sympathy. That type of remark is never every appropriate in public. There's no doubt about it, he's going to have to do a lot of leg work to gain back public confidence in him."

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