News Americas

Sunday 19 November 2017

Toronto mayor promises 'outright war' after being stripped of powers

David Crary and Rob Gillies

Toronto's City Council has voted to strip scandal-plagued mayor Rob Ford of many of his powers and is now threatening "outright war" with his former colleagues as a result.

The council voted overwhelming last night to cut his office budget by 60pc and allow mayoral staff to join the deputy mayor. Mr Ford now effectively has no legislative power as he would no longer chair the executive committee.

He still retains his title and ability to represent Toronto at official functions.

The Canadian city has been abuzz with the Ford melodrama since May, when news outlets reported that he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine.

Mr Ford retaliated by verbally threatening the council.

"If you think American-style politics is nasty, you guys have just attacked Kuwait," he told members of the council chambers.

"And you will never see something -- mark my words, my friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election, and I am going to do everything in my power to beat you guys."

 

Before the vote Mr Ford charged at the gallery at one point and knocked over Councillor Pam McConnell before picking her back up. Another councillor asked Mr Ford to apologise. He said he was rushing to the defence of his brother, city councillor Doug Ford.

"I picked her up," Rob Ford said. "I ran around because I thought my brother was getting into an altercation."

Visibly shaken after Mr Ford ran her over, Ms 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. I just need to sit down," she said.

Under the motion, already endorsed by a majority of council members, Mr Ford would have his office budget cut by 60pc and his mayoral staff would join the deputy mayor.

Irish Independent

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