Tuesday 24 October 2017

Toronto's mayor stripped of powers in council vote

Rob Ford: vows to fight move
Rob Ford: vows to fight move

Rob Gillies

Toronto's City Council has voted overwhelmingly to strip Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers, trying to box in the brash leader who has rebuffed huge pressure to resign over his drinking and drug habits and erratic behavior. Mr Ford vowed to challenge the measure in court.

The motion, approved in a 39-3 vote, suspends Mr Ford's authority to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and his executive committee, which runs the budget process.

In a separate vote, the council voted to give the deputy mayor authority to handle any civic emergency.

The effort will continue on Monday when the council moves to strip the mayor of most of his remaining powers.

The votes capped another frenzied week of twists and turns in a scandal that has consumed Canada's largest city and financial capital for months.

Newly released court documents showed that the mayor became the subject of a police investigation after news reports in May revealed he had been caught on video smoking crack.

In interviews with police, former staffers accused the mayor of frequently drinking on the job, driving while intoxicated and making sexual advances toward a female staff member.

Ford stirred up further controversy – even offending Canada's oldest football team – when he wore a team jersey on Thursday while making a profanity-laced statement as he angrily addressed the latest allegations.

Most city councilors are frustrated by Ford's refusal to step aside, but they lack the authority to force him out of office unless he is convicted of a crime.

Irish Independent

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