Nov 27, 2012

By Jane Brown

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Rob Ford has promised to appeal a decision to remove him as Mayor of Toronto for conflict of interest, but how will the legal scenario play out?  There are four potential outcomes.  If Ford is granted a stay of the judgement, he would remain mayor during the appeal process.  If he’s not granted a stay, city council can either appoint a member of council to be mayor or hold a by-election.  If Rob Ford is not guaranteed a stay and wins the appeal, it’s unclear what would happen to the interim mayor once Ford is returned to office.  And if the appeal court upholds the original decision, then Rob Ford is out of options.

If Rob Ford stays in office, Ryerson Politics professor Neil Thomlinson says Ford will have a tough time carrying out his mandate.  “I think his grip on council is going to be even more tenuous.  And I think that council’s going to be a lot more vigilant, not allowing him to do anything on his own.  They’re going to be paying attention to reigning him in whenever possible and assert council’s control over him, which he’s not going to like.  And that’s going to create all kinds of tensions.”

Rob Ford is scheduled to declare today Toronto Argonauts Day following the Argos victory parade at Nathan Phillips Square during the noon hour.  There’s no indication he won’t be attending this event as Mayor, since he has been granted 14 days to stay in office.  Ford also plans to be on the sidelines at Rogers Centre tonight when the Don Bosco football team he coaches competes in the Metro Bowl.  Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, is urging supporters to come out.  “This is a man that cares, a man that’s the most honest politician I’ve ever seen in this country.  So if you want to support Rob Ford, come by at 8 o’clock.”

It’s Rob Ford’s love of football coaching that became the source of his current problems.  Yesterday’s ruling stems from Ford’s decision at a February council meeting to speak about and vote on a requirement that he repay $3150 in donations to his private football foundation improperly solicited from lobbyists.

Toronto City Councillors will be steering through uncharted territory as they meet today following yesterday’s stunning court decision.



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