Nov 28, 2012

By Jane Brown

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Toronto’s embattled mayor didn’t let his legal troubles keep him from doing what he loves – coaching high school football.  Rob Ford was on the sidelines at Rogers Centre last night as the Don Bosco football team he coaches lost 28-14 to the Huron Heights Warriors of Newmarket in the GTA championship.  After the game, Ford thanked supporters of Don Bosco and the people of Toronto for making the Metro Bowl one of the most successful ever.   Ford supporters were in the stands  including Peter Shaw.  He says he was asked to leave by Rogers Centre staff for carrying a sign that read, Rob Ford is MY mayor.  “This is my personal opinion.  It’s not political.”

Ford apologized yesterday to those who don’t like the way he handled his conflict of interest situation, but explained that he’s fighting to stay on as Toronto’s mayor.  “It’s important to work through the appeal system, so I can continue to do the work I was elected to do by the taxpayers of this city.  This entire matter began because I love to help kids play football.”

Justice Charles Hackland found Ford as being “willfully blind” in taking part in a council vote on whether he should repay donations solicited on city of Toronto letterhead.  He is seeking a stay of the judge’s ruling pending an appeal to Divisional Court.  His stay application is to be heard next Wednesday December 5th, which will determine if he can stay on as mayor during the appeal process.

A new poll finds a majority of Toronto residents feel Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland did the right thing in removing Mayor Rob Ford from office.  The Forum research poll found 58 per cent feel the judge did the right thing. Thirty-six per cent think he should be allowed to stay on as Mayor.  Almost two-thirds of respondents feel the Mayor brought his troubles on himself.

Toronto MP Olivia Chow has been touted as a candidate for the next municipal election.  She was asked last night about her thoughts on the Ford saga.  “Mr. Ford’s matters is (sic) in front of the courts again.  And I’ll consider what role I might play when court makes it’s decision and city council’s deliberation.”

If Ford loses either the appeal or request for a stay, council would be forced to either nominate a current council member for mayor or hold a by-election.  In the event of a by-election,  city solicitor Anna Kinastowski says Ford would be barred from running.

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