May 06, 2014

By Jane Brown

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Today’s Toronto City Council meeting is the fist since embattled mayor Rob Ford left the city for treatment of his alcohol addiction.  Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says Toronto city Hall has been “calm and stable” since Ford left.  Kelly says he’s “just as in the dark as the rest of Toronto regarding where Rob Ford is going to rehab and how long he’ll be away.”  A published report says Ford landed on a flight to Chicago last Thursday but then turned around before officially entering the U.S.  The Consul General of Canada in Chicago, Rob Norton, confirmed to the Globe and Mail in an email that Ford voluntarily withdrew his application to enter the U.S.A.  But the privacy act prevents officials from commenting further.  Ford’s wherabouts are still unknown.  The Mayor’s brother and campaign manager, Doug Ford, has declined to answer questions about whether his brother is in Chicago or somewhere else.  Rob Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, maintains his client has checked into a treatment facility, although he wouldn’t say whether or not he is in the United States.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he won’t be taking Ford’s seat at this week’s council meeting, but he has assumed responsibility of the mayor’s staff.  He stresses that they will continue to perform the functions they’ve been performing.  Kelly says, “there’s no Ford team, and there’s no Kelly team.  There is only team Toronto.”   The ombudsman’s report on hiring practices at Toronto Community Housing Corporation is on today’s agenda. “My advice to council is to accept the ombudsman’s report and thank her for doing exhaustive analysis of the situation, accept the recommendations and then leave the larger issues if any, to the next council,” Kelly advises.

Also on the council agenda is a report from the integrity commissioner, which found Mayor Ford breached the code of conduct when he dispatched robocalls to Councillor Paul Ainslie’s residents last year, denouncing his vote on the Scarborough subway.

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