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Toronto Council May Further Restrict Embattled Mayor's Powers

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches the CFL eastern final football game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Toronto, November 17, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches the CFL eastern final football game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Toronto, November 17, 2013.
Reuters
The Toronto city council may further curb the powers of embattled Mayor Rob Ford on Monday, slashing his office budget and offering his staff a chance to transfer to new jobs.

Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and driving after consuming alcohol, has issued a string of emotional apologies but refused to resign.

He plans to stand for re-election next year, and told Fox News on Sunday that he hopes to run for prime minister one day.

Under provincial law, the council cannot remove Ford from office or strip him of some roles, such as representing the city at events. But it has been looking for ways to limit his power.

At an afternoon meeting on Monday, the council was set to vote on a motion that, among other things, would cut Ford's office budget to that of a normal city councilor, and make the deputy mayor the chair of the cabinet-like executive committee.

Ford has vowed to fight the moves in court, but his lawyer, George Rust-D'Eye, said on Monday he will not seek an injunction to stop the council meeting. That does not rule out challenging the decision later.

On Friday, the council suspended Ford's ability to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and the heads of council committees. It also granted the deputy mayor, rather than the mayor, special powers to act during emergencies such as natural disasters.

A new television show featuring the mayor and his brother, councilor Doug Ford, is set to debut Monday evening on Canada's right-wing Sun News Network. The network is touting new confessions from “the most wanted man in news.”

CNN is set to air an interview with Ford at the same time, 8:00 p.m. [0100 GMT] Monday evening.

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