News / Americas

Toronto Council Strips Besieged Mayor of Some Powers

Toronto Councilor Doug Ford, left, speaks to brother, Mayor Rob Ford, during city council meeting, Nov, 15, 2013.
Toronto Councilor Doug Ford, left, speaks to brother, Mayor Rob Ford, during city council meeting, Nov, 15, 2013.
Reuters
— Toronto city council voted to strip scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers on Friday, but Ford, who admits he smoked crack cocaine while in office, promised to challenge the moves in court.
 
With few legal mechanisms available to remove Ford from office, Toronto city councilors across the political spectrum have been searching for ways to curb the power of the populist mayor, who was elected in 2010 on a promise to save taxpayers' money.
 
Ford said he understood why councilors were voting to reduce his power, but said he has no option but to launch a legal challenge, even though it will waste the city's money in legal fees.
 
“If I would have had a mayor acting the way I've conducted myself, I would have done the exact same thing,” Ford said of council's vote.
 
“Obviously, in my situation I have to support myself, and I think anybody in my position would have done the same.”
 
In comments that have made international headlines, Ford has admitted to buying illegal drugs and driving after consuming alcohol, as well as to having used crack. But he says he was elected to do a job and that he won't step down.
 
He has also vowed to run for mayor again in next October's election.
 
Council voted 39 to three to suspend the mayor's ability to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and the heads of council committees. Ford and his brother, Councilor Doug Ford, and one other councilor voted no.
 
Council also voted 41 to two to give the deputy mayor, rather than the mayor, special powers during emergencies such as natural disasters. Only the Ford brothers voted no.
 
“We have been frankly fortunate that no emergencies have landed on the same dates on which we know the mayor's judgment may have been impaired,” said Councilor John Filion, who proposed the changes. “The members of council that I've spoken to do not wish to push our luck on that.”
 
Councilors, some of whom have pointedly turned their backs on Ford while he has spoken in recent meetings, are expected on Monday to consider slashing his office budget.
 
The furor over the mayor's drug use emerged in the spring after U.S. media blog Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper both said they had viewed a cellphone video that appeared to show him smoking crack cocaine.
 
Ford spent months dodging questions about the video, but admitted earlier this month that he had used the drug “in one of my drunken stupors”.
 
The saga, punctuated by Ford's combative exchanges with reporters and by his emotional apologies, has transfixed Toronto residents and late-night comedy writers alike.
 
On Thursday afternoon, the mayor apologized for an obscene outburst made as he denied an allegation he had made sexual overtures to an employee. He said he is getting professional help regarding his drinking.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Legal school segregation ended in the US 60 years ago, but research project finds it still occurs based on income and race
More

Cuban Tourism Industry Stalls in 2013; Up 3.9 Percent Through June

Statistics seen as latest indication of general slowdown in country's economy
More