Toronto mayor Rob Ford loses more powers


The BBC's David Willis: "At one point the mayor charged towards the public gallery"

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The Toronto city council has voted to strip Mayor Rob Ford of most of his authority, as the embattled city leader resists growing pressure to step down.

On Monday, the council transferred most of Mr Ford's budget and many of his powers to the deputy mayor.

Mr Ford, 44, who has promised to fight the council's decisions, criticised the vote as a "coup d'etat".

The mayor of Canada's largest city has faced intense pressure to resign after admitting to smoking crack cocaine

In recent weeks he has also acknowledged buying illegal drugs while serving as mayor.

Mr Ford abstained from Monday's vote, but promised "outright war" in the next election against the councillors who opposed him.

"What's happening here today is not a democratic process, this is a dictatorship," he told the city councillors.

"You are absolutely telling everybody that voted in the last municipal election that their vote does not count."

And Mr Ford refused to apologise, saying he had done enough apologising already.

"I've admitted my mistakes," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and go on and on and on."

Earlier in the heated council meeting, Mr Ford ran through the gallery, accidentally knocking over city councillor Pam McConnell before catching her.

Ms McConnell was later seen holding ice to her lip.

'The worst spokesman'

Monday's motion reduces Mr Ford's office budget by 60%, and allows mayoral staff to join deputy mayor Norm Kelly, largely making Mr Ford mayor in name only.

Start Quote

Yes, one day I do want to run for prime minister”

End Quote Rob Ford Toronto Mayor

The council does not have the power to remove Mr Ford from office unless he has a criminal conviction.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, once a Ford ally but now one of his most outspoken critics, said the mayor's conduct was embarrassing the city.

"He's the worst spokesman for the city of Toronto right now," he said.

The Toronto council began stripping away his powers on Friday, voting 39 to 3 to prevent him from being able to dismiss the deputy mayor and taking away his emergency powers.

Despite the scandal, Mr Ford does not seem inclined to shun the spotlight.

He gave interviews to US media organisations at the weekend and appeared at a Toronto Argonauts game, despite the Canadian Football League commissioner suggesting he not.

Mr Ford and his brother Doug Ford, a city councillor, launched their own current events television programme on Monday evening.

Rob Ford described his behaviour as 'hypocrisy at its best'

The show, Ford Nation, is named after the bloc of conservative, suburban voters who put Mr Ford in office in 2010.

The mayor told viewers they would see a change in him over the next few months, saying that he had not touched alcohol in a number of weeks.

"I'll take a urine sample right now,'' he said on the pre-recorded show.

On Sunday, Mr Ford told US broadcaster Fox News he had "admitted to drinking too much", but said he was dealing with it, including going to the gym two hours every day.

"I'm seeking professional help, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict," he said. "Have I had my outbursts in the past? Absolutely.

"But you know what, I'm only human. I've made mistakes. I've apologised."

He added: "Yes, one day I do want to run for prime minister."

The Toronto mayor apologised again on Thursday for making an obscene outburst on live television while denying he had offered oral sex to a female staff member.

He had been responding to allegations in court papers that he had also driven drunk, used racially abusive language, threatened staff and consorted with an alleged prostitute.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 344.

    "that the living may know

    that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,

    and giveth it to whomsoever he will,

    and setteth up over it the basest of men"


    not much changed in 2500yrs,

    but at least Rob Ford has not made a massive golden statue of himself and commanded people to bow down to it ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 343.

    surely the good people of Toronto want this sad clown kicked out, i'm also shocked the authorities stripped Rob Ford of most of his powers, why not strip him of all of them? his latest incident involved him losing his temper when councilors were criticizing him and knocking over some poor woman who ended up with a fat lip, what will this clown do next?

  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    337. Frowny Face
    Why aren't people in public office subject to random drug testing?

    Where would they start? Drugs, alcohol, indecency in a public toilet, buggery, assault, fraudulent claims of expenses, lying, cheating, avarice, hypocrisy, holding down several jobs, & numerous other offences, and that's just our MP's!

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    If he did not behave this way while running for mayor, then the conservative block who voted him in are the victims of bait and switch.

    His close supporter has now become the most vocal critic - that may mean his public behavior is just the tip of the iceberg - that objectionable behavior has gone on behind closed doors in his party meetings just not put on UTube.

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    It seems amazing that the BBC to which I loyally support constantly reports on these foreign nobody's while ignoring the thieving, manipulating, greedy, avaricious, self seeking MP's in our own country.
    These reptiles are STILL screwing the taxpayer for every penny they can whilst pontificating to the rest of us how we should earn less, have a lodger in our home & trust them with our money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.


    I hope that was that a rhetorical question,
    as the moderators would expunge any truthful answers ;)

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    Oh please when I was in Toronto standing outside a night club, the door staff who regularly search everyone, found a guy with 2 grams of coke on him the door staff called the police, which came in all of 60 to 90 seconds, they searched the guy again and said to the door staff, its for personal use told the door staff to chill and he kept the gear welcome to Toronto' ay What the hell???

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    Why aren't people in public office subject to random drug testing? If people doing unimportant office jobs have to suffer the indignity, why not those at the top whose actions do matter?

  • Comment number 336.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    Funny old world isn't it....if this were you or I, we would be thrown to the curb, followed by our coat & coffee mug. A letter would arrive by registered mail stating our conduct did not merit a pension. Rumours would circulate the working community, our name mud....our move to another city ...imminent and without references..........and then, there are these guys! Unbelievable !!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    To Andyc555:
    O'Rourke on USA: "The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?"

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    Private immorality, or "bad social model" are not reasons to remove an official (recall election aside). The Republicans here tried it with Clinton over a blowjob. JFK was on steroids and lied about his fitness for Senator and President. Churchill smoked like a chimney and drsnk like a sailor. And not too long ago, beginning of last century, all drugs were legal.

    And yet we survived.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    329 - Robbyn Graves.

    I bow to your historical knowledge and I will consider myself corrected.

    However, I was simply trying to make the point that just because someone has been elected into a position of trust, the fact that he has indeed been elected should not be a prohibition for removal from office prior to the allotted term in office if the one elected is proven not fit for purpose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    Here we go again.... something that's nothing to do with us and the BBC expects us to comment.

    I am sure Mr Ford doesn't give a hoot or comment about 'our side the pond'.

    I am 100% sure the BBC can find better topics nearer home to chat about.... but they have Cameron clowns watching every move.

    Sorry Beeb I don't give a toss about Ford, the clowns this side are just as bad, aren't they Ed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    I'm not condoning his actions, yet I'd like to point out
    stories like this only come out into the open when the puppet masters tug a string.

    It is said that there are media tycoons with "vaults" of unseen material. Great leverage when they wish to make back door appointments with statesmen. These media tycoons are themselves 'but the strings.

    On these terms, what did mayor Ford not comply with?

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    democratically elected..May I remind you that so was Adolph Hitler

    not in a meaningful sense, he failed to get enough votes to be president or seats to be chancellor but negotiated his way into being appointed. Nazi rule claimed a mandate by having a rigged referendum on the(very popular) annexation of Austria which added to the end of the question approval for a one party Nazi state

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    On a lighter note,

    A bus full of Politicians & the Mayor were out on the campaign trail one day when the bus crashes. On hearing the loud noise, a farmer rushes out to find the wreckage & buries all of the Politicians & the Mayor. Next day the investigators arrive & said to the farmer "So, you buried them all, were they all dead?". The farmer replied "Some said no, but you know how they lie".

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    98.sir guffington
    sorry to burst your little bubble but absolutely nothing is happening to SH in Egypt , why are you here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    322 - LardiusMaximus. Very true. I'm sick of saying it, but the democratic right to vote is not the same as voting within a democracy. Revolution begs the question as to which side the other two existing voting patterns would align with, or would revolution simply evolve into a civil war as in many other countries & indeed, as is dictated by our own history? Puzzler?

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    @323 AndyC555
    Ah yes, P J O'Rourke, American Satirist who wrote 'How to Drive Fast on Drugs while Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed & Not Spill Your Drink'.

    btw An American told me that Americans don't travel...too difficult and a long drive by car.


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