Toronto City Council Votes to Strip Mayor of Some Powers
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Toronto’s City Council voted 39-3 on Friday to strip Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers. Ford has so far managed to avoid resigning over admissions of drinking and drug use, as well as his erratic behavior.
The motion, approved by 39 votes to three, suspended Ford’s authority to dismiss his deputy mayor and executive committee, which runs Toronto’s budget process. The mayor has vowed to fight the decision in court, though he also expressed sympathy for their position.
"If I would have had a mayor conducting themselves the way I have, I would have done exactly the same thing,"said Ford.
The City Council had already voted on Wednesday for Ford to take a break from his job to deal with his personal issues. In addition to his alcohol problem, Ford has admitted to buying illegal drugs and smoking crack cocaine.
But despite mounting pressure to resign the mayor has adamantly refused to leave office, RT reported.
“I am not an addict of any sort, so I am not quite sure why you are saying that I need help,”he told council members during an hour-long questioning session which involved both his opponents and a seemingly diminishing group of allies, which included his elder brother.
Doug Ford, a member of Toronto's city council, reportedly urged his brother to accept the leave, according to a report by CNN which cited another council member.
Councilors voted 37 to 5 in favor of a non-binding motion which urged Ford to take a leave of absence and apologize for misleading Toronto residents.
“There’s no question that the residents of this city are opposed to the mayor’s behavior. Because of the mayor I am explaining to my nine-year-old daughter what crack cocaine is. Because of the mayor I’m explaining that it’s not ok to lie and then apologize when you get caught,”said Councilor Karen Stintz.
Ford admitted to smoking crack in one of his“drunken stupors”and he publicly admitted to purchasing illegal drugs within the last two years while in office when pressed by a member of the city council.
The scandal initially broke six months ago when the Toronto Star and media blog Gawker said they had been shown a video of the mayor smoking crack. Ford spent the next six months denying the allegations. However, when the Toronto police chief confirmed its existence, the mayor was forced to change his tune.