Strangely, Mayor Ford is carrying on as Mayor of Toronto; it really is “business as usual.”
While the rest of the members of Toronto City Council seem consumed with the alleged crack cocaine video, Mayor Ford is apparently performing their duties for which he was elected.
According to recent Toronto Star report, Mayor Ford, on his recent birthday, chaired an executive committee meeting for most of the day.
During this meeting, the executives heard a long discussion about Middle East politics in the context of whether Toronto City Council can do anything to prevent the participation of the activist group Queers Against Israel Apartheid in the annualToronto Pride Parade.
Note that the annual anti-Israeli Israel Apartheid Week has been criticized by all political parties in the Ontario Provincial Legislature.
The executive committee voted, with the Mayor’s support, that the City grant to Pride be only directed to the Pride Festival and not to the actual Pride Parade. Score one for the Mayor.
The executive committee also discussed Mayor Ford’s proposal to reduce the number of Toronto councilors from the current 44 members to a more cost-effective 25 members and recommended a consultant further look into this matter as an option to be considered by the full City Council.
And while it is unlikely that the full Toronto City Council will vote to terminate some of their own jobs, but the option of comparing the pros and cons of a smaller Toronto council is nonetheless worth pursuing. Score two for the Mayor.
The Star also reported that the Mayor met with schoolchildren and then predictably publicly denounced the Metrolinx proposal for more taxes to fund Metrolinx transit proposals.
Interestingly, the Mayor’s views were echoed by NDP leader Andrea Horwath, who like Ford, is against any new taxes levied against the people for the expanded transit proposals.
Wow, Ford and NDP Horwath singing from the same hymn book: score three for the Mayor.
I agree with the Toronto Star, that that day was not “business as usual” for Mayor Ford.
In fact, it was better than business as usual.
You will recall in the past, the Mayor sometimes missed such executive meetings, in favour of taking off in the afternoon, to coach his beloved Don Bosco Eagles.
But on that day, he appeared to work much more than usual on city business.
Meanwhile, the Mayor’s foes and friends on City Council — instead of working for their constituents and the people of Toronto — appear to spend most of their time lining up for media interviews and speculating on whether such a crack cocaine video exists and if it does exist, is it fake or not.
Both Doug Holyday and Gary Crawford have opined that they believe that such a video may exist, but they also question its authenticity. Then again, they also believe that Mayor Ford is telling the truth — that he does think that there is such a video.
I am glad that those views clarify matters.
On CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Councilman Josh Colle called the allegations “obviously shocking and kind of salacious stuff” that the mayor must address as soon as possible, lest it further distract from matters at city hall.
“There have been so many distractions, and it kind of seems to be ongoing,” Colle said.
Councilman Adam Vaughan, referring to the alleged video, opined, “that there have been distractions since Ford was elected.
“He’s a bad mayor because he makes bad decisions … he doesn’t have a coherent set of policies,” said Vaughan.
If I was Adam Vaughan, a potential mayoral candidate to replace Ford, I would not be measuring the Mayor’s office just yet in order to store Vaughan’s favourite anti-car, anti-casino, anti-corporate-profits posters.
According to noted CBC commentator and municipal law expert John Mascarin, who is a partner in the law firm of Aird and Berlis — where, incidentally, the former Toronto Mayor David Miller also hangs his hat, as counsel (small world, eh?) — the law is very clear.
There is no legal authority in the applicable laws that gives the province, the city of Toronto or Toronto City Council, the ability to remove Mayor Ford from office through recall or impeachment before the end of his term.
And according to a recent CBC radio interview, Mascarin further opined that even if Mayor Ford was actually present in the actual alleged video, his alleged smoking of crack cocaine on the video in and of itself would not constitute an act or crime that would legally justify his removal. According to Mascarin, even if Ford was charged with a criminal offence and convicted, Ford could remain in office as Mayor as long as he was not imprisoned.
So even if the infamous video emerges, and it is proven to be accurate, Mayor Ford will still ride out the term of his office.
And he will run again in the next election, against all challengers — even the mighty Olivia Chow.
Ironically, the pressure is more on The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star (not The Fords) to come up with more damning evidence against Rob Ford or Doug Ford. In other words, The Globe will have to do much better than unearthing unnamed sources from 30 ago about Doug Ford’s alleged drug dealing.
Because if the Globe and Star cannot deliver more damning revelations, Rob Ford and Doug Ford will get stronger with time.
They love playing in the mud, down and dirty, like fall football on a cold and rainy October.
I am not sure that The Globe and the Star have the cojones to get their white shoes dirty and muddy.
I doubt they have the stomach or willingness to get down and dirty with The Fords in the muck and mire. For an extended period of time.
Let the games begin.