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November 26, 2012 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (previously, also previously) has been kicked out of office for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act after being found to have deliberately voted at city council on a measure related to his own pecuniary interests (previously). Full decision here. Ford may run for Mayor again in 2014. (Ford is widely expected to appeal the decision and request that the order be stayed in the meantime.)
posted by mightygodking (158 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well damn.
posted by jokeefe at 7:50 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Woooo!
will have more to say when I read the decision.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:52 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


So is there going to be a byelection, or does Doug Holyday take over for the next two years until the 2014 election? Not at all clear from the judgment.
posted by Dasein at 7:53 AM on November 26, 2012


There is partying on the streets of Facebook. I wouldn't be surprised if it hits the actual streets.

BUT he has 14 days to appeal, and can stay in office until an appeal is settled. And even then, he is not barred from running again (the judge could have banned him from running for 7 years), and honestly if an election were called today he'd win. Add in this persecution from the legal elite and maybe even moreso.

Don't get me wrong, this is awesome and I didn't think there would be any way it would actually happen. But we are not free of this buffoon yet.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:54 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


He made it pretty clear when he was dodging out of city council meetings to run his high school football team practices that the city could get by without him, but the team could not. Point taken.

Anyway, his team won the championships.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:54 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not at all clear from the judgment.

If I'm not mistaken council has discretion in appointing a mayor to serve out the term or calling a by-election immediately. Holyday becomes the temporary mayor, assuming the appeal is not successful.
posted by Adam_S at 7:55 AM on November 26, 2012


Rob Ford Timer Twitter: DING!
posted by yellowbinder at 7:56 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


and honestly if an election were called today he'd win.

If Toronto's left-leaning poli served up a number of candidates, then yes, he would. If he goes up against a single opponent, he almost certainly loses. His poll numbers are terrible.
posted by mightygodking at 7:56 AM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Chow for Mayor!
posted by scruss at 7:58 AM on November 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


My left-leaning friends are pushing hard for Olivia Chow in a by-election. She's definitely got the name recognition, and from what I gather people like her personally even if they don't politically.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:58 AM on November 26, 2012


But we are not free of this buffoon yet.

Not by a long shot. No doubt he's going to appeal, and there'll be however much time it takes for that to work through the system. But in the meantime, he's radioactive, and pretty much done already. Council will probably move on without him, even if Ford is still in the room.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:59 AM on November 26, 2012


My wife had to talk me down from the ledge the night he got elected, but good lord; he was even worse than I expected as Mayor. So on one hand this makes me happy, but I'm also apprehensive about the long-term implications for Toronto politics (which are already hugely fucked-up).

I don't think his team has won the championship yet...isn't the Metro Bowl tomorrow? And won't that be fun? Expect more media at that game than at last night's Grey Cup.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


And on lack of preview, see what I mean?

This line is interesting wrt appeals: I note parenthetically that reading down the operation of statutory provisions otherwise applicable is a constitutional remedy and no Charter issues have been raised by the parties in this proceeding. (para 23)

Ford was arguing that he should have the right to speak at Council in regards to any possible sanction, because essentially a person who faces a sanction should have the right to be heard (audi alteram partem). But since the law as written says no, the only way to do that is to raise a constitutional issue.

And since he didn't, it might not be able to be raised on appeal, because issues should be raised at the lower court.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:01 AM on November 26, 2012


Rob Ford's incompetence knows no bounds: he can't even get away with being corrupt.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:02 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rob Ford's incompetence knows no bounds: he can't even get away with being corrupt.

I don't like Ford, but this isn't corruption. The judge specifically says: "I recognize that the circumstances of this case demonstrate that there was absolutely no issue of corruption or pecuniary gain on the respondent’s part."
posted by Dasein at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Expect more media at that game than at last night's Grey Cup.

They can get there on city transit buses!
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


What demographic makes up the hard core Ford supporters?
posted by benzenedream at 8:09 AM on November 26, 2012


I'm utterly astonished by this. There were so many outs that would have allowed them to find him guilty but too stupid to know better and I expected that to be the outcome.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:09 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Grey Cup was in Toronto this weekend and Rob Ford was goofing off, throwing the ol' pigskin around with his constituents.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:11 AM on November 26, 2012


So much is still up in the air:

1) It's not clear from the language of the decision if he's allowed to run in a by-election
2) If he can appeal, it's not clear how long it would take, or if the decision would be stayed beyond the 14 days if the appeal took longer than that.

If he is allowed to run again, he would most likely win in a walk, as name recognition is the most significant factor in municipal elections, and Chow is the only candidate on the left who has immediate name recognition on par with Ford. Even then, it might not be enough.

As long as he's on the ballot, never count Rob Ford out.
posted by dry white toast at 8:12 AM on November 26, 2012


What demographic makes up the hard core Ford supporters?

suburban home owners who hate public employee unions.
posted by dry white toast at 8:13 AM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


I know there's always the chance he can be voted in again at some point in the future, but right now this is pretty sweet. When I moved to Canada, I was utterly baffled how Ford made it into office, seeing as how it was pretty clear he did not give two shits about anyone in Toronto. My husband--a former Torontonian--explained to me and I still didn't get it.
posted by Kitteh at 8:13 AM on November 26, 2012


1) It's not clear from the language of the decision if he's allowed to run in a by-election

This seems to me to be a major deficiency in the judgment. What is the "current term"? Until 2014, or did this judgment just bring the "current term" to an end?
posted by Dasein at 8:13 AM on November 26, 2012


During the past 53 weeks, my favourite brother and one of my cousins died, I lost my job, a long-term relationship imploded, and I got hit by a car. And now this FREAKING MIRACLE. I now believe good things may start to come my way again!!!!!!!
posted by orange swan at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2012 [21 favorites]


From the judgment:
In view of the respondent's leadership role in ensuring integrity in municipal government, it is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football association) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the Integrity Commissioner and the Code of Conduct. In my opinion, the respondent's actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to wilful blindness.
That seems about right to me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]



I'm utterly astonished by this. There were so many outs that would have allowed them to find him guilty but too stupid to know better and I expected that to be the outcome.


Yeah I never expected this. Talk about going out with the tiniest of bangs.
posted by beau jackson at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2012


I'm utterly astonished by this. There were so many outs that would have allowed them to find him guilty but too stupid to know better and I expected that to be the outcome.

There really isn't. The MCIA is a blunt instrument, which the court acknowledges around para 50. The only way to be guilty but not get kicked off is through inadvertance/error in judgment. That essentially requires, according to the case law, that they absolutely couldn't have known they weren't allowed to speak.

Given that Ford admitted he knew that he had a financial interest, and that he didn't seek legal advice or information in the 12 years he's been on council, the court had no real option but to say this was wilful blindness to the law.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


In view of the significant mitigating circumstances surrounding the respondent’s actions, as set out in paragraph 48 of these reasons, I decline to impose any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term

So here's the line about disqualification. The question, as Dasein points out, is "what is a term"?

My read on it is that he can't run in the by-election, because a by-election is to fill a seat for an on-going term. My hunch is that it's clear in one of the statutes, probably the Municipalities Act or the Elections Act. That's the kind of thing that gets defined.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:18 AM on November 26, 2012


I'm utterly astonished by this.

My astonishment is restricted only to the fact that the judge was willing to actually do this. There's a natural reluctance to overturn the will of the people, particularly in such a high-profile situation, but -- as was said before, the MCIA is a blunt instrument, and the law's the law.

Nothing about the fact situation itself is the least bit astonishing.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:20 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


best comment seen on my Facebook feed:
"On the upside, the Don Bosco Eagles now have a full time coach."
posted by flex at 8:22 AM on November 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Want to see a lousy mayor? Say hello to Providence's Buddy Cianci
Notably, he was forced to resign from office twice due to felony convictions. His first administration ended in 1984 when he pled guilty to assault. His second stint as mayor ended when he was forced to resign following his conviction for racketeering conspiracy (running a corrupt criminal enterprise), and he served four years in federal prison
He currently hosts a radio show.
posted by shothotbot at 8:23 AM on November 26, 2012


Holyday becomes the temporary mayor, assuming the appeal is not successful.

Could be worse. Could be Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:25 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


As the votes were being counted on the night of Ford's election, Metafilter's dobbs made this prediction of Ford's fate. It’s not too far off the mark.
posted by New Frontier at 8:29 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry for posting so often.
I think I found what we're looking for, in the Municipal Elections Act, which explicitly applies to the election to the council of a local municipality, which this is.

6. (1) The term of all offices to which this Act applies is four years, beginning on December 1 in the year of a regular election. 2006, c. 9, Sched. H, s. 2.. Nothing in the by-elections section seems to state that the term is refreshed. City of Toronto Act specifically notes that it doesn't change terms.

So my read is that Ford can't run in the by-election, because it's just filling out the "term", but can run for the next full term. But we'll see from the better-informed people.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:29 AM on November 26, 2012


Municipal Conflict of Interest Act which states elected officials can’t speak to, or vote upon, items in which they have a “pecuniary interest.”
Oh my god.

Why don't we have this everywhere in the US?
posted by schmod at 8:33 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


dobbs made this prediction of Ford's fate.

I've also been banned from Ford's Facebook page for making a (now accurate) prediction regarding this case. And referring to him as an idiot-manchild.
posted by dobbs at 8:34 AM on November 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


I honestly figured he'd have a heart attack/stroke or be arrested for impaired driving/drugs/prostitutes before this. Huh.
posted by captaincrouton at 8:37 AM on November 26, 2012


The irony to me, as someone who detests Ford, is that I think he is one of the least corrupt politicians you will ever meet. He also just happens to be one of the most clueless politicians you will ever meet.
posted by dry white toast at 8:42 AM on November 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


*Happy dance*
posted by mayurasana at 8:50 AM on November 26, 2012


He voted for a motion that saved him personally from paying back a bit more than $3,000. I'd call that a corrupt act.

He benefited personally. It was not a huge amount of money for someone with the mayor's salary, to be sure, but still a significant amount. Nominal "forget about it" values are usually about $25. This wasn't a trivial sum, and so needed to be treated seriously.

People have been fired for taking a few dollars of office supplies or putting too many shrimp in their restaurant "family" lunch. I don't have a problem with firing someone for mis-appropriating $3000 and refusing six times to pay it back.
posted by bonehead at 8:54 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


He didn't get the $3K, it was for a third party (charitable, at that)
posted by Bovine Love at 9:00 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering his job was on the line, being obstinate about repaying $3000 was just stupid.
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:00 AM on November 26, 2012


Amazing. I didn't think Ford would get the boot. Score one for the rule of law!

Now, if Metafilter's own gompa wins the Calgary Centre By-Election today to become Canada's second-ever Green MP, this will be truly a day to celebrate.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:02 AM on November 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


He did not get the money himself, true, but, under the conflict guidelines he had to pay that money back out of his own pocket. He debated and voted for a motion which forgave that debt.
posted by bonehead at 9:03 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by dazed_one at 9:03 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you approach the case neutrally (i.e. no opinion on Ford), the penalty seems too severe for a fairly minor, if flagrant, violation. But because Ford was such a dick about it, you can't find him in good faith, and the act provides no lesser remedy, so out he is.

Mind you, a person with an ounce of sense would have seen it coming. Ford doesn't seem to be up to an ounce. Or, perhaps as the judge says, it is a severe case of entitlement.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:04 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


dry white toast: "What demographic makes up the hard core Ford supporters?

suburban home owners who hate public employee unions.
"

So when we're saying Toronto, we mean both the city and suburbs? Seems like a bad idea to let suburbanites vote for the city's mayor.
posted by octothorpe at 9:04 AM on November 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just wish corruption in Montreal was about $3000 amounts.
posted by jeather at 9:04 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


And that's why amalgamation is often a disaster.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:07 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


The irony to me, as someone who detests Ford, is that I think he is one of the least corrupt politicians you will ever meet. He also just happens to be one of the most clueless politicians you will ever meet.

There is that. It is not that he is a scheming, cackling villain -- it is that his mechanism is shot and his sense of right and wrong is idiosyncratic to say the least. Bonehead points out above that it is three grand: if some councillor or city employee had used three thousand dollars to take a vacation in Aruba, Ford would himself be leading the charge to prosecute. But in Hizzoner's mind, it is three thousand for a good cause and anyone opposing him must surely hate high school kids.

Anyone who lived in Toronto early this century can tell you that Ford is the very antithesis of corrupt by his own lights. In 2004, for example, city councillors had an office budget of $53,100 to pay for office supplies, taxis, printing and so forth. That year, Councillor Ford spent six dollars of his.

I am baffled as to why he would not just pay the $3000 long ago and have done with it. It would only have been a slight sting. But I guess his pride was on the line.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:09 AM on November 26, 2012


Seems like a bad idea to let suburbanites vote for the city's mayor.

I'm talking about the suburbs that are part of the City of Toronto. The old city of Toronto was amalgamated with its surrounding municipalities (that formerly made up "Metro Toronto") about 15 years ago.
posted by dry white toast at 9:09 AM on November 26, 2012


> So when we're saying Toronto, we mean both the city and suburbs?

The city is the suburbs. I've never known a pre-amalgamation Toronto, so my Toronto goes from the Rouge to the Humber.
posted by scruss at 9:10 AM on November 26, 2012


Toronto's current boundaries are relatively recent. Until the 90s, there was the city of Toronto, and then a bunch of close-in suburbs -- North York, East York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, York, and then further out suburbs like Mississauga, Vaugh, Markham, etc. In 98, those close-in suburbs, which already shared some things in common, like a transit system, were amalgamated into a single municipal government, while the outer suburbs remain separate (though some of them are also amalgamations of smaller towns).

So, when people say suburban voters, they mean people from places like Etobicoke and North York, which were separate town prior to the 98 amalgamation but are now part of Toronto itself. Much of those areas remains suburban in terms of development and culture, but it is fully part of the city from a legal standpoint.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:10 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


and honestly if an election were called today he'd win.

From the very lowest rated comments at CBC.ca.

If he were a liberal or dipper,, he would not be facing charges.. As a matter of fact, he would be given the order of kanada!!!

This country is no longer a democracy.

This counrty is only fair to leftwingers.

If conservatives were a race or religion kanada would be charged for hate crimes in international court.


oooooh ... kanaduh.
posted by philip-random at 9:11 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're all laughing now, but when you're wading through 2 feet of gravy to get to work tomorrow I know who *I'll* be voting for in 2014.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:12 AM on November 26, 2012


Toronto amalgation map.

2010 mayoral election map.
posted by Dasein at 9:12 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


> I think [Ford] is one of the least corrupt politicians you will ever meet

Depends how you define corruption. He definitely has a track record of using his influence to drag senior City managers into meetings with his friends.
posted by anthill at 9:12 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Congratulations, Toronto!
posted by oulipian at 9:14 AM on November 26, 2012


i can't believe his defense so far has been "i didn't read the manual and didn't attend training sessions ON THIS VERY THING."

has he read a manual or attended training sessions on being a mayor?
posted by sio42 at 9:17 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you approach the case neutrally (i.e. no opinion on Ford), the penalty seems too severe for a fairly minor, if flagrant, violation. But because Ford was such a dick about it, you can't find him in good faith, and the act provides no lesser remedy, so out he is.

Right, but the penalty really wasn't for the $3000. It was for being a dick to the integrity commissioner, willfully violating council rules, and proudly behaving as though, despite never having read the municipal conflict of interest act or the councillors' handbook after a decade on council, he had a better idea of the nature of conflict of interest ("it takes two parties to have a conflict", apparently) than the city's lawyers did.

I don't see how it's too severe a penalty.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:18 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm talking about the suburbs that are part of the City of Toronto. The old city of Toronto was amalgamated with its surrounding municipalities (that formerly made up "Metro Toronto") about 15 years ago.

I figured it was some scheme like that. I'll try to remember that the next time people here start talking up city-county consolidation. On the other hand, my city has managed to re-elect our own idiot mayor twice with no help from the suburbs.
posted by octothorpe at 9:18 AM on November 26, 2012


from twitter: Once again folks, it's time to play "Predict Tomorrow's Toronto Sun Headline and Font Size!"
posted by saturday_morning at 9:19 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


but the penalty really wasn't for the $3000. It was for being a dick to the integrity commissioner, willfully violating council rules, and proudly behaving as though, despite never having read the municipal conflict of interest act or the councillors' handbook after a decade on council, he had a better idea of the nature of conflict of interest ("it takes two parties to have a conflict", apparently) than the city's lawyers did.

removed for being an ignorant bully, basically. Sounds like democracy in action ...

Also, breaking news in Melonville ...
posted by philip-random at 9:21 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mayor Rob Ford has been kicked out of office

Also, the Google.ca doodle has Mr. Dressup, so it's pretty much win-win for the whole country today.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:21 AM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Love him or loathe him, that must've been one of the weirder ~12 hours of someone's life: to go from celebrating the home team win to being out of a job.
posted by scruss at 9:24 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And anyone who has lived in Toronto knows that it's not really fair to call the outskirts of the city suburbs. This is a city with serious sprawl. The city ends at Steeles and, let me tell you, Yonge and Steeles is pretty urban. I live at the far northwest corner of the city and it only just starts to feel like suburbs out here.

Once again folks, it's time to play "Predict Tomorrow's Toronto Sun Headline and Font Size!"

I'd go with "Socialist Judge Makes Ford a Martyr" except there's no way they could fit all that text on there is four inch tall red letters.

So instead, my guess is "FORD in 2014!" or "FORD for PREMIER!"
posted by 256 at 9:24 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


FORD for PREMIER!

And this is why my celebration is decidedly muted.
posted by dry white toast at 9:26 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"JUDGE TO FORD: HIT THE ROAD"
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:27 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer to see him leave office after suffering a crushing electoral defeat, but if he leaves office this way, that's ok too. Rob Ford is the Tea Party of Canadian politics.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:27 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


USED FORD FOR SALE - $1 (Etobicoke)
posted by yellowbinder at 9:29 AM on November 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


He's holding a press conference and just said he'd appeal.
posted by dry white toast at 9:29 AM on November 26, 2012


Depends how you define corruption

Yeah, I think this is on the mark. Watching him from afar (I know a few people in Toronto, who sometimes send me emails bemoaning the mayor), my sense of Ford is that he is not corrupt in the sense of out to line his own pocket. Rather, he just thinks/assumes that as mayor (and before that a member of city council) that he can use his influence/office to get whatever he wants/needs at the moment, and that he (the person) and his wishes are somehow more important than the office he occupies. He somehow seems to think that, despite using the office to fulfill a personal desire, he is somehow separate from the office and that these actions shouldn't be connected.

So I don't think he's willfully corrupt, just astonishingly unaware of how the actions he takes reflect poorly on him and on the office of the mayor. And rather than sitting down and figuring out what he is doing that keep causing problems, his reaction is to bluster and act like it's all unjust, which only furthers the problem.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:33 AM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


Just coming to post that craigslist ad yellowbinder linked to above. Here's the text, in case it gets taken down.

"USED FORD FOR SALE - $1 (Etobicoke )


One slightly used Ford for sale.
White with red trim.
Purchased for the demolition of the City of Toronto.
Low mileage.
Ideal for hauling football equipment or towing your gravy train.

Note: Air conditioning is broken, only blows hot air."
posted by gingerbeer at 9:35 AM on November 26, 2012 [22 favorites]


The city is the suburbs. I've never known a pre-amalgamation Toronto, so my Toronto goes from the Rouge to the Humber.
posted by scruss at 12:10 PM on November 26 [+] [!]


So your Toronto doesn't include Etobicoke, which is on the far side of the Humber? You know, the area that Ford actually comes from.

I don't support Ford, but I totally understand the frustration of people who live in Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York. Amalgamation wasn't always good to us (lost free pools, for one), we have the worst transit service in the city by a long-shot, and most of the downtown and inner core (aka old city of Toronto & East York) seem to either hate us or not even realize that we are part of their city.

the only place that has it worse is the old city of York - not rich like old Toronto, lacking the transit and amenities of East York - and totally forgotten by everyone.
posted by jb at 9:37 AM on November 26, 2012


most of the downtown and inner core (aka old city of Toronto & East York) seem to either hate us or not even realize that we are part of their city.

I think that's ridiculous. I live downtown, and no one I know hates the suburbs. Hell, there's about to be $4 Billion worth of transit built almost entirely in North York and Scarborough.

The suburbs benefited from amalgamation in significant ways, not the least of which, property taxes have stayed stable or even gone down, while taxes downtown have skyrocketed.

Ford's popularity came from railing against the perception that taxes and fees were constantly going up and suburban homeowners weren't getting anything in return for that except municipal strikes. I happen to disagree with that perception, but I understand its power.
posted by dry white toast at 9:43 AM on November 26, 2012


COURT TO CITY: DROP FORD
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:44 AM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


The only place that has it worse is the old city of York - not rich like old Toronto, lacking the transit and amenities of East York - and totally forgotten by everyone.

Yes. Though the eastern edge of the old City of York is a nice place to live and having been forgotten has some almost affordable houses.
posted by samhyland at 9:45 AM on November 26, 2012


Depends how you define corruption

To me, it's corruption even if the person in question doesn't personally benefit. Were one of his family's employees to do $3000 of free printing for a charity, I doubt Ford would give that soon-to-be-ex employee any slack.
posted by bonehead at 9:46 AM on November 26, 2012


jb, I hear you, but keep in mind that those boroughs couldn't do anything about transit on their own, either. Transit was, IIRC, a responsibilty of the Metro Toronto council - and new transit requires funding that we don't have either way. If anything, Ford is doing a disservice to the outer boroughs by being totally unwilling to raise the revenues needed for transit expansion into those areas.
posted by Dasein at 9:46 AM on November 26, 2012


On the one hand, Ford makes this seemingly ridiculous comment: This comes down to left-wing politics. The left wing wants me out of here and they’ll do anything in their power. To which I like to tack on: "...including using the law that exists solely to prevent people from doing the sort of thing that I did."

On the other hand, the amount of money in question is just over $3,000 and when to a charity, so I'm having a hard time believing that this isn't politically motivated. I'm no fan of Rob Ford, but part of me thinks that he shouldn't have received much more than a slap on the wrist for this.
posted by asnider at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2012


The law doesn't allow for slaps on the wrists; the minimum remedy is kicked out of office, regardless of level of transgression. He could have been found not guilty because he acted in good faith, but he pretty much rules out such defenses by being an ass.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:50 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, the Calgary Centre Chris Turner is that Chris Turner?! As an ex-Calagary Centerite I've been watching this race with interest and some glee, and as an ex-Lake Louiseite and also something of a pragmatist I'd been hoping folks would fall in behind Harvey Locke, but I've right now changed my mind. Green Party FTW.
posted by Flashman at 9:52 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here is the thing about Ford--Is that any conservative values that I can see: respect of community, social integrity, working hard at yr job, not wasting public resources, modesty, temperance, etc he fails at. It's not an objection to conservative values, it's his complete refusal to work towards those conserative values, even if I don't share them.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:52 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am in a meeting with CUPE Local 79 (City of Toronto workers) and when the tweets first started coming through the sense of astonishment was hilarious. Tomorrow Ford is supposed to give the proclamation Speech at the end of the Grey Cup Parade - I'm planning on stepping out just to see how he handles that and see how the crowd reacts.
posted by saucysault at 9:54 AM on November 26, 2012


It's not an objection to conservative values, it's his complete refusal to work towards those conserative values

While insisting that others conform to them. If a city employee used paid time and city resources to coach a football team, Ford would make them public enemy #1. But when he's criticized for doing that (or anything), he talks about left wing conspiracies.
posted by dry white toast at 9:56 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow Ford is supposed to give the proclamation Speech at the end of the Grey Cup Parade - I'm planning on stepping out just to see how he handles that and see how the crowd reacts.

My guess is a 45-minute drunken ramble about the will of the people, punctuated by shrieks and grunts.
posted by Beardman at 9:59 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Once again folks, it's time to play "Predict Tomorrow's Toronto Sun Headline and Font Size!"

THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF ROBERT FORD BY THE COWARD MR JUSTICE CHARLES T. HACKLAND. Although that one is a long shot.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:00 AM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


Years ago my brother trained as a mechanic at Centennial College here in Toronto. He was in the Ford program, and there was some rivalry between them and the other programs, with insults traded back and forth about each other's cars. I'm sure you can imagine what it was like given that the apprentice mechanics were almost all guys in their late teens and early twenties. The way to insult the Chevrolet program guys was to turn the company slogan, "Heartbeat of America"into "Heartburn of America". The Ford program joke was an acrostic, "Found On Road, Dead".

It seems apt for this situation too.
posted by orange swan at 10:03 AM on November 26, 2012


jb, I hear you, but keep in mind that those boroughs couldn't do anything about transit on their own, either. Transit was, IIRC, a responsibilty of the Metro Toronto council - and new transit requires funding that we don't have either way. If anything, Ford is doing a disservice to the outer boroughs by being totally unwilling to raise the revenues needed for transit expansion into those areas.
posted by Dasein[+]


Yeah, the transit nightmare that is North Etobicoke and North York is largely thanks to people like Ford. He even seems to have a special hate-on for non-drivers up there, like trying to cancel the Finch west LRT. And certainly councilors like the Fords or Holyday are doing nothing to support increased density or more pedestrian and transit friendly development; Rob Ford actively supported the introduction of a very car-oriented box-store development to my old neighbourhood.

I don't actually know why any poor people up there ever vote for Ford. They did, though - even my mom talked about voting for him. But that was because she didn't hear anything about any of the other candidates, they seemed so downtown-focused, etc. Maybe Smitherman or Pantalone should have come up and done town meetings at places like the Northern Elms library (the one Doug Ford wanted to shut down).

But I have a lot of downtown friends who have attitudes about the suburbs that really bother me. Hate isn't the right word - it's more like disdain or dismissal for people who live in the suburbs. I see this in the media as well: except for the right-wing talk radio, the media in Toronto is very old-Toronto centric.
posted by jb at 10:07 AM on November 26, 2012


"If they do for some reason get me out I’ll be running right back. As soon as the next election, if there’s a byelection, I’ll be the first name on the ballot.” -- Rob Ford.

"We'll see about that." -- Abraham A. Aaronson
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:08 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sep. 11: Halifax mayor not running in upcoming election amid controversy over his handling of a friend's will
Nov. 5: Montreal mayor steps down amid corruption allegations
Nov. 9: Laval mayor resigns amid corruption allegations
Nov. 26: Rob Ford ordered removed as Toronto mayor in conflict ruling
Nov. 26: Joe Fontana, mayor of London, Ont., faces non-confidence motion

2012 WORLD END PREDICTED BY MAYAN CALENDAR MAYORAL CANADIANS
posted by oulipian at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


Ford has received way more personal benefit from his eponymous football foundation "charity" than it has provided to youth, IMO.

Ford's family are multimillionaires. He claims to be a well-connected businessman who is constantly promoting the foundation to everyone he meets. He holds an annual party at his home that is attended by thousands of people.

The "Ford Football Foundation" was established in 2008 (administered by the Toronto Community Foundation); as of 2010 it had raised $37,294. For that amount, Ford gets to play philanthropist hero (he actually claimed to have raised over $100K for the foundation in his 2010 campaign materials).

Basically, his charity is relatively cheap political cover. It gets touted all the time as evidence of what a great guy he is, but despite all the promotion it provides very little to its supposed beneficiaries.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:26 AM on November 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


My dad has worked tirelessly for social services, accessibility, transit for the disabled in Toronto and Ontario for more than 35 years. He was horrified when Ford won (as was I).

It's his 60th birthday today. Hell of a birthday present.

(Okay, it's not a perfect scenario and I'm still worried. But still.)
posted by ilana at 10:42 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a former Torontonian who hates that Mayor McCheese has fiddled while so many parts of one of the world's great cities has burned. Sure, there is some dark humour to be seen in how the Ford Bros keep the Annex's great and good in high dudgeon but the tragedy of Ford is that he is the Hogtown example of the triumph of ignorance and irrationality: He won because he claimed he could fix the city budget by removing the "gravy" in city council -- as if cutting Kyle Rae's photocopier budget will fix the city's $775-million deficit. Let's hope the progressives in TO coalesce around one good realist candidate not beholden to her own version of magical thinking.
posted by docgonzo at 10:42 AM on November 26, 2012


Interesting, sevenyearlurk -- has anyone really dug into the FFF finances?
posted by docgonzo at 10:43 AM on November 26, 2012


Also, my favourite quotation involving the Ford mayoralty: after a rat found in budget chief Mike Del Grande chomped on the city worker sent to remove it, via Adam Vaughan: “It was looking for gravy, it didn’t find any so it ate a city worker.”
posted by ilana at 10:48 AM on November 26, 2012


The "Ford Football Foundation" was established in 2008 (administered by the Toronto Community Foundation); as of 2010 it had raised $37,294. For that amount, Ford gets to play philanthropist hero (he actually claimed to have raised over $100K for the foundation in his 2010 campaign materials).

Basically, his charity is relatively cheap political cover. It gets touted all the time as evidence of what a great guy he is, but despite all the promotion it provides very little to its supposed beneficiaries.


See the Baltimore v. Clay Davis precedent.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm absolutely floored by this. I feel kind of conflicted- on the one hand, it is an extremely harsh penalty; on the other, he had several opportunities to prevent this.

I also don't know whether to pay to have Te Deum or Non Nobis sung at a special mass; or to buy a bunch of baklava and hand it out to passers-by in the street.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:09 AM on November 26, 2012


I can't wait for his next radio show!
posted by Theta States at 11:10 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


> [Ford's] charity is relatively cheap political cover. It gets touted all the time as evidence of what a great guy he is

As pointed out on Metafilter (can't find the link), when faced with the Danzig St. shootings earlier this year, having recently voted to reject funding for gang violence protection, what was Ford's first defence?

Essentially "I run this football charity, nobody's done more for these kids than I have".
posted by anthill at 11:13 AM on November 26, 2012


oulipian: "2012 WORLD END PREDICTED BY MAYAN CALENDAR MAYORAL CANADIANS"

My money's on Naheed Nenshi for last mayor standing.
posted by vasi at 11:19 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


...on the other, he had several opportunities to prevent this.

So many people suffer from this form of ego-based blindness, but one day we will find a cure for Conrad Black Syndrome. Won't you please help? Call 1-800-WHAT-LAW today!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:20 AM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Headline: "Ford Forced Out In Judicial Farce!"
Subheading: "Mayor to appeal to courts and common sense. Story continued on A2."


It is a harsh penalty, but it's the only one there is, apparently. In his ruling, the judge included language to this effect:
The mandatory removal from office for contravening s. 5(1) of the MCIA is a very blunt instrument and has attracted justified criticism and calls for legislative reform. Professor David Mullan, Toronto’s former Integrity Commissioner, described this provision as a “sledgehammer” in the course of his observations in a report to City Council, dated September 21, 2006:
Even more importantly, the City should make every endeavour to persuade the provincial government to either modernize the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act or confer on the City of Toronto authority to create its own conflict of interest regime in place of or supplementary to that Act. Aside from the fact that the existing Act places legal impediments in the way of the City extending the concept of conflict of interest beyond the formulation in that Act, it is simply Byzantine to have a regime under which the only way of dealing legally with conflict of interest in a municipal setting is by way of an elector making an application to a judge and where the principal and mandatory penalty (save in the case of inadvertence) is the sledgehammer of an order that the member’s office is vacated.
The problem presented by s. 5(1) of the MCIA is that it does not allow for appropriately broad consideration of the seriousness of the contravention or of the circumstances surrounding the contravention, unless the member’s actions in speaking or voting on a matter occurred through inadvertence or by reason of an error in judgment. These are narrow concepts as interpreted in the case law.


Objectively, I can see that this might be unfair for an otherwise-competent mayor who goofed. Subjectively, I don't think Ford is that mayor, and I'm really really happy he got the boot.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 11:24 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems we have a special tag for this - #canx (via)
posted by scruss at 11:29 AM on November 26, 2012


I guess my view of this is harsh, if the penalty handed down is seen to be harsh. I think he got what he deserved. Speaking as someone who has worked "behind the scenes" for people in political office, I can tell you that the attitude of "I want it this way and screw the rules" is terribly, awfully common. It was (and to an extent, still is) my job to remind those in political power of the consequences of their actions. The smart ones listen, heed the advice, or ask us to find a way to make what they want happen in a way that will not contravene laws, even if they have to compromise somewhat on their original vision.

Ford appears to have dismissed such people from his entourage, surrounding himself instead with syncophants who did what he asked without raising these kinds of protective concerns. This is the first reason he got what he deserved.

Ford responded to the entire problem with bluster, defensiveness and wild accusations flung around at anybody who might be standing in the way. This defensiveness led to his admissions that he hadn't done his due diligence, and that he hadn't consulted expert advice when he still could. He looks like a poor steward of public funds and municipal governance, as a result. This is the second reason he got what he deserved.

Ford has also made himself look like a hypocrite, in that he came to office vowing to stop the perceived gravy train of misspending at City Hall, only to come away from this appearing to have indulged in the gravy train himself. Again, against the best advice municipal officials could offer him, and in the face of mounting media reports of this kind of misbehaviour since he took office two years ago. This is the third (and in my opinion the primary) reason his punishment is a just and fit one.

Call me harsh if you must, but someone this willfully stupid and arrogant should not be in high office.
posted by LN at 11:41 AM on November 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm actually okay with a sledgehammer approach to this issue. The act already has a way out for people who may inadvertently find themselves in contravention of the act. The severity of the penalty means that the judge will likely be very sensitive to any inadvertency and be lenient in those cases.

In this particular case, however, Rob Ford was flagrant in his disregard of the law. And that disregard makes him unsuitable for public office. I don't want a situation where our public officials can get away with slaps on their wrists because it was only a slight conflict of interest. Violating the public trust is a serious enough offence that the penalty has to be suitably harsh.
posted by jamincan at 11:43 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, the good news keeps on coming for the people of Toronto. I'm glad for them.

Never thought a judge would remove a sitting mayor from office, though.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:53 AM on November 26, 2012


Analysis of the ruling
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:27 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This system, it works?
posted by furtive at 12:28 PM on November 26, 2012


I was rooting around on YouTube and I found a clip of Justice Hackland explaining the consequences of violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:33 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This system, it works?

Not according to the National Post. Marni Soupcoff reminds us today that ONE COMPLAINT from ONE PERSON brought before ONE (UNELECTED) JUDGE overturned the will of three hundred-thousand-odd voters. She buttresses her argument by pointing out that the (Liberal) mayor of London ON is facing more serious charges, "yet he continues to govern that city." She is shocked that the simple expedient of actually being found guilty in court somehow marks some line between being punished or not.

In conclusion: Liberals who face charges are guilty and Conservatives who have been found guilty have been unjustly maligned. Thank you.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:51 PM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Giorgio Mammoliti abandons Ford, quits Executive Committee, won't rule out running in a by-election.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:56 PM on November 26, 2012


"yet he continues to govern that city."

Fontana at least has the benefit of being innocent until proven guilty (which is not to say that I think he should stay). Ford, however, has been found guilty through the due application and process of law.

“This makes no sense. What laws did Ford break?” In due course, the attendant and my husband ranted over the answer: none.

Correction: the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. That's a law.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:03 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is some great analysis by the Torontoist's Christopher Bird. A key segment:

"Rob Ford has already announced that he plans to appeal the decision. It is possible that he will succeed, although it is difficult to see how. Justice Hackland's decision is extremely well-written and leaves very little room for argument: each of Ford's defences is demolished in turn and, with the exception of the city-council-powers argument mentioned above, there is very little wiggle room. This is because Rob Ford made sure there wasn't any wiggle room, and proudly, at that."

Even though that process could still take months, it's still unlikely he'd get the desired result, and it would needlessly draw out a decision that was pretty much rock solid to begin with.

The irony in all of this: effectively we haven't had a Mayor in any legitimate sense for at least the past six to eight months. City council members, notably Karen Stintz, had to take lots of matters into their own hands since it was clear that no leadership or solid decision making was ever going to materialize from Ford or his allies.

Ford has already begun the appeals process, and his first public statement about the ruling shows how completely misguided he is about how it came about:

"This comes down to left-wing politics. The left wing wants me out of here and they'll doing anything in their power to," he said. (source)

If you read the entire decision, or even a point-by-point analysis of the decision, it becomes clear that the "left wing" upon whom Ford and his supporters routinely blame everything they don't like, has utterly nothing to do with what happened this morning.

I am going for a celebratory drink after work. :)

ad
posted by adamd1 at 1:05 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Christopher Bird is metafilter's own mightygodking, the post's author.
posted by cardboard at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


yeah, but I am great, you know
posted by mightygodking at 2:13 PM on November 26, 2012 [15 favorites]


Marni Soupcoff reminds us today that ONE COMPLAINT from ONE PERSON brought before ONE (UNELECTED) JUDGE overturned the will of three hundred-thousand-odd voters. She buttresses her argument by pointing out that the (Liberal) mayor of London ON is facing more serious charges, "yet he continues to govern that city." She is shocked that the simple expedient of actually being found guilty in court somehow marks some line between being punished or not.

The comments following the Soupcoff column are actually quite thoughtful compared to the trolling that goes on in the G&M.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:14 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soupcoff and now Blatchford are hitting the exact same points in their columns - unelected judge ignoring the will of the people. I think they might have gotten the same talking-points memo.
posted by thecjm at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2012


The judge applied the Act. The Act was passed by the provincial legislature. It may be harsh, but it's not unconstitutional, and it's not the judge's fault that he applied it.
posted by Dasein at 3:03 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Globe and Mail:
We are not privy to Rob Ford’s philosophy as a high-school football coach, but we are reasonably sure that he knows the rules of the game. He does not put a 13th man on the field. He does not attempt a fourth-down play in a three-down game. You can’t coach without knowing the rules.

As mayor of Toronto, however, Rob Ford argued in court that he didn’t know the rules. That argument might be termed wilful ignorance, and it’s no wonder Mr. Justice Charles Hackland of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:08 PM on November 26, 2012


Soupcoff and now Blatchford are hitting the exact same points in their columns - unelected judge ignoring the will of the people. I think they might have gotten the same talking-points memo.

Conservatives hate the judiciary, because the judiciary has a funny way of acting independently no matter who appoints them.

As an aside, it's depressing how Blatchford has turned into such a hack, all in the name of selling dead trees.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:13 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soupcoff and now Blatchford are hitting the exact same points in their columns

C'mon DiManno! Let's hit the Blowhard Trifecta!
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:16 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


that ONE COMPLAINT from ONE PERSON brought before ONE (UNELECTED) JUDGE overturned the will of three hundred-thousand-odd voters.

That's exactly the line that Postmedia is spewing out in their awful rags as well:
On Oct. 25, 2010, 383,501 Torontonians voted for Rob Ford, 93,669 more than voted for the runner up, George Smitherman, and just 1,813 fewer than all of those who voted for third-place finisher Joe Pantalone.

Not a one of them voted for Mr. Magder, Mr. Ruby or Judge Hackland.
posted by junco at 3:22 PM on November 26, 2012


It's good to know that when I'm finally elected mayor, my sacrifice of ONE CHILD to ONE TIMELESS (AND MALEVOLENT) GOD for the ONE TRUE POWER with which I shall destroy all who dare defy me, will not disqualify me from my democratically-elected office.
posted by mek at 3:29 PM on November 26, 2012


Soupcoff and now Blatchford are hitting the exact same points in their columns

C'mon DiManno! Let's hit the Blowhard Trifecta!



Wailing and screeching noises emanate from Sue-Ann Levy's office as passers-by flee in terror and confusion.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:48 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's exactly the line that Postmedia is spewing out in their awful rags as well:
On Oct. 25, 2010, 383,501 Torontonians voted for Rob Ford, 93,669 more than voted for the runner up, George Smitherman, and just 1,813 fewer than all of those who voted for third-place finisher Joe Pantalone.

As many times as I read this, I can only parse this to Ford trailing Pantalone by some 1800 votes in the final tally. I would like to say the Sun's reasoning is better than its arithmetic, but that would be wrong.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:12 PM on November 26, 2012


Meanwhile, a few towns over, London mayor Joe Fontana has been asked to step down as well after allegedly paying for a wedding with a government cheque.
posted by synecdoche at 5:14 PM on November 26, 2012


Wailing and screeching noises emanate from Sue-Ann Levy's office as passers-by flee in terror and confusion.

Sue-Anne still trying to figure out an angle that blames Ford's loss on Muslims, Obama and maybe Jonathan Goldsbie.
posted by thecjm at 6:03 PM on November 26, 2012


This isn't the outcome I wanted or expected. I fear it emboldens the hardcore Ford supporters and allows him to play the martyr. It fits too snugly into the narrative of entrenched institutions and elites keeping the man of the people down. The initial complaint seemed a bit petty, nit-picking, and the punishment might be too severe. As I never understood how people voted for such an unappealing figure in the first place, I'm unsure what trivial slight will focus their resolve to re-elect him. And such a sharp turn risks entrenching the left-right split and further dividing the city. I would have preferred that we allowed his incompetence to shine brightly over the next two years while hopefully the community-focused (I don't want to say left) opposition got its act together and found an inspiring alternative for a leader.

However, while the cock-up that forced him into court was relatively minor, his defense that he needn't follow the rules because he didn't learn the rules was pathetic, and subsequent events (the assistants as football coaches, the Deco Labels anniversary clean-up, the bus incident, his absences from council) illustrated that he has no grasp of the expectations and responsibilities of his position. So the outcome doesn't feel undeserved.
posted by TimTypeZed at 6:26 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps we can simply be ruled by an empty chair?

An empty chair would be more productive.
posted by jrochest at 6:31 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


A depressingly intelligent take on the situation:

"Don't celebrate Ford's deposition just yet"
posted by jrochest at 7:00 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This isn't the outcome I wanted or expected. ...The initial complaint seemed a bit petty, nit-picking, and the punishment might be too severe.

I agree with you. But this stupid little contretemps should never have made it all the way to court; His Washup at some prior point should have seen where this could go, and should have sucked it up, apologized to council, and coughed up what is really a paltry sum. He could still have claimed the robe of a martyr.

But no, and despite knowing where this could end up, he let it ride. So like most failed leaders, he was brought down not by the offense, but by his response to it.

Ford had the services of the brightest minds in the Canadian conservative electoral machine helping him into office. Where the f#ck did they go? Why did they leave Ford to screw up so thoroughly?

Part of me thinks he wants this outcome. He's clearly bored and frustrated with the hassles of governing. This gives him an out that still lets him be defiant and unapologetic.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:01 PM on November 26, 2012


He's clearly bored and frustrated with the hassles of governing.

I've never understood why he wanted and still wants to be mayor. He was a well-liked councillor because he'd return phone calls and deal with the everyday grievances of his constituents.
He was well-placed as the normal guy who stood up to the establishment. Now that he IS the establishment (which he handily seems to ignore), his "always playing the victim" game just seems cheap.
My hope for him is that he quits politics and focuses on his family business as well as his work with youth and sport, where he actually seems to do some good.
posted by beau jackson at 7:07 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


A depressingly intelligent take on the situation:

Not so much.

Parker has a box of axes to grind against ex-mayors Miller and Crombie, and the racket from his grindstone drowns out the fact that Ford had buckets of help from both Mike Harris' megacity gerrymandering and the more immediate help of the formidible right-wing campaign machine including Nick Kouvalis.

The big question is why the conservative mandarins left Ford to his own inadequate devices after the election, instead of sticking around to manage things.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


A depressingly intelligent take on the situation:

This is really strange to me. Rob Ford won the last election not because he stood for the underserved inner suburbs; he stood for a lie to those people. His appeal to the people living in places with poor services and poor transportation was essentially the promise of something for nothing, or the impossible. Everyone gets subways! Get those damn streetcars and cyclists out of the way of your car and traffic will flow! Do it all by cutting the gravy! It sounds great if your options are long commutes in traffic by car or by crappy bus service that's stuck in that same traffic. But that doesn't mean it's possible financially or geometrically.

Ironically, the previous mayor's Transit City plan, killed by Rob Ford and then revived by former ally Karen Stintz after Ford proved he couldn't lead, will do far more for the inner suburbs than any actual plan of Rob Ford's. It would've done it a lot sooner had Ford not come along.
posted by parudox at 7:56 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


A depressingly intelligent take on the situation:

"Don't celebrate Ford's deposition just yet"


Mr. Parker's analysis would be more cogent if he learned "deposition" is commonly the noun form of "to depose" as in "to testify under oath outside a court of law" and not "to depose" as in "to remove from a potion of authority forcefully." What I think he is looking for may be the slightly archaic "deposal." Given that the court case that led to Ford's ouster may well have involved depositions, attributing the meaning of one word to another is not helping the clarity of his argument. And when he hasn't made it to the end of his title before getting muddied, maybe his argument is not so well-formed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:57 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


And anyone who has lived in Toronto knows that it's not really fair to call the outskirts of the city suburbs. This is a city with serious sprawl. The city ends at Steeles and, let me tell you, Yonge and Steeles is pretty urban. I live at the far northwest corner of the city and it only just starts to feel like suburbs out here.

Yeah, the last time I was in Toronto (last month) it struck me even more than before just how much of its sprawl is urban sprawl, not the usual suburban sprawl. (Here on the Island of Montreal, which also did consolidation, only to have a number of towns back out of the deal after a couple of years, it's at least mostly just suburban sprawl, with some notable exceptions along the major highways.)

It reinforces my initial impression of the place, one that has led me to refer to it as "Sim City by the Lake" - and a Sim City as played by a 14-year-old kid with no idea of urban planning; i.e., helter-skelter zoning and an inordinate love of high-rise apartment buildings. What I've seen driving around extensively there was how most of the outlying city seems pretty much to require having a car; hence the ring precincts' sympathy to Ford's jihads against streetcars, bike lanes, and anything else that gets in the way of one's SUV. A friend characterizes it as a city that is halfheartedly the NY of Canada in its collective imagination, but in reality tends to be more like LA. (Though at least LA is a lot more low-rise.)
posted by Philofacts at 8:03 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


At least Los Angeles has better traffic.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2012


This is really strange to me. Rob Ford won the last election not because he stood for the underserved inner suburbs; he stood for a lie to those people. His appeal to the people living in places with poor services and poor transportation was essentially the promise of something for nothing, or the impossible.

This is absolutely true: they are his base, he ignores them and underserves their interests, often actively attacking things that will service the inner suburbs -- the Subways vz Streetcars! business is a good example. But they are still his base, and they will see this as the evil Urban Elites deposing a legitimate mayor.

It's pretty much the standard conservative playbook, writ large and clumsy. But his supporters voted for him for a reason, and this could be a disaster.
posted by jrochest at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2012


The initial complaint seemed a bit petty, nit-picking, and the punishment might be too severe.

It seems like that, but he broke the law... If you borrowed $3000 from me, without my permission, you could also argue that it isn't really that much money...
posted by ovvl at 8:40 PM on November 26, 2012


But they are still his base, and they will see this as the evil Urban Elites deposing a legitimate mayor.

I'm not sure how many are still his base. That may have been so with a less incompetent mayor. But he's had two years to get something done (in whatever direction) and he's done barely more than removing one bike lane. He's been in the media for all manner of nonsense, but little of it had to do with leading the city. At this point his promises ring hollow even for many of those who want to believe.
posted by parudox at 9:53 PM on November 26, 2012


Why did they leave Ford to screw up so thoroughly?

The buck stops at Ford. He has been totally unwilling to take the advice of the people around him, and has needlessly squandered his political capital by being inflexible and stubborn. He managed to turn an attempt to get rid of the plastic bag tax into an idiotic ban on plastic bags, because his handling of council was so inept. That wasn't his staff's fault - it was Ford's.
posted by Dasein at 6:34 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some discussion on the legal timetable, and what “any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term" may mean.

Offhand, I understood 'beyond the current term' to refer to the larger term, the council term as prescribed by provincial law, meaning that Ford would be free to run again in 2014, but not in the interim.

Ford's argument that "“term” refers to the 14-day period for which Hackland suspended his own ruling" is arguable, but doesn't have the plain sense meaning of the council term interpretation.

That area of doubt may create a presumption in favour of the respondent, since the judgement is already out there. That would mean that Ford would be able to run in his own by-election, despite what Hackland (in my mind) intended.

But this is just me speculating. It's very strange that Hackland's entire judgement is so carefully crafted, and then this important part left a bit sloppy. If the judgement had been read aloud in Court, no doubt it would have been cleared up before anyone left the room.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:16 AM on November 27, 2012


Rob Ford can't run again until 2014, city lawyer believes.

So barring clarification from Hackland beforehand, there's a nice legal action set up between the City Solicitor and/or Clerk and Ford, stretching this thing out even further.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:44 AM on November 27, 2012


Soupcoff and now Blatchford are hitting the exact same points in their columns - unelected judge ignoring the will of the people. I think they might have gotten the same talking-points memo.

Aaaaaaand here's Rosie. Will of the people, undone by a conspiracy of the Left, just look at this Fontana guy, just a "technical breach", it's not too much money, yada yada yada.

I believe we have the Blowhard Trifecta. They all seem to gloss over the fact that Ford acted illegally, he meant to do it, and what the originating process is or the amount concerned doesn't matter, much less absolve him. As being an affront to democracy, well, somebody voted in the law that Ford broke -- Moses didn't come down from the mountain with Ontario's Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:18 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, the Sun cleared up something I had been a little unclear on for months now: Toronto resident Paul Magder who made the initial complaint which led to the groundbreaking court case and the removal of Ford is not Toronto resident Paul Magder whose fight to keep his store open on Sundays twenty-five years ago led to the groundbreaking court case which occasioned the end of Sunday closure laws in Ontario. The latter Magder is actually a Ford supporter, albeit of the less-than-full-throated variety: “I like the guy, he’s not perfect but my God he’s better than what we had in the last 20 years,” Magder told the Sun Tuesday.

Based on what I see here, every guy named Paul Magder has improved Toronto life for the better.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:23 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doug Ford may try to replace brother Rob.

[WARNING: Article contains Michael Bryant]
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:48 AM on November 28, 2012


Doug Ford may try to replace brother Rob.

*Sigh.* I realize a large city has many diverse viewpoints and I do not begrudge the suburban conservatives from having representation and a voice, but I wish they could find representatives brighter than the Fords. Ford's campaign team used veiled threats to keep John Tory out of the race two years ago and whatever disagreements I have with Tory's politics, he at least is not a buffoon.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:25 AM on November 28, 2012


ricochet biscuit quotes "Not according to the National Post. Marni Soupcoff reminds us today that ONE COMPLAINT from ONE PERSON brought before ONE (UNELECTED) JUDGE overturned the will of three hundred-thousand-odd voters. "

I lost my job for doing the illegal thing I admit to doing and when given a chance to make it right and suffer no punishment what so ever I choose to loss my job instead. /Jon Stewart outrage voice
posted by Mitheral at 6:02 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford can't run again until 2014, city lawyer believes.

The judge has clarified his ruling. Rob Ford can run in any byelection that might be held.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:05 AM on November 30, 2012


The judge has clarified his ruling. Rob Ford can run in any byelection that might be held.

I'm no lawyer but that is such bullshit.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:15 AM on November 30, 2012


Makes sense, in a way. If Hackland had problems with the severity of the law, he handed out the bare minimum punishment required. There's even less room for an appeal by Ford.

But, like I said above, I'm not sure that's what happened. Once the judgement was out there with that one sloppy bit, the doubt would have to go in respondent's favour. This just papers it over nicely.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thinking about it, this is sorta beautiful -- Ford is now in the ugly position of having to argue for a by-election. The anti-gravy crusader is going to have to push for seven million bucks (?) to be spent on his own by-election.

Whatever cost savings he made by proudly not deducting office supplies all those years is somewhat undone.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:47 AM on November 30, 2012


I'm not surprised by this turn of events. I thought it was pretty clear that Hackland would have preferred to both find him guilty and not remove him from office, so it would have made no real sense that he would remove him from office and prevent him from running in a by-election.

I do think the debate over whether to have a by-election will be interesting. And there's a lot of polling numbers that suggest even Ford's base are pretty unhappy with him so a by-election might well be a loss, whereas getting another, less incompetent but still right-leaning Mayor in that chair for the next two years via a council vote would probably be a pretty good thing for them.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:24 AM on November 30, 2012


A re-election is probably the cleanest solution anyone could arrange. An appointed mayor would be unelected and have not clear mandate from the voters. Their authority would be easy to undermine on council and to the public. Keeping Ford off a ballot allows him to continue to bloviate about how this was all political and unfair.

A by-election, with everyone running, at least has a chance at electing a mayor who has the popular vote and some chance at making things work on council. Ford can't call sour grapes if he loses. Or, rather, he will, but no one will care.
posted by bonehead at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am also amused that this puts Ford more or less in the same boat as Sheila Copps with her gaffs over the GST in the 90s. I'm certain Ford would appreciate the comparison.
posted by bonehead at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2012


Keeping Ford off a ballot allows him to continue to bloviate about how this was all political and unfair.

Putting Ford on the ballot, with the costs of the by-election in mind, allows someone to put Rob Ford's face on a poster with the tagline "The Seven Million Dollar Man".
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


See? Everyone wins!
posted by bonehead at 11:10 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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