TORONTO | Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:56pm EST
(Reuters) - Toronto's Rob Ford, a magnet for personal and political controversy during his two years as mayor of Canada's largest city, was ordered out of office on Monday after a judge found him guilty of breaking conflict-of-interest laws.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Charles Hackland ruled Ford acted wrongly when he voted with city council to scrap a fine imposed on him for accepting donations to his football foundation from lobbyists.
The judge gave Ford 14 days to leave office but did not bar him from running for mayor in new elections.
"Maintaining the integrity of government is the mayor's most important job," Hackland said in his 24-page ruling.
"In view of the respondent's leadership role in ensuring integrity in municipal government, it is difficult to accept an error-in-judgment defense based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement," the judge wrote.
Ford told reporters at city hall he would appeal the decision. "I'm going to fight the ruling...I'm going to hold on to my job until they kick me out."
Elected nearly two years ago as mayor on a populist promise to "stop the gravy train," Ford's popularity has plunged after a string of battles with members of the city council, a defamation court case, and a series of personal blunders.
The outspoken mayor is fighting a C$6 million ($6.06 million) libel court case over comments he made about corruption at city hall during the 2010 campaign.
Ford grabbed headlines after he was seen reading while driving, for calling the police when a comedian tried to film a segment of a TV show outside his home, and for an angry confrontation with a city hall reporter.
The conflict-of-interest saga began in 2010 when Ford, then a city councillor, used city letterhead and envelopes to solicit donations for his private football charity for underprivileged children.
Toronto's integrity commissioner ordered Ford to repay the money received from lobbyists and companies that do business with the city, as those specific donations breached code of conduct rules.
Ford refused to repay the money, and in February 2012 he took part in a city council debate on the matter and then voted in favor of removing the sanctions against him.
He pleaded ignorance in court in September, stating that he believed there was no conflict of interest as there was no financial benefit for the city.
"If it benefits the city and it benefits a member of council, then you have a conflict, and this did not benefit the city at all. This was a personal issue about my foundation and it had nothing to do with the city," he argued. "So this, to me, is not a conflict of interest."
He was also the runner-up to Chris Christie for the prize of the fattest Conservative politician in North America.
[quote] Toronto mayor ordered removed from office
Did they have to put vaseline on the door jamb?
Couldn't happen to a better, greasier, fatter fuck.
He never comes to work anyway! Spends all his time coaching football.
I predicted that he won't serve his full term because of a scandal shortly after he got elected. I assumed that it would be due to organized crime connections, but I'll take this just as well.
It's imitation U.S. white trash like this slob that is polluting the Canadian image. Get a self-deprecating, intellectual, pot smoking Peter Jennings lookalike elected, stat.
I love how the apologists at the Post are trying to spin this into an activist judges argument (to use the US term).
The judge was appointed by Harper, according to the CBC.
I don't think it means anything if Ford appeals. He can legally stall and maneuver until his term is up.
Montreal's mayor resigned just a few weeks ago because of corruption and now this.
Maybe someone French should be put in temporarily as mayor of Toronto.
No. mayors in Quebec are dropping like flies. Both Montreal and Laval have lost their mayors in the last month or so.
Maybe they need photogenic mayors, like Vancouver.
The people were stupid enough to vote for him, now they are going to pay for it.
Could this finally be the start of Canada turning away from US Republican style leaders?
Wow, who knew Canada was a dictatorship. That's why America's the best, you can't get rid of an elected official unless you do it properly.
And of course we have the Supreme Court which would never appoint someone President for political reasons.
How is that a dictatorship, R17? God, you freepers sure love your talking points. And talking out your ass.
R! -- Ford is certainly not Canada's Rush Limbaugh. While he is certainly a conservative fat fuck, and he has a radio show on the weekend, Ford is a sniveling, whining, bumbling moron compared to Rush. And while Ford has his supporters locally, he definitely is not remotely seen by anyone as the de facto leader of the conservatives in Canada.
He is a horrible embarrassment to most residents in Toronto.
He's a major joke and is completely unqualified to even be Mayor of Cheeseville.
The people of Toronto did vote him into office, so that tells you what type of people live in Toronto today....
[quote] The people of Toronto did vote him into office, so that tells you what type of people live in Toronto today....
Actually, he got voted in by the 905ers who have as much to with the city of Toronto as the people living in Buffalo. Talk to anybody who lives in the city proper and I guarantee you that you won't hear anything about him but ridicule and disdain.
Which places are in 905?
R25 the "905'ers" do NOT live within the boundaries of the city of Toronto. They could NOT vote Ford in as mayor. The old city of Toronto (the downtown and older parts around the downtown) did not vote for Ford. It was the old suburbs that are now part of Toronto, places like Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke (Ford's stomping grounds) that voted him in. You are correct that downtowners revile Ford and all he stands for.
Remember 905 is not part of Toronto. 416 & 647 are the Toronto area codes.
Rob Ford will probably get a stay when he appeals. And the appeal will probably be heard in 2014, just in time for the next election.
Will they vote him in again?
R29 he still has huge support in the burbs.
The suburban vote feels Ford can do no wrong and are behind him 100%.
The burbs outweigh the urban vote.
Whether he's voted in or not depends on if he's facing one strong left leaning candidate or multiple candidates. One on One he'll most likely lose. One on 2 or 3 lefties and he'll probably win. He could lose if Olivia Chow a popular NDP MP and former city councillor runs. She's popular and being Chinese she'll get a lot of the Chinese vote (which is substantial in Toronoto).
In most polls the majority of Toronto residents would vote for Olivia Chow. I want her to run because she is one of the few who truly give a fuck about the city.
While Ford's dumb ass was coaching his football team, she went to Ottawa to petition the Federal government for more money to fix Toronto's failing (and often crumbling) infrastructure. (the gardiner in particular)
It was actually a damn embarrassment that Ford didn't attend, because mayors and leaders from all across Canada had gone to Ottawa to make their case for more funding, and Ford was awol. He was too busy fuckjng around with his football team, while Chow, a councillor who actually gives a fuck about our city decided to go instead.
And most of her politics are very left of center, which is what a liberal city like T.O. needs.
Rob Ford is more like Tommy Boy than Rush. He's inept and homophobic and treats Toronto like his own fiefdom getting emergency work orders to landscape and pave the road leading to his family business before its 50th anniversary party, trying to buy city parkland adjacent to his home, emptied and rerouted 2 city buses full of passengers for the football team he coaches, unapologetic when caught reading while driving on the highway, gives motorists the finger when caught talking on the phone when driving, ditches council meetings to coach football, uses his staff and city resources to help manage his football team, closes bike lanes, cuts funding to city programs, campaigned on ending the 'war on the car'....he's a corrupt boor.
r33, don't forget his war on the cities' libraries. I honestly have never seen Toronto residents so pissed. There were fuckloads of people who came to protest at that meeting.
He even pissed off Margaret Atwood with that one, and she basically told him to fuck off (and then his equally stupid brother in their shared infinite boorishness claimed to not know who she was)
Both of those assholes probably haven't seen the inside of a library in their adult lives.
Don't forget R34 there are more libraries in Etobicoke than Tim Hortons!
Ford got in with a majority
Don't blame me. I was busy creating the City of the Future.
He did not win a majority R36. Smitherman and Pantalone split the vote.
Don't forget how he got in, by saying to all the ethnic conservatives:
"Do you want one of **them** as mayor? You know what he'll do, he'll turn the city into a pervert palace!"
(His main challenger George Smitherman is openly gay.)
That is not how he got in, R39. He ran on a TaxesTaxesTaxesCutTheWaste campaign. It was a stupid campaign but Smitherman also ran a stupid campaign and is as much of a dick and bully as Ford in his own way. And Pantalone's campaign was "I'll change nothing and I'm a cute, wee little old man."
Hope Olivia Chow runs - she'll kick Ford's ass.
It was when he campaigned in the GTA, r39.
The cut the waste message and the "traditional values" went hand in hand.
The tax cuts argument was used for Metro.