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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ordered to vacate office in ruling on conflict of interest

November 26th, 2012 · 91 Comments

Civic politics junkies, ready set go.

Stories here from Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, and the Torontoist.

Oh, and here’s the decision for anyone wanting to scan to see if they or their council is in any danger of getting close to the line.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • “Chris would you want your kids to read your vulgar comments?”

    I don’t find an act of love vulgar Gman, and you clearly love Mr. Ford. It’s a beautiful thing. You should celebrate it. 🙂

  • Bill

    @Chris Keam #50

    If you had stopped after the second paragraph you would have made your point but by carrying on and listing Ford’s character flaws that makes him an unfit mayor you have made my point.

    It is you that are making the erroneous assumptions as you thought my comment was in support of Rob Ford. It was not. I was simply suggesting that his actions that resulted in his censure would have been viewed differently by Progressives if he was on your team.

  • boohoo

    “I was simply suggesting that his actions that resulted in his censure would have been viewed differently by Progressives if he was on your team.”

    And I have no doubt if this were Gregor in the same position you, gman and others would be rushing to his defense!

  • gman

    boohoo 53
    “And I have no doubt if this were Gregor in the same position you, gman and others would be rushing to his defense!”
    In a situation like this boo absolutely yes I would.But appearances would suggest that our mayor is up to something far more nefarious.

  • boohoo

    lol I guess I’ll have to take your word for it gman.

  • brilliant

    @waltsyss 48-how sad, now you’re reduced to anti-gay slurs? Rather ironic given the raptures you go into whenever Gregor parts his pearly lips to make another vapid pronouncement.

  • Mira

    Wow.
    I kinda agree with you “brilliant YES” #56.
    One cannot ask much from W.
    You can throw CK in the same club, with his FORD… comment. #25
    What’s sad, he thinks his comment is beautiful. #51

  • waltyss

    !@brilliant not #56. Not knowing your sex or even if human, it could hardly be an anti-gay slur.
    Moreover, if you are a male, if you actually read my comment I was celebrating the joy that you, GR and gman must have in your dalliance in the echo chamber.
    And now you have Ms. Breckenridge @#57 to join you. It is posh, it is swish, it is love.

  • brilliant

    @waltsyss 58 – you post refers to GR, Ned and gman as “bum buddies” (as an aside, are you in Grade 4?). I’d call that anti-gay but maybe our GLBT posters can confirm.

  • Thought of The Night

    “Not that is anything wrong with that…”

    Complementing brilliant’s comment #59 ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQZtn9IV8vY

    No, of course not!

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • Looking for the perfect gift for this year’s FABULA Secret Santa gift exchange? Can’t find the ‘just right’ item that tells your least favourite poster to shove his/her opinions right up their arse? Ladies and Germs look no further – the Internet always delivers:

    http://www.amazon.com/Adam-Buddies-Silicone-Smooth-Beads/dp/B004G8HUFK

  • waltyss

    @brilliant not, you asked and your GLBT buddy responded with a musical contribution that undermines your suggestion that butt buddies are gay.
    And CK has shown us another avenue so to speak. But be quick, brilliant not, there are only 5 left.

  • brilliant

    @waltsyss 62-Got it, no apologies from you to our gay posters for your homophobic slurs. First you’re a champagne socialist with your knickers in a twist over thin streets and now your an anti-gay “progessive”.

    And Chris Keam-one expects no better from waltie, but I’m disappointed you join him in the gutter.

  • IanS

    I notice the judge has clarified his ruling to make it clear that Mr. Ford is entitled to run in the byelection made necessary by the court ruling.

    No surprise, IMO. From the tenor of the judgment, it seemed pretty clear to me that the judge did not intend to restrict him from running, notwithstanding the ambiguous “term” comment.

  • waltyss

    @brilliant not: And you’re still brilliant not and ever will be.

  • Bill Lee

    Rob Ford out: Your questions on the mayoral chaos answered
    Published 37 minutes ago
    PHOTO Chris Young/Canadian Press Rob Ford’s back in the game with word that he is eligible to run in a byelection. But whether that will even occur, or who he might be up against, remain big questions.

    by Alyshah Hasham, Staff Reporter Toronto Star 30 November 2012 5:40 pm EST
    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1295914–rob-ford-out-your-questions-on-the-mayoral-chaos-answered

    Q: Didn’t the city solicitor say Ford could NOT run in a byelection?
    A: Yes — she interpreted Judge Hackland’s ruling which stated Ford couldn’t run again in the “current term” to mean he couldn’t run again until 2014. But Ford’s advisers disagreed.

    Q: So how do we know he can run for sure?
    A: The lawyers made a conference call to Justice Charles Hackland on Friday morning for clarification. He agreed to drop the confusing “current term” bit and stated that Ford can run, should a mayoral byelection be called.

    Q: So that rules out Doug Ford running for mayor?
    A: Probably. Team Ford’s contingency plan if Rob Ford couldn’t run in a byelection was to have Doug Ford run in his place.

    Q: But we won’t have a byelection before we know the results of the appeal, right?
    A: Right. Council would only consider a byelection if Ford’s appeal is denied. Ford’s lawyer has already set the wheels of an appeal in motion. On Wednesday, he is expected to ask for a stay on the order requiring Ford to vacate the mayoral office by Dec. 10. If that works, Ford will remain in office until his appeal is decided, likely by February.

    Q: What happens if the stay isn’t granted?
    A: Then, come Dec. 10, the city would be without a mayor. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday will assume mayoral duties until council can hold an emergency meeting and decide what to do next.

    Q: If Ford’s one shot at appeal is denied, what will council do?
    A: Within 60 days of the appeal being denied, they’d have to pick between two options: appoint a caretaker mayor until the next election on Oct. 27, 2014, or order a $7 million city-wide mayoral byelection.

    Q: Which is more likely?
    A: The conservative side of council — including Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday — seems to favour an appointment, as long as it’s someone who will carry on the Ford agenda. The left-leaning councillors could benefit from the change that could come from a byelection.

    Q: Could council just appoint Ford as mayor?
    A: It’s possible — the Municipal Act only says the council must “appoint a person to fill the vacancy.”

    Q: What does Ford want to happen?
    A: Team Ford favours a byelection.

    Q: How does a byelection work, and what’s the earliest it could happen?
    A: The process takes about three months, so an election could happen as early as May or June. First, council would pass a bylaw calling a byelection. A nomination deadline is set in the next 60 days. Voting day happens 45 days after the nomination deadline. A normal campaigning period is 300 days.

    Q: Who has expressed interest in running?
    A: The election landscape shifted with yesterday’s decision by the judge to allow Ford to run in a by-election. But here is who has expressed interest before yesterday. Councillor Shelley Carroll has announced her intention to run. Others who have expressed interest include Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday (though he favours an appointment) and Councillor Adam Vaughan. Councillor Karen Stintz, the TTC chair, had said she’s interested but won’t run against Ford.

    Q: What about non-council members like Olivia Chow, George Smitherman or John Tory?
    A: It’s just not clear, especially in the wake of yesterday’s decision.

    Q: What happens if a councillor loses in the byelection?
    A: Nothing. He or she would return to the ward seat.

    Q: What’s the mood on the council floor amid all this?
    A: Pretty tense. There were a few heated exchanges on Thursday night at what could be Ford’s final council meeting as mayor. In one, Doug Ford informed two councillors that he’d “whoop both (their) asses.” Later, Councillor Gord Perks mused whether council had hit rock bottom.

    Q: What dates do I need to know again?
    A:Dec. 5: Ford’s lawyer applies to stop Ford leaving office.
    Dec. 10: The date by which Ford was ordered to leave office.
    January: Ford’s appeal heard by Divisional Court. Results of the libel lawsuit against Ford and the audit of his campaign finances are expected around this time, too.
    February: Appeal decision expected.
    May: Earliest a byelection could be held.
    Oct. 27, 2014: The next municipal election.

    With files from Star Staf

  • Bill Lee

    The Globe and Mail follows the duelling lawyers

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford can run in by-election, judge confirms
    by Kelly Grant, Elizabeth Church and Oliver Moore
    The Globe and Mail
    Published Friday, Nov. 30 2012, 9:51 AM EST
    Last updated Friday, Nov. 30 2012, 4:03 PM EST
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-mayor-rob-ford-can-run-in-by-election-judge-confirms/article5832548/

    699 comments
    [Other social media] 328
    Facebook 234
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    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will be allowed to run in a by-election if he loses his appeal and is forced out of his job.

    The judge who vacated Rob Ford’s seat at Toronto city hall clarified his ruling Friday, dropping a phrase that had caused confusion and debate.

    “In the final sentence of paragraph 60, the words ‘beyond the current term’ are deleted,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland wrote. “The corrected sentence shall now read: ‘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.'”
    More Related to this Story
    OPINION By-election ruling sets up a possible epic battle
    Ford files request for stay, seeks answer from judge on whether he can run in by-election
    Toronto council-wide shouting match after Mayor Ford accuses Adam Vaughan of ‘shakedown’

    The decision is another curve ball in a tumultuous week that has shaken city politics. It may force a number of would-be potential contenders – including TTC Chair Karen Stintz, who has said she wouldn’t run against Mr. Ford – to reconsider their options.

    Already, there are hints of the platform on which Mr. Ford might contest a by-election.

    A new website called respectdemocracy.ca has sprung up, encouraging Torontonians to sign a petition showing their support for Mayor Ford.

    An accompanying YouTube video, posted Thursday, features soft piano music playing over pictures of Toronto’s skyline and a Canadian flag as a woman’s voice reminds viewers that almost 400,000 Torontonians elected Mr. Ford in 2010.

    “Now, that election has been thrown out because of a politically motivated technical objection over how he raised money for underprivileged kids,” she says. “Mayor Ford gained nothing. The City lost nothing. Not a penny. How is this fair? We elected Mayor Ford to bring respect for taxpayers back to City Hall.”

    The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a message asking about the video and the domain name, which was registered with a private company Tuesday.

    Nick Kouvalis, Mr. Ford’s former chief of staff, who has said he expects to help with the mayor’s re-election bid, said Friday that he is not behind the site and video.

    However, Mr. Kouvalis re-tweeted what appear to be the first tweets about the campaign, sent Wednesday by the principals of a Toronto-based, Conservative-aligned advertising firm called Indent Communications Ltd.

    Dan Robertson, the company’s partner for strategy, was the director of advertising for the federal Conservative party’s successful election campaign in 2011.

    “I would never comment on anything I do for any client, hypothetically or otherwise,” Mr. Robertson said by phone Friday when asked if his company is behind the respectdemocracy.ca campaign

    Councillor Shelley Carroll said Friday she would “absolutely” consider running and urged other potential candidates to step aside for her.

    She cited an angry exchange at city hall – in which Doug Ford, in a comment apparently directed at two councillors, said he would “whip both your asses” – as an example of the sort of politics the city could no longer afford.

    “You know what, the time of being coy and being tasteful about this is done,” Ms. Carroll, a former budget chief under David Miller, told reporters.

    Asked if she should be the one candidate to oppose Mr. Ford, Ms. Carroll said: “Yes, yes, I am. I think that I could run this city a damn sight better than the current mayor and abide by the law while doing it.”

    At issue in Judge Hackland’s clarification was whether the judge’s decision until the end of “the current term” meant his own term, which would necessarily end upon his removal from office, or until the next regular election, in the autumn of 2014.

    Duelling correspondence released by Mr. Ruby’s office showed the last-ditch arguments offered by the lawyers as the judge weighed the issue.

    “We view those words as either being superfluous to your expressed intention or meaning that the current term for this respondent has ended, subject to a suspension of 14 days,” Mr. Lenczner wrote. “To put it plainly, if City Council were to hold an election for mayor in 2013, we respectfully submit that the respondent could present himself as a candidate.”

    But in his own submission, Mr. Ruby argued that the words “the current term” were clear.

    “If Mr. Ford wishes to challenge this aspect of your judgment, the proper forum in which to do so is on appeal before the Divisional Court,” he wrote. “Should you wish to clarify the meaning of the phrase ‘current term’ in para. 60 of your judgement – which we do not think is necessary – we submit that the best way to do so is to insert the date of the end of the term in the judgment, which is December 1, 2014.”

    Instead the judge opted to amend his ruling, allowing Mr. Ford to run in a by-election, should one occur.

    With files from Celia Donnelly and Stephanie Chambers

  • Bill Lee

    Also see: lapresse.ca/actualites/regional/montreal/201211/30/01-4599305-mascouche-richard-marcotte-a-decide-de-demissionner.php
    and: preview.tinyurl.com/czojzcm for more on the Quebec reactioo to the long term scandal north of Montreal.

    Mascouche Mayor Richard Marcotte resigns amid corruption scandal
    Published on Friday November 30, 2012
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1295887–mascouche-mayor-richard-marcotte-resigns-amid-corruption-scandal

    PHOTO: FRANCOIS ROY/THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo Richard Marcotte announced Friday that he is stepping down as mayor of Mascouche, about 40 kilometres north of Montreal.

    by Allan Woods, Quebec Bureau, Toronto Star

    MONTREAL—A third mayor at the heart of Quebec’s corruption crisis has resigned his post, but Mascouche’s long-time leader says he’s stepping down to focus on a family medical emergency — not to fight the criminal charges he’s facing.

    Richard Marcotte has been under siege since last April when Quebec’s anti-corruption authorities arrested him, along with Quebec’s construction titan Tony Accurso, for allegedly rigging construction contracts in the small town north of Montreal.

    A former entrepreneur testified before the Charbonneau corruption inquiry last week that in Mascouche, like in many other small towns north of Montreal, competitors were effectively barred from bidding on infrastructure projects because an illegal monopoly that had been put in place over the last decade drove up costs billed to taxpayers.

    Marcotte’s resignation follows that of ex-Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay and Laval’s Gilles Vaillancourt and caps a turbulent month in Quebec municipal politics.

    Tremblay stepped down following allegations he turned a blind eye to corruption within his political party. Laval’s ex-mayor crumbled under the weight of an apparently vast police probe that has targeted his home, offices and bank accounts, as well as the offices of several Laval-based construction firms.

    Marcotte is the only one to have been formally charged with a crime, namely corruption, fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust. Rather than resign his post as angry residents have been demanding for months, the mayor effectively went into hiding while vowing to remain in his post until the next election in 2013.

    The provincial government, which oversees Quebec’s municipalities, found itself powerless to intervene in the case, but introduced legislation earlier this month that would give it authority to turf local officials who are charged with criminal acts.

    In an interview with a local newspaper published Friday, he said the law was nothing more than a political act by the Parti Québécois government.

    “From what I’ve seen, it is very questionable under the constitutional plan whether it can apply to the category of elected officials. It wouldn’t work at all,” he told Trait d’Union.

  • IanS

    It’s not common for a judge to clarify his or her reasons, but it’s not unheard of and there’s no doubt but that the court has jurisdiction to do so, at least until an Order is entered.

    IMO, the stay application will be determinative. If the judgment is stayed, Mr. Ford can stay in place pending the appeal. If it is not stayed, the by election will very likely proceed before the appeal is resolved, rendering it moot.

  • spartikus

    All I will say is I’m extremely uncomfortable with a court removing an elected official on non-criminal charges.

    And me, who thinks Rob Ford is exploring new frontiers in idiocy and conservative victimhood. By Canadian standards, that is.

    He’d be just a run of the mill Republican in Arizona.

  • IanS

    @spartikus #71:

    ” I’m extremely uncomfortable with a court removing an elected official on non-criminal charges.”

    Why?

  • spartikus

    On paper it sounds good to enforce high ethical standards via meaningful penalties, but the real-world effect seems to be to open the door to an endless stream of often bogus charges. Even if the courts ultimately dismiss them, it leads to a circus atmosphere as we’ve seen down south with a seemingly endless stream of talk of impeachment on spurious grounds. Whitewater, Benghazi, etc.

    The public is turned off, faith in democracy undermined. The ballot box should be the way politicians in such cases are removed.

    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a mechanism to remove the truly criminal, but I don’t think Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is well thought out. What I think we will end up seeing is the next left-wing Toronto mayor facing “revenge” accusations. It may not make the courts, but it will be played out in the press.

  • IanS

    @spartikus #72:

    “The public is turned off, faith in democracy undermined.”

    I can’t comment on the public, but I think it’s worth pointing out that the legislation applied by the Court, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, was enacted by a democratically elected Legislature. I don’t see how applying the legislation is undemocratic. It seems to me that it would be at least as “undemocratic” for the court to refrain from applying the legislation.

    “On paper it sounds good to enforce high ethical standards via meaningful penalties, but the real-world effect seems to be to open the door to an endless stream of often bogus charges.”

    IMO, it’s important to have rules and legislation in place to enforce ethical standards. Yes, there’s always a danger of unfounded or improper accusations, but it’s better than the alternative. Besides, I’m not sure it’s really that much of an issue, from a practical perspective. I haven’t really looked at it myself, but have there been a flood of politicians removed from their seats in Ontario under that legislation? Has it ever happened before?

    “I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a mechanism to remove the truly criminal…”

    There’s nothing magical about the word “criminal” here. I think what you’re trying to say is that the magnitude of the offense in this case did not merit the punishment. I don’t disagree with that.

    “but I don’t think Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is well thought out. ”

    The problem with the Act, IMO, is that mandatory result. If the Court in this case had the discretion to give a result less than declaring the seat vacant, it probably would have done so.

    (From my own experience, I know that judge’s don’t like mandatory minimum sentences for this very reason.)

    Having said that, it’s difficult to feel any sympathy for Mr. Ford who, IMO, failed to demonstrate the slightest bit of common sense in the circumstances.

    “What I think we will end up seeing is the next left-wing Toronto mayor facing “revenge” accusations.”

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the next Toronto mayor, be he or she left or right wing, will face all sorts of accusations, in the courts or otherwise, regardless of the Act.

  • spartikus

    I don’t see how applying the legislation is undemocratic.

    The process was followed, yes. But surely you would concede laws have been introduced that have not worked as intended.

    I did not mean to imply there shouldn’t be rules governing ethical conduct, but IMHO removing a democratically elected official should be the very last recourse. The legal system differentiates between various kinds of offences, and sanctions differ. We don’t jail people for jaywalking, for example.

    We want those who govern us to behave in an ethical, transparent fashion and rules and guidelines should be designed to encourage that behaviour. I’m not sure the MCIA is appropriately designed for that goal. A stiff financial penalty would seem to me to be a more appropriate sanction for this sort of thing.

    You’re correct that there hasn’t been a flood of Ontario politicians removed via the MCIA [if any at all], but then again we don’t know if there has been a noticeable reduction in ethical transgressions either – if in fact that was a serious problem to begin with.

    And it should be recognized this case is an outlier, Rob Ford being an outlier. He was given every opportunity to comply and chose to thumb his nose at the offence and the process. He is the author of his own misfortune.

  • spartikus

    Just to add: The penalty for Rob Ford violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is, in essence, simply a [possibly temporary] blow to Rob Ford’s ego. Nothing else. He’s not going to jail. He’s not paying a fine.

    A deterrent to most people with sense and a modicum of morals, yes. But not one, obviously, to someone like Ford.

  • gman

    I really have no idea what you guys are talking about.Mayor rob was elected by the people and those who lost cant stand it so instead of attacking him on what he ran on and what people voted for they have attacked him for using the wrong letterhead, that’s what this boils down to,a guy soliciting funds for a bunch of underprivileged kids on the wrong letterhead….really? They should be embarrassed, as they will be .And for those who want to pigeon hole him as a conservative that’s not true either he would be better called a populist as he has no prejudices.And I could add he is entertaining as all get out.
    These people have already shot themselves in the foot by trying to usurp the will of the people but instead they have rallied the Ford nation.What a petty thing to try and manipulate the public and how sleazy, its so transparent you would think it was done by an 8 year old.Anybody that thinks this was anything other than political must need a wake up call to breath.Is it a law….oh ya ….would a party use it to advance their agenda…unfortunately yes.

  • gman

    IanS Spartikus
    I think you’re both over thinking the obvious.Ask yourselves if this letterhead fiasco had anything to do with the running of the city.Or do you think this was just an attempt to again discredit the elected mayor.He may be a little rough around the edges but real people relate to him.

  • IanS

    @Spartikus #74:

    “The process was followed, yes. But surely you would concede laws have been introduced that have not worked as intended.”

    It wasn’t just the process that was followed. From my review of the judgment, the Court properly applied the substance of the judgment, including the mandatory result.

    And, yes, some laws don’t work properly or as intended. But that doesn’t make them undemocratic. Legislatures are free to pass poorly thought out laws.

    “IMHO removing a democratically elected official should be the very last recourse.”

    I don’t disagree. However, the people who drafted the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the democratically elected Legislature which enacted it thought otherwise.

    “And it should be recognized this case is an outlier, Rob Ford being an outlier. He was given every opportunity to comply and chose to thumb his nose at the offence and the process. He is the author of his own misfortune.”

    I agree.

    “Just to add: The penalty for Rob Ford violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is, in essence, simply a [possibly temporary] blow to Rob Ford’s ego. Nothing else. He’s not going to jail. He’s not paying a fine.”

    Well, those comments are perhaps best directed at those who drafted and enacted the legislation.

    @gman #76:

    “I really have no idea what you guys are talking about”

    Read the judgment. That’s what we’re talking about.

  • spartikus

    From my review of the judgment, the Court properly applied the substance of the judgment, including the mandatory result.

    I don’t dispute that.

    And, yes, some laws don’t work properly or as intended. But that doesn’t make them undemocratic.

    Well I didn’t say that, I said public faith in democracy would be undermined. Nevertheless I would point out there have been all sorts of laws introduced around the world that have undermined democracy, from Jim Crow to the overt stripping of groups of the vote.

    I continue to hold the opinion that allowing a court the ability to remove an elected official for violation for conflict of interest violations makes me uncomfortable. I don’t believe it’s the appropriate mechanism to achieve a laudable goal.

  • Everyman

    Ford’s a buffoon, but if he’s allowed to run in a byelection they should just call one and allow the public to decide. However, his opponents on Council better be prepared should he win, which is not outside the realm of possibility.

  • IanS

    “Well I didn’t say that, I said public faith in democracy would be undermined.”

    I’m not sure I follow your distinction here, but I’ll take your word for it that you intended to convey something other than what I understood.

    “I continue to hold the opinion that allowing a court the ability to remove an elected official for violation for conflict of interest violations makes me uncomfortable. ”

    Well, if it makes you uncomfortable, it makes you uncomfortable.

    “I don’t believe it’s the appropriate mechanism to achieve a laudable goal.”

    Out of curiousity, is there any degree of conflict of interest which would lessen your discomfort at the idea? I get that the conflict in Ford’s case was not one of corruption or illicit pecuniary gain, but what if it had been? What if there had been some serious influence peddling or something of that nature? Do you think the Court would have any role in removing a politician in those circumstances?

  • spartikus

    Out of curiousity, is there any degree of conflict of interest which would lessen your discomfort at the idea?

    Murder, and other similar skullduggery.

    Let me rephase: Do you think the MCIA is good law?

  • spartikus

    I get that the conflict in Ford’s case was not one of corruption or illicit pecuniary gain, but what if it had been?

    What if the facts were different? Wouldn’t that be more fun?

    But they were what they were.

  • IanS

    @spartikus #82:

    “Do you think the MCIA is good law?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “good law”. Typically, I would use that term in respect of a legal decision. Such a case would be “good law” if it has not been overturned. Doesn’t really apply in this case.

    In the context of a statue, I would take that to mean whether the statute is still in force (ie. whether it has been repealed, or has been ruled unconstitutional). In this case, obviously, the MCIA is good law.

    Are you are trying to ask whether, IMO, the MCIA is “a good law”? If so, based on what I’ve seen (ie. only the Ford decision), the only point I would change would be the mandatory result . IMO, if the judge had a discretion as to the result in this case, he would not have declared the seat vacated and this whole thing would be much less of an issue.

    “What if the facts were different? Wouldn’t that be more fun?

    But they were what they were.”

    I’m surprised you’ve never come across the concept of a hypothetical question before. Here’s how it works: I set out a situation which is similar to that under discussion, but with a key fact or key facts altered. The purpose of such a question is to try to illuminate your position.

    In this case, I was trying to get at whether your position was principled (ie. whether you were simply against having a court remove a politician for anything less than “murder” or something similar), or whether your position was more situational (ie. whether your discomfort was based more on the specific facts of the case under discussion).

    For my part, I think that the result in this case was way out of proportion to the transgression. However, I have no difficulty with a court removing a politician for issues such as conflict of interest in a more serious case.

  • spartikus

    I’m surprised you’ve never come across the concept of a hypothetical question before.

    Mmm…sarcasm. I’m not sure the hypothetical posed has utility because other laws than the MCIA would probably come in to play.

    But I will try to answer the spirit of your hypothetical:

    I am uncomfortable granting a court the ability to remove an elected official from office for anything less than a serious crime (murder, etc). I am comfortable with that in the knowledge there are other more democratic/flexible methods to remove them. Elections, non-confidence motions, party leadership reviews, etc.

    Ex. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/11/26/london-mayor-charges-motion-step-down.html

    If the facts where changed so that there was elements of corruption, Ford could have been arrested and possibly jailed. Even then I would be comfortable only allowing the Toronto council the ability to strip him of office as he frogmarched out in handcuffs.

    If the MCIA was changed so that other penalties were applied rather than stripping a politician from office, I would be fine with it.

  • IanS

    “If the facts where changed so that there was elements of corruption, Ford could have been arrested and possibly jailed. Even then I would be comfortable only allowing the Toronto council the ability to strip him of office as he frogmarched out in handcuffs. ”

    Fair enough. Sadly, we will once again have to agree to disagree on this.

    Ironically, I’m not certain that the Court would have the power to remove him from office if he was charged murder or the like.

    “If the MCIA was changed so that other penalties were applied rather than stripping a politician from office, I would be fine with it.”

    I remain of the view that changing the legislation to give the court discretion, such that removal from office would only occur in the most serious cases, would be an improvement.

  • Frank Ducote

    Is he gone yet?

  • IanS

    @Frank Ducote #87,

    From the news, it looks like the Petitioner who commenced the proceeding has agreed to a stay, pending the outcome of the appeal. As a result, the lower court’s Order is stayed until the appeal is resolved, something that could easily take 8 – 12 months, if not longer.

  • Frank Ducote

    IanS – thank you. (Sigh.)

  • jolson

    The Bridge of Sighs is longer than one can imagine.

  • Read Toronto’s newspaper, “Now”, equivalent of Georgia Straight.

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/column.cfm?column=1360

    Most of my family and friends in Toronto are embarrassed and dismayed to have a mayor like Ford who keeps on stumbling and falling down in the field. Toronto is Canada’ most diverse city…not even Vancouver can compare. (I’m sorry, the Afro-Canadian population is very thin in Metro Vancouver.) It deserves a leader with far great vision and better execution.

    But then T.O., had Mel Lastman.