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article image30 councillors petition Rob Ford step aside in raucous debate

By Eileen Kersey     Nov 14, 2013 in Politics
Toronto - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was given notice to take leave from his job Wednesday but the man is adamant that he is going nowhere. Later more damaging information was made public.
Thirty councillors have signed a petition asking Rob Ford to step aside as the political crisis continues.
Ford is under fire for his antics including smoking crack cocaine, alcohol abuse and allegations of corruption. Toronto politics mean that Ford cannot be sacked nor forcibly removed from his post mid-term. When the system was created who could have foreseen such shenanigans?
CBC reported Tuesday "A symbolic showdown is underway at Toronto City Hall this morning, with councillors debating a motion that calls on Mayor Rob Ford to take a leave of absence amid the drug-related scandal that has roiled the city for months".
As for Ford, the matter was not open for debate.
Wednesday the Mayor received formal notice from the majority of his political counterparts but refused to take heed.
Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong tabled a motion after a lengthy debate at City Hall. Before the vote Ford said:
I think I’ve said everything I really could say today. There’s not much to add,” Ford said, after earlier admitting he had purchased illegal drugs in the past two years.
“Apologizing and saying sorry, you can only say that so many times. There’s nothing else to say, guys. I really F-ed up and that’s it.
Dramatic scenes at City Hall included the Mayor trying to float a motion that all his colleagues took a drugs test. As tempers flared Speaker Frances Nunziata called for a five-minute recess. When the meeting resumed the Speaker asked Ford to apologize for acting in a threatening manner toward Councillor Minnan-Wong. Ford refused claiming:
I did not threaten him in any shape or form," said Ford. "He knows that. I asked him to take his seat. I have nothing to apologize for.
This led the debate on to tough questioning of Ford, his drug use and whether he will seek professional help.
A further nail in the political coffin of Ford came the same day when a court allowed the release of further information. A CBC report begins:
Toronto police say in court documents that city staffers told them Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoked marijuana in front of them, used Oxycontin, hung around with a suspected prostitute, drove after drinking, and had city staff regularly deliver alcohol to him, according to search warrant information made public Wednesday.
The warrant referred to "Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver, who is now facing drug charges and an extortion charge".
Stubborn to the end, CBC reports, Ford refused to comment Wednesday, telling reporters to "be very careful on what you write."
In a vote of 41-2, the council in Canada's largest city, Toronto, requested Mayor Ford take leave but sadly for Torontonians Mr Ford has vowed to stay.
More about Rob Ford, Toronto, Canada, Drugs, Alcohol
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