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Mayor Rob Ford looks on at city council members in Toronto Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images
rob ford

Rob Ford stripped of mayoral powers in Toronto

City councillors voted overwhelmingly to limit Ford’s powers after a series of new allegations and lewd remarks this week.

EMBATTLED TORONTO MAYOR Rob Ford has been stripped of a number of legislative powers as city councillors seek to limit his powers after his latest obscene outburst.

In a meeting today, city councillors passed a motion in a vote by 39-3 in favour of limiting the mayor’s executive powers, effectively leaving him as the city’s chief magistrate in name only.

Ford, under fire after admitting to having once used crack and allegedly abusing a prescription drug and other misconduct, yesterday drew gasps, giggles and at least one exclamation of “oh, my God” from reporters with remarks yesterday outside his office.

He later apologized, but it did little to stem the swelling outrage.

At a city council meeting, many councillors turned their backs on Ford when he stood to speak.

One chided him for his “disgraceful language” while a former ally said flatly: “Apology not accepted.”

Councillor John Fillion said the aim of the motion was to “try to contain the mayor so that he doesn’t bring down the reputation of council or of the city.”

“We can’t control his behavior, but certainly we can ensure that city business carries on as usual, perhaps even better,” he said.

The motion reduces the mayor’s budget and staff, and strips him of the powers to appoint committee chairs and hire or fire department heads.

imageMayor Rob Ford reacts at city council members in Toronto on Thursday. (Pic: CP/AP/Nathan Denette)

One councillor described the move as an attempt to build a “firewall” around the disgraced mayor.

During a morning debate the mayor, who has been alternately defiant and apologetic about his behavior, sat mostly quiet.

He asked a few questions, including about how to manage the transition of powers and raising for the first time the possibility of his resigning.

At the same time, though, he vowed to challenge any bid to oust him or limit his mayoral powers, saying he has retained a lawyer and was ready for a legal battle that could last until the next election in October 2014.

“I have no other options but to challenge this in court,” he said.

Ford pointed out also that he could have removed committee chairs who challenged him to resign, but did not.

“This (motion) will be precedent-setting and if we move ahead with this, then obviously if someone else steps out of line like I have, it is going to affect councillors and the mayor I think for years to come,” he concluded.

“So obviously I cannot support this.”

The mayor’s troubles began several weeks ago when a video surfaced that appeared to show him smoking crack.

Forced to admit he once smoked crack, he apologized for his many “drunken stupors.”

New allegations of misconduct and lewd remarks, disclosed this week, gave another boost to the spiralling scandal.

© – AFP

Read: Video shows Toronto mayor Rob Ford ‘extremely, extremely inebriated’ >

Read: ‘Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. Am I an addict? No.’ – Toronto Mayor >

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