Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was stripped of some of his powers, and had both his budget and his number of staff slashed after a major vote at an emergency council meeting Monday.
The marathon meeting lasted for about five hours. It was at times rambunctious, with Rob and Doug Ford getting into it with members of the public, but when it was over, a clear majority of councillors voted to suspend the mayor’s powers. He is essentially now the mayor in name only.
In addition to having his budget cut by about 60 per cent and the number of staff reduced to eight from 20, Ford is no longer the chair of the executive committee. Many of his non-statutory powers were handed to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly for the remainder of his term.
At one point in the meeting, a ten-minute recess was called when the Ford brothers got into a shouting match with members of the public gallery.
The incident started with Doug Ford asking for “unions” to be removed from the chamber. He referenced the public gallery behind him. The mayor started chanting: “NDP, NDP, NDP.”
Then, the mayor and his driver walked around the semi-circle of council chambers just in front of the public gallery. The mayor grinned and chuckled as his driver recorded video. That’s when members of the public started yelling, and chants of “shame” filled the chamber. The Fords both got into yelling matches with multiple members of the public gallery.
Below, view raw video taken during the meeting:
At one point, when Coun. Ford was arguing with members of the gallery, Mayor Ford charged across council chambers, knocking over Coun. Pam McConnell. The mayor said he was trying to run to the aid of his brother.
Mayor Ford also stirred up controversy with his actions and his words. He compared council’s action to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. He also mimed drinking and driving to Coun. Paul Ainslie, who was pulled over during a RIDE stop and had his license revoked for three days. Ainslie was not charged in the incident.
Many councillors, including Georgio Mammoliti, a long-time ally of the mayor, and John Filion, who introduced the motion, spoke about the vote.
Mammoliti said councillors “have turned into the worst vampires, all out for blood.” He said they were acting like they were gods.
One of the mayor’s lawyers, George Rust D’Eye, said he will take a look at council’s decision. Ford is considering taking legal action against council.
The Prime Minister also briefly addressed the issue, saying “these latest allegations are troubling.”
The mayor called the decision a “coup d’etat.”
Read the full motion below: