Toronto strips Rob Ford of powers as mayor clings to office
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It seems that the entertainment juggernaut that is the saga surrounding Toronto's crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford may finally be coming to an end. But if it’s any consolation, it looks like that end may be as messy, protracted, dramatic and potentially hilarious as this epic story has already proved.
Despite admitting smoking crack and and being accused of regular drug taking, using prostitutes, spectacularly drunk driving, racial abuse, inappropriate offers of employment to young women he smoked pot with, and extraordinary outbursts of rage he has yet to actually be charged with a crime. And without a criminal conviction, there is no legal mechanism to remove him from office, as Toronto lawmakers are furiously trying to do. With Ford clinging on to office despite the kind of storm that would have done away with most politicians weeks ago, councillors in Toronto has been forced to get creative. Their solution is to systematically strip him of his powers until all that remains to him is the title of mayor but absolutely no power at all.
Ford still has a popular base in Toronto. One of the reasons he is still wedged into the office door is because his uniqueness as a politician extends beyond his penchant for crack. He gives out his personal phone number to constituents, actually answers it and generally behaves like a true man of the people.
As his budget and responsibilities were stripped away and handed over to the deputy mayor, Norm Kelly, some of Ford supporters saw the move as a coup, but councillors felt they had been left with little option
"I wish there was some other route that could be followed," said city councillor John Fillion. "Council has given the mayor advice and requests and he's chosen not to follow them, and I think this is the only course of action left to us."
He added: "We've been frankly fortunate that no emergencies have landed on the same dates that we know the mayor's judgment may have been impaired."
Unbelievably, Ford seemed to agree with him
"I completely understand the situation my fellow colleagues are in," he said, adding that he were not their target "I would have supported what they are doing."
Stand by folks. There may be a couple of acts left in this play yet