Welcome, John Stall and all our readers to this chat. John will be answering your questions about the scandals surrounding Mayor Rob Ford.
I guess technically they could if his behaviour was consistent with the circumstances that led to this action. However, I can imagine that would be the case. He would have to be demonstrating the same level of incapacitation that led to this move.
No, his answers to questions about his personal life would be outside the purview of the integrity commissioner. It is up to those of us in the media who are interviewing him to hold his feet to the fire. That, however requires all of us to be extremely familiar with timelines and statistics. Mansbridge may have missed the point that Mel Lastman was elected with a larger majority than Ford, but I do understand that in the moment, he was more interested in getting Ford to open up
Well, l will answer on behalf of the media first: The media's role is to hold public office holders to account. That's what it has been doing since the first revelations ( by the Toronto Star ) that the city's chief magistrate was involved in illegal activity. Although the Star took a lot of heat in the early days of reporting, as it turns out, they were absolutely right and accurate about the Mayor's behaviour. Council has the responsibility to ensure the business of the city is able to be conducted. Its action was taken in the face of mounting evidence that the leaders judgement was impaired enough to intervene.
It's a great question and I have no idea how he would answer it except to keep repeating that the majority of people in Toronto sent him to City Hall to "stop the gravy train" and that is what he has been doing. THAT has been his stock answer to all difficult questions.
No, I don't. My understanding of the law (provincial statute) is that they cannot strip him of the role and responsibility of "Chief Magistrate," Council did not strip him of that role which is why he is still considered the Mayor of Toronto, Paid the salary of a Mayor and is allowed to occupy the main office of the Mayor. Council did strip him of his ability to administer, influence , appoint and dismiss members of the executive committee in addition to withholding the amount of office budget required to carry out that role. The provincial statute does provide for that kind of action if two thirds of council agree.
Yes, he has been taken to task on that by other members of council who see the world differently than he and his executive council does. Those attempts are made during the annual budget debates that occupy every councillor's time and energy. It is at the heart of councils cut and thrust over what kind of a city should be built.
Well, that is asking me to predict the future - and none of us can do that. I suspect at this point (backed by recent polling information) that the antics of the last 6 months will not be forgotten and will certainly by used by any opponents he faces in the next race for Mayor. He himself has put everyone on notice that he is waging war ... so I can't imagine it won't be waged back against him in full public view.
No, I don't think he would have have been lenient. I, "for the life of me," like so many others, can't understand for a second why he thinks his actions should have no consequences - I think he is delusional .
All I can say in response to your question is the police may not have hard evidence of any illegality. Any charge in relation to the use of cocaine or marijuana would have to be as a result of possession as opposed to just admission of use. As I reported this morning about the chief's assessment of the investigation, he denied that police were advised or pressured NOT to arrest the Mayor if he was involved in illegal activity. Blair says none of his officers believed there was reasonable grounds to seek a warrant that would have allowed them to raid and search his house. In short, they have to find him in the act of buying, hoarding, or using.
Well Jason, yes, he has admitted to buying and using illegal drugs (cocaine and pot ) but as I mentioned in the last post, he has to be caught (evidence ) with possession or using in order to be charged. For example, It's a criminal offence for any of us to drink and drive, or rather be driving drunk by definition of the equipment used to gather evidence. You can't be charged with DUI just because you admit that you once drove while drunk. The roadside machine has to be calibrated to provide the evidence that you were.
No, I don't believe so. Council can't force any more than they did yesterday.
I would be surprised if the Mayor WASN'T still under investigation. As for the second part of your question Jason, I think you may have misunderstood the context of "pressuring" not to arrest. No one would be in a position to "pressure the Chief" - If anything, it would be the chief deciding to pressure his guys on the ground to NOT arrest - which he says was not the case.
Me thinks he stretches the truth on (Occasion) ? - lol
Yes, of course he would get all of the powers back.
The answer to your question, or rather "observation," "statement," is yes. It is what most councillors actually felt uncomfortable about. This was an unprecedented move that will have consequences in the future - no doubt. I sense the Province will be amending the statute in the wake of this fiasco. I think if would be a stretch that "similar circumstances " would apply to religious convictions etc. but you make the good point that the ambiguity of definition could be problematic in the future.
No, but to be fair and clear about the situation. It's not about doing illegal things, its being impaired often enough that behavior and judgement can't be trusted. the average councillor does not have the same level of responsibility as the Mayor, Is not considered by law or taxpayers to be the " Chief Magistrate " with responsibility for all city matters including the responsibility to lead and respond to an emergency.
Times up, all! Thanks to everyone for your thorough and interesting questions. Many thanks as well to 680News political specialist John Stall. We hope to host one of these chats again soon.