Controversial Toronto Mayor Removed From Office

After two years of making enemies in the city's planning, design, and transit communities, Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford has been given the boot for violating the city's conflict-of-interest law.
November 26, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Danielle Scott

This morning, reports Henry Grabar, "a judge ruled that Ford violated the city's conflict-of-interest law with regards to a $3,150 donation lobbyists and corporations made to Ford's football foundation when he was a member of the City Council" and ordered him removed from office within 14 days. Many of Toronto's urbanists, alternative transportation advocates, and others those sick of seeing their city sullied by Ford's controversial policies and personal choices are no doubt celebrating the man who Toronto Star columnist Royson James says often "bulldozes ahead, ignoring the principles and explicit rules that govern his office," getting his just desserts.

So what does the future hold for the man whom Richard Florida called "the worst mayor in the modern history of cities"? Ford has announced that he will appeal the ruling. As David Rider and Daniel Dale note, "Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland’s decision appears to disqualify Ford from running in any byelection held before the regularly scheduled October 2014 mayoral election, but it does not say he can’t run in future elections."

As Grabar points out, though his critics may be celebrating today, Ford's removal may actually help him in the long run. "Michael Kolberg, writing at the Toronto Standard, cautioned back in August that ousting Ford for what seems like a technicality could actually bolster his re-election chances: 'the perception exists that the Mayor’s persecution is politically motivated. No matter how legitimate the conflict-of-interest charges may be, it feels like his opponents are trying to remove the mayor through a sneaky loophole.'"

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Published on Monday, November 26, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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