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47 Comments

news

Rob Ford Can Run in a By-Election To Replace…Himself

Judge Charles Hackland has offered some clarification of an ambiguous point in his ruling.

If Rob Ford loses his seat as mayor and city council decides to hold a mid-term election to replace him, Ford himself can run.

Because of an ambiguity in the ruling by Judge Charles Hackland that booted Ford from office on Monday, this had been a matter of dispute. The ruling says that the judge declines “to impose any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term” (emphasis ours), which had been interpreted in two different ways. Some, like the City’s own legal counsel, thought Hackland was trying to say that Ford couldn’t run again before the next scheduled municipal election, in 2014. Others thought Hackland was saying that Ford could run again at any time, meaning he could potentially participate in a by-election held before 2014. It turns out the latter was the correct interpretation.

Hackland himself clarified his meaning in a conference call with lawyers from both sides this morning, the Star reports.

There won’t necessarily be a by-election, though. Even if Ford loses his appeal and is deposed, council can opt to appoint an unelected interim mayor.

Confused? Here’s a flow chart that summarizes it all.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Who knew that a Judge, who’s ruling was pretty clear can change it when asked for cough….cough….clarity? I suppose mob rule is in full force. I guess Sue Ann Levy was right about his …ah hem…character after all. If the Bullying Buffoon decides to run I suggest very, very strongly that the “left” only put forward one candidate who can win, that is NOT Shelley Carroll so this can all be done and finished with. This is a great time for those who are of a progressive nature to come together as one. If they screw this up I’m going to join a fascist party. Well, maybe not, but you know…

    • Anonymous

      Before you go for the pitchforks and torches, remember that Clayton Ruby — counsel for the complainant — said he wasn’t 100% sure what the judge meant.

      • Anonymous

        Unlike the the EXPERTISE of the City Solicitor, Clayton Ruby declined to comment in any way that would stretch his knowledge. Only a fool would speak publicly about things they are not expert in, I respect his decision. What Ruby said in regards to this was and he was asked a question that was not factual as well, “I haven’t the faintest idea,” Ruby said when asked for his definition
        of “term.” “That’s a municipal law question and there are guys who spend
        their life on that. I’m not one of them.” I should also be point out that the ruling/decision stated “current term” not “term”. “Current Term” is well defined in the Act. The Judge has simply, out of the blue, with no legal precedent/reference chosen to dismiss “Current Term” and therefore change his ENTIRE ruling/decision. No conspiracy, he did what he did. End of story. What would provoke him to change his entire ruling? One can only speculate. But these kind of judicial surprises are often found in corrupt second and third world nations and regimes around the world. No conspiracy just fact. It is what it is.

        • Anonymous

          “Only a fool would speak publicly about things they are not expert in, I respect his decision.”

          Thank you and goodnight.

          • Guest

            Ah, you’re one of THOSE.

        • Anonymous

          Guest: the city solicitor was not being asked a question by the media but rather by a board member of her employer. She obviously felt an obligation to answer to the best of her ability whereas CR only has obligations to his client and the Court.

    • Anonymous

      Whoa tiger, you’ve wandered off into wild-eyed conspiracy land.

    • Anonymous

      “Current term” isn’t clear language at all. “Current term” could also refer to the “term” until such time as an election. If a by-election is called, technically that’s a new term.

      • Anonymous

        It’s down to what the judge really meant, not what we think or wish he meant. And he told us.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe you missed it but I’ll repeat: “could also refer to” – Otherwise I have no idea why you’re replying to my comment with an echo.

          • Anonymous

            Could you repeat that?

  • Anonymous

    So, then, what was the point? Seems like Judge Hackland just stuck us with a 7 million dollar bill for a by-election that will likely have the same result as the last one. Ford Nayshun is all fired up over this, and the other side’s vote will be split between Vaughan, Stintz, Carroll, etc. Unless Chow runs, we’re looking at another two years of the status quo.

  • Anonymous

    What’s a mammo to do?

    • Anonymous

      The only funny thing about Ford being re-elected would be Mammo twisting in the wind.

      • Anonymous

        Ford will need mammo’s vote more than ever (but maybe not his thumb)…

  • http://twitter.com/City_Mayor Mare Ford

    What’s up guise, did something happen?

  • Anonymous

    If Council has any brains at all they’ll just appoint an interim mayor and save the election (and its price tag) for when it should be anyway.

    • Anonymous

      Agree. Anyway, going to the polls right now plays to Ford’s strength: he’s great at being a candidate.

      • Anonymous

        He saved himself $3,000. We get to waste $7-million. Respect for taxpayers!

    • Anonymous

      I think not having a by-election will be harder to vote through now that Ford is eligible. In their heart of hearts many councillors will fear a mandatory sanction for a misstep of their own. The Council meeting to decide it will be vicious. Given that he is likely to obtain a stay, then an appeal, then mandatory nomination timeframes, we could be looking at a year of continual fighting over this.

      • Anonymous

        The best way to avoid a mandatory sanction for a misstep is to not misstep. (Or to take one of the half dozen outs given by the integrity commissioner before it even gets to court.) Going easy on Ford by letting him continue to play mayor won’t have any impact on theoretical future COI charges against other councillors, but it will let Ford fuck the city up for another two years, fuelled by a mid-term shot to the arm from a revived Ford Nation and sympathizers.

        (It would be mid-term, wouldn’t it? Please say a by-election wouldn’t give Ford another four years… Please.)

        • Anonymous

          Correct. The scheduled 2014 election happens no matter what.

  • Anonymous

    Could a by-election at any point before 2014 actually be a mayoral election, though, or would Ford be limited to running for councillor?

    • Anonymous

      The by-election is for the seat that is vacated, i.e. the mayor’s seat.

      • Anonymous

        I know this repeats my question from above – but is it true that city council could simply appoint Ford as the mayor if he loses his seat? I feel like that option is not really being seriously discussed in the media for some reason: wouldn’t that save the city the cost of a new election, respect the results of the last election, and successfully chastise the mayor? Is this not a good compromise position?

        • Anonymous

          How does giving him his job back after a judge took it away chastise Ford?

          • Anonymous

            I think taking his job away, which has led to a public apology (kinda) and the council ‘granting him’ his job back (and probably could squeeze a better apology in the process), is a chastisement. Obviously he’s a bad mayor, and obviously that man cannot learn any lessons from any experience, but no one seems to think a judge throwing him out of office is the appropriate punishment here. This could be a mature, measured response by council. I’d respect that response.

            But also – why isn’t Ford demanding this publicly? Why isn’t this Ford nation’s number 1 demand, and why isn’t it their team’s number 1 strategy for staying in office. I guess that’s my big question.

          • Anonymous

            I think it’s an appropriate punishment, and he shouldn’t be allowed to run again. He broke the law – one he was wilfully ignorant of, one he was informed several times he’d transgressed and was given several opportunities to make amends for, one he seems intent on breaking again – and was found guilty.

            If he’d robbed an LCBO we wouldn’t be talking about putting it to a vote whether he should get his gun back and a key to the safe.

            Breaking “bad laws”, mandatory minimum sentencing, and courts overruling democratic action are a whole can of worms, but the ideal place for those change to be made is not the courtroom, and finding someone guilty only to pardon them from any form of punishment makes a mockery of the justice system and opens it to blatant favouritism/abuse.

          • Anonymous

            I am assuming that appointing Rob Ford back into office is within the law, otherwise it wouldn’t be an option. So, if that’s correct, it’s as lawful an action as removing him from office.

            To be clear, I am glad the judge ruled as he did. I think Rob Ford needed to have the law apply to him in whatever form it was written because his behaviour toward these regulations, and most regulations that should apply to an elected official, smack of disdain for the rule of law. Seriously — this was the right outcome up to this point.

            That said – my question stands: why isn’t any side (pro or anti ford) talking about this option? I don’t even know if it’s a good outcome, but I’m just surprised it’s not being taken up as a thread of the debate. I think especially that it’s odd because there’s been a lot of talk about how the law is too inflexible. That’s it.

          • Anonymous

            Re-appointment is within the law, which makes the law toothless. This is the mandatory minimum, and he’s allowed to get out of it by popular vote. Hardly inflexible.

            I hope he appeals it and whoever presides over that slaps him out of the by-election and the 2014 race.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, council can appoint anyone who counts as an elector – i.e. 18+, Canadian, Toronto resident – who hasn’t been excluded. Ford hasn’t, so he could be appointed.

          Ford himself has said he would prefer a by-election though.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks. Not sure why he would prefer that though. Weird.

    • Anonymous

      The election would be just for the mayoralty. No other seats would be in play.

  • jaimie

    So a judge had to clarify his verdict?

    Sounds like incompetence to me. We tax payers pay these people a lot of money to do a job. If they can’t do their jobs correctly, replace them.

    • Anonymous

      He didn’t clarify his judgement. He CHANGED his judgement. It’s very suspect.

  • David Stein, Toronto

    What’s with the tired, ugly font? You think we’re all dippy Ubuntuists out here?

    • Anonymous

      Tired? Open Sans is two years old.

      (What’s with your off-topic whining?)

      • OgtheDim

        He is trolling against Torontoist – off topic whining is all he has.

  • Anonymous

    What’s that on the last step of the flow chart? City council could choose to appoint Ford himself? Is that right?

  • Chris

    If he won’t walk in a pride parade, I’m pretty sure he won’t run in a bi election

    • Anonymous

      LOL

  • Anonymous

    Well. I hope council just elects a caretaker for the remainder of this term. I highly doubt they will go for a by-election, considering the cost.

    • Anonymous

      Rob Ford can only do two things: campaign and coach, and football season is over.

      • Anonymous

        Quick! Get a winter football training season going pronto. That should distract him for a while.

  • OgtheDim

    Can the punishment level be changed upon appeal?

    • Anonymous

      Yes-any decision that was open to the original judge (dismiss, full range of penalties in the Act) is available to the appeals court.

  • Onthe sidelines

    Of course the brothers Ford want a by-election. Since this whole sorry episode is entirely due to the unmitigated arrogance and poor judgement of one Rob Ford, whose single campaign promise and political raison d’etre was to stop the gravy train, I’d say let him run but only if he foots the bill for the by-election (today’s estimate from the city budget staff was that it will cost us $15M, and require a small surcharge on everyone’s property tax. Let some grown ups at City Hall run the place for 2 years; its unlikely the city run by a caretaker mayor would be any less effective than what we’ve endured recently.