Rob Ford's chances of remaining in office while his appeal proceeds are looking a little better.
If Rob Ford gets booted out of office before he’s had a chance to appeal his ouster on conflict-of-interest charges, it will be nobody’s fault but his own. Lawyer Clayton Ruby announced today that he and his client, Paul Magder, won’t be opposing the mayor at a divisional court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, where Ford’s application for a stay of last week’s superior court judgment will be decided.
In a press release issued earlier this afternoon, Ruby is quoted as saying that he and Magder “are agreeing to this stay to give the city of Toronto a measure of stability, something that has been wholly absent during Mr. Ford’s term in office.” (A “stay” is a temporary pause on a court order that keeps it from going into effect for a certain period of time.)
What this means, according to John Mascarin, a municipal law specialist at Aird and Berlis LLP, is that Ford will probably be able to remain in office until the divisional court has arrived at a decision on his appeal. Ford’s lawyer has said the appeal process might take two months or so.
“It’s incredibly courteous and professional on the part of Clayton Ruby to do this,” said Mascarin in an interview. He believes Ford would have been able to win the stay in any case, and that Ruby’s decision not to oppose it will ultimately spare everyone time and hassle.
But this doesn’t mean Ford will automatically get the stay. “The divisional court hearing does still have to go ahead,” said Mascarin. “You need a court ruling on it. This just means it will be unopposed.”
This is, at best, a momentary reprieve for the mayor’s office. After the court decides one way or the other about the stay, Ruby and Magder will continue to oppose Ford’s appeal.