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Mayor Rob Ford Reacts to the Supreme Court’s Decision

In a brief statement to the media, Mayor Rob Ford tried to shift blame away from himself and onto "activists."

20130530robford

At around 11:45 am today, Mayor Rob Ford spoke briefly to the media about this morning’s Supreme Court of Canada decision not to reopen the conflict of interest lawsuit that once imperiled his job.

The mayor read a prepared statement for about 60 seconds, then left his podium without taking any questions from reporters.

The Supreme Court’s decision means the conflict of interest suit, which Ford won on appeal in January, won’t end his mayoralty. Even so, defending the case has already cost him dearly in other ways. He had to pay his own legal bills, and he also had to fend off questions about the case for more than a year, to the detriment of his political agenda.

His statement reflected frustration with all of that. It also attempted to shift blame for the imbroglio away from himself and onto “political activists,” presumably chiefly Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, an activist and union labour-relations specialist who played a quiet role in bringing the lawsuit about.

A full transcript of Ford’s statement is below.

Well, good morning, everyone.

I respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada and respect the judicial process. I’m so happy this is finally over. I’ve been vindicated and we can move on.

This case has taken a significant toll on my family, both financially and emotionally. The entire case was driven by the political agenda of a very small group—a group who do not respect democracy.

We all know these individuals have open ties to political activists. They tried to abuse a loophole in outdated laws—laws that even the premier admits need to be changed. They couldn’t beat me at the polls, so they tried everything they could to stop me from moving forward with my agenda.

The people of this great city elected me to drive efficiencies, keep taxes low, and reduce the size and cost of government. Folks, that’s exactly what I’ve done.

They’ve created months of instability, turmoil, and confusion at City Hall. Over what? Ask yourself: over what? Raising money to help underprivileged kids play football. I’m just glad this is finally over. Thank you very much.

[Disclosure: Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler is Torontoist editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan's partner; she was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.]

Comments

  • OgtheDim

    Abuse a loophole?

    Says the guy who didn’t read the manual to know he shouldn’t have done this (and he did do something) and then got off on a technicality. They guy voted on something he shouldn’t have and only got off because the vote should not have happened in the first place.

    Like, time to move on, but geez…can the man never admit he isn’t perfect except under oath?

    • vampchick21

      But…but…his mom thinks he’s special!

      • Tristan

        His mom thinks he was supposed to be a girl.

    • Dave

      Paul, this case should have never even been a case. The legal system has cleared the issue. His legal expenses will be covered. Case closed.

      • OgtheDim

        To the Torontoist Mods on here,

        This dude calls me Paul because he wants to get his jollies from insinuating I am Paul Magder.

        Its an obvious troll.

        I look forward to the day when he gets tired of this.

        In the meantime, personally, I’d call that a reason to banninate him again.

        Thanks for your patience and work dealing with this tool who wants to stifle debate.

        Sincerely,

        Og the Dim

        • Dave

          Truce, we obviously will not see eye to eye. I respect you opinion and will let the Rob Ford thing be between us rest.
          PS off topic, Who makes the best chocolate chip cookies?

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “Respect for democracy” without acknowledging the legal framework that makes democracy possible – including, yes, allowing challenges to the outcomes of elections, or removal from office for breech of protocol – isn’t respect, it’s a means to an end.

  • William Paul

    he’s right, this useless waste of time and money WAS brought about by Adam for activist-politically motivated reasons which is why a nobody(Magder) was enlisted and an ‘old’ lawyer who did it for free to get all of the free publicity. This was obviously a leftist agenda and as usual with these guys, nothing became of it. We can surely expect the same old with whoever the new mayor is as these guys are never satisfied. Let’s ban the car while we are at it

    • Matt

      How about we just ban politicians from casting votes that will benefit them financially? Oh wait, that’s what the “outdated loophole” is supposed to do.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Of course it was a leftist agenda; when was the last time the right fought for democracy instead of against it?

      • OgtheDim

        I would say the Hero Burger thing was a fight for democracy, of sorts. Council votes to approve a contract that goes through the system. A sub council votes to overturn that and do more study.

        Sorry, but that’s not how our city system works.

        Which is why I, for one, am glad that vote went the way it did.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          If that’s not how our system works, why did this sub-council think it had a say in the matter?

          • OgtheDim

            Not sure. They kinda just put a spanner in and said it was now open. Somebody else on here will know but it was either the Toronto and East council or the Licensing Committee. Something procedurally might have allowed them to do this; but its not really how the system should work.

          • Mark_G56

            The committee felt like staff had pushed ahead with the tender in a way that did not reflect what council had asked for. (But I agree, it was not worth the political fuss this raised to try and re-tender). The good side of this is that council pushed ahead and re-instituted a citizen committee to monitor the progress of city hall renovations that Ford disbanded (along w/ all the other citizen committee’s like biking, pedestrian, etc.)

          • Testu

            For a “mayor of the people” Rob Ford certainly seems to hate having their input on anything.

            Maybe they just need to call him instead (conference call style), that seems to be his preferred method for dealing with things.

  • Scrimbro

    “I’ve been vindicated and we can move on.” Well, no, you haven’t been vindicated — one court ruled you violated the act, a second court ruled on a technical matter regarding council’s authority in the matter — which as a by-product overturned the original ruling — and the SC has decided the case (considered a long shot by everyone) was not worth hearing. You haven’t been vindicated, Rob; you’re just the lucky recipient of legal arguments and circumstances that you can’t even pretend to understand. So don’t talk to us like we’re idiots and suggest all of this is the same as waving a big “Rob is totally innocent” banner.

    Once again, Rob is either completely clueless about the circumstances surrounding his case (and can’t be bothered to learn anything beyond “I get to stay mayor, wheee!”) — or expects the rest of us to be. And that, “folks,” shows you how much respect he has for the lot of us.

    • Dave

      Matt, he has respected the tax payer.

      • Scrimbro

        Scrimbro, what the hell does that even mean in this context?

        Oh, right. Trolling. Carry on, then.

  • ehwawazat

    After all of this, he still is a class act. Keep fighting Rob.

    • Scrimbro

      Missed a word there.

      class ^clown act

      There, fixed.

      • Mike Mike

        don’t quit your day job, your not funny.

        • Scrimbro

          Thanks for the unsolicited advice! Don’t believe I was going for funny, so we’re square. And let’s hope you never give up your day job to pursue your dream of offering cliched responses to hecklers with writer’s block.

  • Scrimbro

    >> Ask yourself: over what? Raising money to help underprivileged kids play football. I’m just glad this is finally over.

    Yeah, so, about that… is he still in the football foundation business? I mean, now that he’s been asked not to come back to the school and all. Plus the fact he’s had a few, er, personnel issues in the past few months. Just wondering, because it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything about it. I suppose I could just call him up and ask — he is all about the customer service, after all.

    (And no, you lunkhead, it wasn’t over “raising money to help underprivileged kids” — it was over you stupidly voting to forgive yourself from paying back money you were ordered to pay back. There are arguments aplenty about whether that was fair of council to do or if the law isn’t clear enough in this regard — but stop, stop, stop this insulting-our-intelligence nonsense that someone was out to get you because you were helping kids. God, it’s frustrating how much this guy just doesn’t get it.)

    • vampchick21

      It doesn’t help that the remnants of Ford Nation parrot that right back. In fact, it enables him to say the things he does.

      • Dave

        Ford following up on his mandate allows him to say the things he does.

  • dsmithhfx

    “They’ve created months of instability, turmoil, and confusion at City Hall.”

    “But enough about my extracurricular activities…”

  • Mike Mike

    Blaming Ford for not being as effective as possible at his job (because he has to deal with all these morons and their accusations) is like blaming a man who can’t run because he was attacked by a mob and had his legs chopped off.

    • dsmithhfx

      Ford Nation want respect? Lose the victim schtick.

    • OgtheDim

      Some of us remember the first 12 months of Ford’s tenure, when he actually got a LOT of stuff done.

      Then, his continuous inability to develop consensus and his willingness to bully overcame the natural “we must follow the one with the big mandate” feeling councillors feel after an election.

      He could have done a LOT more, if he’d bothered to listen when he was a councillor.

      He didn’t, and this is what we have now.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      He’s the mayor, the axe-wielding mob is part of the job.

  • Julian

    To me, the upsetting thing is the media showing up to hear this, lapping it up, and letting him leave without taking questions. The media, en masse, should boycott Rob Ford. He uses them, abuses them, calls them maggots, and the media shows up for more — chasing him around like a puppy looking for approval. BOYCOTT.

    • Scrimbro

      Problem with that approach is it just feeds into his pity-me victim mentality. “They don’t want to talk to me, folks, because I tell the truth! And I’d answer all their questions if they weren’t too scared to ask them, because I have nothing to hide. Okay, let’s go to our totally random next caller who was not screened in any way — Bob from Scarborough, you’re on the air.”

      Besides, a media not asking him questions he doesn’t like is No. 1 on his wish list right now — why should anyone give him what he wants the most, just because he can’t handle the pressures of his job?

      No, best to show him for what he is — a sad puppet with nothing to say
      that isn’t written down by someone else, and too dense to know how to turn the media to his own advantage.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      A more damaging tactic would be to focus on him not answering questions, and only briefly mention why he was there at all.

      • Mark_G56

        Well journalists are noting (on twitter at least) that his office keeps releasing video of these ‘statements’ that are cut so journalists questions at the end are cut off. Hope news casts are doing better.

        • OgtheDim

          They aren’t. Heard a radio bit today and, before the driver turned it off, it was all the political stuff in his speech.

          I’d like to see the countdown brought back, except this time how many days since he started refusing to answer Don Peat’s question list.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Then it’s time to shout questions over the speech.

  • Jahnny

    “The people of this great city elected me to drive efficiencies, keep taxes low, and reduce the size and cost of government. Folks, that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

    Ford has not done any of these things. He inefficiently acts as a one man call centre. He raised my taxes. Transit is in worse shape than when he became mayor. He is the most useless mayor to ever ‘grace’ that office. On top of that, he is a buffoon.

    • Dave

      Could you elaborate on your empty claims?

    • dsmithhfx

      He’s also a part-time mayor (even without the coaching gig), hangs out with the wrong crowd — which the police are checking out as we speak, pretty clearly has substance abuse issues (many of his formerly closest associates and colleagues practically screamed it from the rooftops before jumping ship), and is flagrantly campaigning for re-election ~18-months, before that is ‘supposed’ to be allowed (someone should file another complaint). Other than that…

  • nikun888

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt