In a brief statement to the media, Mayor Rob Ford tried to shift blame away from himself and onto "activists."
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 They tried to abuse a loophole in outdated laws—laws that even the premier admits need to be changed.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.]