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politics

Paul Ainslie Quits Executive Committee Before Ford Can Fire Him

When a Scarborough councillor votes against a Scarborough subway in Rob Ford's Toronto, there will be consequences.

Paul Ainslie, who at the beginning of this city council term was a clear supporter of the mayor, marked a major milestone on his long journey away from Rob Ford today: he preemptively resigned from the cabinet-like executive committee, which is generally filled with the mayor’s closest allies, before Ford had a chance to fire him. The two fell out over Ainslie’s surprise vote against Ford’s beloved Scarborough subway earlier this week, but Ainslie’s gradual drift away from Ford has been going on for quite some time.

In addition to breaking with the mayor on a growing number of council votes, back in March it was Ainslie who confirmed to the Toronto Star that a seemingly intoxicated Rob Ford had been asked to leave the Toronto Garrison Ball. In June the mayor demoted Ainslie from chair of the government management committee to chair of a less prominent committee, parks and environment. (This is roughly the City Hall equivalent of being forced to sit at a much worse spot in the lunchroom.)

Ford had publicly mused about canning Ainslie just after the subway vote earlier this week, and today at council the mayor announced that Ainslie had submitted his resignation as chair of the parks committee, which automatically means he loses his seat on executive as well. Ford thanked Ainslie for his work on the committee, and for making the first move: “I think the whole world saw that this was going to happen.”

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