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Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Urbane » Nov 27th, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Bsuds wrote:A job is something you do full time. A political position is short term at the best, so if he breaks the law while doing it he should be removed. There are lots of times that people break the law and lose their jobs.
He didn't actually break any laws. He was found to be in violation of the conflict of interest guidelines. To be precise, the judge described them as "contraventions of the municipal Code of Conduct." And again, even the judge who found him in a conflict has said that the law needs to be changed, i.e. that forcing the mayor from office is not the proper penalty in a situation such as this one.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Artofthedeal » Nov 27th, 2012, 5:36 pm

This is completely silly. I am no Rob Ford fan but you can't have judges given the power to just arbitrarily throw elected politicians out of office. I find the hypocrisy of all of those on the left cheering this decision to be quite hard to stomach. You know if this had been left-wing poster boy Mike Layton (spawn of Jack) that had been tossed out on his butt Margaret Atwood would already be sitting outside the city hall with a group of lefty-loonies demanding that "democracy be honored" etc etc. Rob Ford is an easy target, who committed the ultimate sin of not kissing the butts of the left-wing intelligensia in Toronto, and not sucking up to the left-wing media. He's a right-wing oaf, who doesn't care what people think, and embodies everything that the snobbish elitists in Toronto despise.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 27th, 2012, 5:58 pm

^^^It's not a case of Ford kissing left-wing arses, it came to this when he didn't recuse himself from voting on whether he had to pay back the money in question. By his own admission he never read the Conflict of Interest guidelines given every city politician.

Ford has no one to blame for this but himself.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Urbane » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:07 pm

    oneh2obabe wrote:^^^It's not a case of Ford kissing left-wing arses, it came to this when he didn't recuse himself from voting on whether he had to pay back the money in question. By his own admission he never read the Conflict of Interest guidelines given every city politician.

    Ford has no one to blame for this but himself.
Read the column that I posted. The punishment is not commensurate with the violation. Not at all.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:12 pm

I've read all the columns posted and written on this. Whether we agree with the verdict handed down or not, it boils down to the judge having to work with the law the way it's written and that's what he did.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Urbane » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:15 pm

Here's an excellent editorial from yesterday's National Post:

National Post editorial board: Let Rob Ford’s punishment fit the crime

Nov 26, 2012

Unless his urgent appeal is filed and the current ruling is stayed by a judge, Rob Ford, Toronto’s boisterous and controversial mayor, will be out of a job as of Dec. 10. So ordered Ontario Justice Charles Hackland on Monday, after ruling that Mr. Ford had violated section 5 of Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA).

Mr. Ford’s violation involved money he had collected for his personal football charitable foundation, which helps underprivileged Toronto youth participate in the sport. In 2010, Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner ruled that Mr. Ford had acted improperly when he solicited funds for his charity on City of Toronto letterhead. He was ordered to personally repay $3,150 to donors. Last February, after another councilor made a motion at Toronto City Council to dismiss that requirement, Mr. Ford first gave a speech, then voted — with the majority — to dismiss the Integrity Commissioner’s ruling.

Unfortunately for Mr. Ford, that is a clear breach of the MCIA, which forbids any elected official from speaking or voting on a matter in which he has a direct personal stake. The MCIA requires that offenders found guilty of breaching that rule be removed from office. The only exceptions are if the conflict was an inadvertent error, or the sum of money involved was so trivial as that no conflict would be created. Justice Hackland considered those options, but ruled that they didn’t apply.

So, unless his appeal succeeds, Mr. Ford is out.

He has already stated that he will run again if removed from office. This editorial board supported Mr. Ford in his initial run for mayor, and though we have often been dismayed by his tendency to make embarrassing errors that serve to distract from his primary agenda (as even Mr. Ford recently admitted he is wont to do), we still support the agenda itself. Whether through Mr. Ford himself, or another fiscally conservative successor, we hope to see Mr. Ford’s campaign against big government and waste at city hall continued past Dec. 10 and for years to come.

It is too early to speculate about the final outcome. Mr. Ford’s appeal must be considered. If rejected, there are several options available to fill Mr. Ford’s position — from council selecting a councilor to serve the remainder of Mr. Ford’s term to a special city-wide byelection.

But it is not too early to ask what lessons can be learned, not just by Mr. Ford, but by elected leaders across the province. Clearly, Mr. Ford himself should be chastened by the ruling, and the judge’s strong words criticizing his conduct. But looking beyond Mr. Ford’s troubles, there is also the content of the MCIA itself. The punishment the act provides for an offence on the order of Mr. Ford’s is disproportionate.

Even Justice Hackland himself seems to be sympathetic to the suggestion that automatic removal from office could be too severe a mandatory-minimum punishment. He also acknowledges that the MCIA may need be amended so that those accused of breaching it have the right to explain themselves. “As learned commentators have noted, there may be a procedural fairness deficiency if councillors are precluded, at council meetings, from discussing potential findings or pecuniary sanctions which may be levlled against them,” Justice Hackland writes. We agree. The right of the accused to speak in his own defence is a fundamental part of due process, and should not be denied anyone, including an elected official accused of a conflict of interest.

As for the mandatory removal provision, Justice Hackland concedes that it “is a very blunt instrument and has attracted justified criticism and calls for legislative reform.”

He’s right. Ordering Mr. Ford removed from office is a penalty far out of proportion with his foolish, but harmless, offence.
(As Justice Hackland correctly observes, Mr. Ford never attempted to deceive council, and certainly was not seeking to enrich himself.) Even Mr. Ford’s many critics on council seem displeased with the ruling — they may have wished to unseat Mr. Ford in an election, but few seem to take much satisfaction from seeing Mr. Ford lose his job due to a procedural requirement that even the judge issuing the order seems to consider less than reasonable.

Mr. Ford and Toronto must think on their futures. In the mean time, Ontario should revise the MCIA to provide procedural fairness to those accused of offences, and a more rational slate of potential sanctions for those found guilty of violations.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:26 pm

And you can bet the MCIA will be updated in short order. I agree with Justice Hackland's statement but he has to base his decision on how it's written at the present time.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Gone_Fishin » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:51 pm

Bsuds wrote:A job is something you do full time. A political position is short term at the best, so if he breaks the law while doing it he should be removed. There are lots of times that people break the law and lose their jobs.



And that's determined by their employer, not by some judge. Rob Ford's employer is the taxpayers, and they should determine his fate. A judge has no business in telling someone if they can work or not. Ford's a silly bugger, and I agree that he is an easy target for the lefties, but this is a frightening precedent.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby normaM » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:56 pm

why is it frightening? Like Ford was such an innocent lamb he didn't know what he was up to?
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby SurplusElect » Nov 27th, 2012, 6:57 pm

This is coming from a man who on his own admission couldn't be bothered to read the rules of his job.

Call the cops on CBC comedy, drive while reading, flip off citizens who catch you on your cell phone while driving, attack a reporter - not to mention the defamation suit he is still fighting.

From day one it was Don Cherry - now it's a "pinko conspiracy". 3 ring circus.

Lets quote the judge

“It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement and a dismissive and confrontational attitude,"
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Gone_Fishin » Nov 27th, 2012, 7:20 pm

normaM wrote:why is it frightening? Like Ford was such an innocent lamb he didn't know what he was up to?



Do you want a judge finding you guilty of jaywalking saying that you can't work any longer?
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Gone_Fishin » Nov 27th, 2012, 7:24 pm

SurplusElect wrote:This is coming from a man who on his own admission couldn't be bothered to read the rules of his job.

Call the cops on CBC comedy, drive while reading, flip off citizens who catch you on your cell phone while driving, attack a reporter - not to mention the defamation suit he is still fighting.

From day one it was Don Cherry - now it's a "pinko conspiracy". 3 ring circus.

Lets quote the judge

“It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement and a dismissive and confrontational attitude,"



Typical in that a leftist takes aim at Ford for who he is. And, by God, it just happens to be a leftist that advocates against exactly the type of injustice that heavy-handed judges levy against people like pot smokers. If Ford weren't a right-wing nutbar, the response of Bagotricks would be a complete 180 from what he has posted.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 27th, 2012, 7:35 pm

Fisher-Dude wrote:

Do you want a judge finding you guilty of jaywalking saying that you can't work any longer?

So it's okay for a judge to render a verdict and disregard the way the law is written? Justice Hackland is held in high esteem in the legal profession and is becoming a “go-to” judge for big, politically sensitive cases.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby SurplusElect » Nov 27th, 2012, 7:39 pm

Fisher-Dude wrote:Do you want a judge finding you guilty of jaywalking saying that you can't work any longer?


How about a lawyer being disbarred?

How about a care-worker convicted of molestation?

Failed logic. Some jobs are different than others - judges have the power to remove certain people from their jobs or change the conditions in which they perform their jobs.

If you have a mayor who doesn't "understand" conflict of interest, says loudly into microphones that he "cant be bothered" to read the conditions of his job and thinks he is entitled to do whatever he wants concerning a job that is populated with corruption and accountability issues then the mayor is removed, just like a lawyer is disbarred. No trust - no job.
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Re: Toronto's Mayor Ordered to Be Removed from Office

Postby Urbane » Nov 27th, 2012, 7:46 pm

I'm just amused that some of you (not all) who like the decision to boot Rob Ford out of office for a relatively minor violation of the conflict guidelines are quite okay with Adrian Dix forging a document, playing fast and loose with the rules when getting elected leader, and breaking other rules along the way. Funny how that works.
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