The City Council Has Finally Found a Way to Punish Rob Ford

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 15 2013 11:27 AM

The City Council Has Finally Found a Way to Punish Rob Ford

187387224
Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office at Toronto City Hall as he is surrounded by media on November 8, 2013

Photo by Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images

There's nothing the Toronto City Council would like more than to oust Rob Ford, the often boozy, occasionally crack-addled mayor who has turned the city into a late-night punchline on both sides of the border. The problem, however, is that the council doesn't have the power to do that unless Ford is convicted of a crime, something that somewhat remarkably hasn't happened yet. So with their pleas that Ford step aside and seek help going unanswered, the council on Friday began chipping away at Ford's power in the small ways they can.

This morning the council overwhelmingly approved a measure that bars him from appointing or removing committee chairs or the deputy mayor. The final vote was 39-3 in favor, with two of the dissenting votes coming from Ford and his brother, Doug. Here's the Toronto Star on why, while small, the measure is still meaningful:

Without the power to fire the chairpeople, Ford will have even less control over the policy agenda. Most proposals must be passed by committees before they become law, and the chairs have usually followed the mayor's orders for fear of losing their powerful posts. Now, they are free to do as they please.
Advertisement

Up next will be a measure that would revoke Ford's power to govern the city unilaterally in the event of a city-wide emergency. Then on Monday, the council will consider a series of additional sanctions to further handcuff Ford. Those measures will remain in effect until the end of Ford's current term. "Obviously I can’t support this and I have no other options but to challenge this in court," Ford said this morning, before adding: "I completely understand where they're coming from."

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.