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#1 Wetcoaster

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

While I am often left shaking my head at the antics of Mayor Moonbeam (aka Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson) his record pales in comparison to Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto. Mind you being Toronto I suppose the Big Smoke (aka Centre of the Universe) gets what it deserves.

The latest Ford chapter has been playing out in an Ontario courtroom where Hizzoner is being sued for $6 million for libelling Toronto restaurateur George Foulidis claiming that corruption was involved in the lease extension granted Foulidis' company that operates the Boardwalk Pub on city property in the Beaches area of TO. As any lawyer will tell you once you allege corruption you better have the facts to back such a claim up... and those seems to be missing.

The critical comments were made in August 2010 in an interview with the Toronto Sun editorial board concerning a deal between the city and Foulidis' business, Tuggs Inc. extending his existing lease for 20 years. Ford was incensed at the time that the city gave an untendered 20-year lease extension to Tuggs Inc. for the continued operation of the Boardwalk Café along Woodbine Beach. Foulidis has said Ford has suggested he won the contract as a result of illegal activity.

Ford was upset that it looked like Foulidis is not playing by the same rules as everyone else and Hizzoner would most certainly know about that, eh?

BTW Ford has been excused from testifying last Thursday due to the fact that he must attend a city council meeting where vital decisions are being made... oops nope he is skipping that meeting to coach his high school football team.

The judge pressed for details of Hizzoner's being unavailable...

The trial was initially slated to last four days, but the emergence of the tape means a Toronto Sun reporter probably won’t have to take the stand. Ford’s lawyer, Gavin Tighe, called it a “curveball.”

This would have bumped up the mayor’s testimony, except that Ford informed court he is unavailable Thursday afternoon.

Ford has refused to say why, but the mayor’s high school football team has an important game at 2 p.m. in Scarborough.

Judge John Macdonald pressed for details, since extending into next week will affect other trials.

“Why can’t we sit tomorrow afternoon?” Macdonald asked. “I’m able to make accommodations if accommodations are necessary. Why can’t we sit tomorrow?”

Ford’s lawyer, Gavin Tighe, simply said the mayor was unavailable.

The word “football” was never spoken.

http://www.thestar.c...n-witness-stand

And in an unrelated story:


Mayor Rob Ford was on the football field at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough, as his $6-million libel trial trudged on in a University Avenue courtroom Thursday.

Ford did not speak directly to his early exit at the trial Thursday.

"It's not easy but I made a commitment," he said. "These kids will never forget what we've done. I'll never forget what they've done."

"This is a win-win for everybody," Ford said.

Ford was expected to testify Thursday. But according to Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor informed the court he would be unable to attend and it was approved.

"From what I understand, the judge approved all this," he said.

"He supports youth athletics. He's committed, he's passionate about helping kids."

It is not clear whether the judge knew the quarterfinal game was behind the mayor's absence.

http://www.680news.c...ns-championship

Good thing that court resources were not idled and wasted, eh?

On the first day of trial Ford's defence was that he made comments about Tuggs Inc., and not about the plaintiff personally. Uh yeah that defence should really work, eh?

And besides despite what was reported in The Sun quoting Ford, Ford's lawyers claimed nobody really knows what Ford said because somehow the reporter notes and the recording of that interview have gone missing or been erased. So the defence was Ford never uttered the word corruption... despite what was reported.

However as soon as that testimony was made public Canada.com’s senior producer, Rob Granatstein, formerly the Sun’s editorial page editor, dug up the recording in question on his computer and turned it over. And when it was played?

In the recording, then mayoral candidate Rob Ford is heard talking about sessions held in private by city council to discuss confidential matters — known as “in camera” (which the mayor deemed an “oxymoron” because there are no cameras recording :lol: ) meetings. Unfortunately for him a former editor at the newspaper had an audio file of the interview, produced it and when it was played in court on Friday - Ford's defence was shredded. And the audio record:



“If Tuggs isn’t, then I don’t know what is,’’ Ford told the Toronto Sun’s editorial board.

“I can’t accuse anyone or I can’t pinpoint it, but why do we have to go in-camera on the Tuggs deal?

“These in-camera meetings, there’s more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I’ve ever seen in my life.”


On the stand he was backed into a corner and forced to admit he had no evidence beyond tips from anonymous callers and a personal hunch when he singled out a controversial 20-year restaurant deal with the city as “an example of corruption and skulduggery.”

Justice Macdonald addressed the mayor directly to seek more clarification, and then asked Mr. Shiller to put the question to him again. “I don’t agree with how the Tuggs deal was done,” said the mayor. “When they don’t follow the process, when staff recommends an RFP and you ignore it, I call that skullduggery and corruption. So, that’s the answer.”

And as he floundered away under questioning:

In questioning from Brian Shiller, the lawyer for Mr. Foulidis, the mayor said he had no proof that the sole-source deal was corrupt, but said he was one of many who were suspicious. At one point he described councillors as “going snake” in a closed session to discuss the contract as a sign that something was wrong. “Some of them were losing their mind to get this deal through,” he said.

“Something was going on. I don’t know what it is. I can’t pinpoint it,” he said. “It’s hard to catch them in the act. It’s hard to prove it.”

To that, Mr. Shiller asked, “If you don’t know who is being corrupt and you don’t know how they are being corrupt, how do you know there is corruption?”

“It smells that way. It just looks that way,” Mr. Ford responded. He later added: “Over the last five years or before we signed this deal there was a lot of innuendos, there were a lot of councillors talking about it. I got a lot of phone calls from people. I talked to a lot of people. They called me about the deal. It just didn’t smell right. It just didn’t pass the test in my personal opinion.”
...
Later in the day, Mr. Shiller questioned the mayor on his remarks during a radio interview in the weeks leading up to the meeting with the editorial board. In that case, he noted, Mr. Ford was asked if there was money paid under the table in connection with the Tuggs deal, and he responded that he believed there was.

Under questioning, Mr. Ford said he had no evidence to support that belief. “Did I see someone get a brown envelope of cash, no,” he said.

Instead, Mr. Ford said a number of people called him to tell him something was not right with the deal and that money was being exchanged. Asked why he did nothing with the allegations, Mr. Ford said they were made by people who wanted to remain anonymous.

“I don’t know who they are,” he said. “They are calling from pay phones, they are calling from blocked numbers.”

At one point Mr. Ford said he would like the police to investigate the deal, but later said he had never called them on the matter.

http://www.theglobea...rticle5373364/#

And after being evasive for hours and wrestling with counsel for the plaintiff, Siller went for the pin. “My question is … when you say, “and if Tuggs isn’t, I don’t know what is”, what (you’re) saying is, if Tuggs isn’t an example of corruption and skullduggery, I don’t know what is?”

There were objections from Ford’s lawyer but Superior Court Justice John Macdonald allowed the question.

Ford: “I’m going to repeat myself the best I can to explain and answer you. Here, I don’t agree with how the Tuggs deal was done and I used the word, when they don’t follow the process, and when staff recommends a (request for proposal) and you ignore it, I call that skullduggery and corruption, that’s the answer.”

And Hizzoner went completely off-script and likely induced a near heart attack for his own lawyer with wild claims. He began blithering on about money exchanging hands, under the table, and “dirty deals,” talk of it from anonymous callers, all the while sinking deeper into the muck.

Counsel for the plaintiff must have thought he struck a goldmine because once all the blithering ended and Hizzoner was asked to back up his claims with evidence or some proof - his response was “I can’t prove it, no.”

Rob Ford... his own lawyer's worst nightmare.

And closing arguments seemed to go not better for Hizzoner which mercifully closed on Tuesday.

During closing arguments counsel for the Plaintiff Brian Shiller submitted that Ford had no factual basis for his comments about civic corruption related to his client's renewed pub lease and was just playing to the peanut gallery. Ford was concerned about winning votes during the 2010 campaign — not the process followed to award an untendered vending deal — when he uttered words that are at the centre of a defamation lawsuit, a lawyer argued Monday. Ford was completely reckless and was flailing about trying to win votes and he simply did not care who would be hurt by his unsupported allegations of corruption. In particularly apt turn of phrase he argued:

“And the road kill is [George] Foulidis,” said Brian Shiller.

“Mr. Ford, in fact, did not know anything about untoward conduct by anyone. He just did not like that the sole source deal was signed instead of the deal going to a [request for proposals], and he’s entitled to that view,” Mr. Shiller told Justice John Macdonald. “And if that’s what he had said to the Toronto Sun editorial board, we wouldn't be here today. But that’s not what he said. He said the deal was corrupt.”

Shiller called it an “opportunist statement” intended to make “an election issue as sensational as possible” to win the support of Torontonians who shared his view: that “city hall needed to be cleaned up.”

And as Shiller points out Ford was so concerned about the extended lease that he did not even bother to turn up for the council vote that actually extended the lease for the Boardwalk Pub. :shock:

And it seems yet another purported Ford defence to the libel claim has gone up in smoke.

A key to the defence has been the claim by Ford and to which he testified under oath at great length during the trial that Toronto City Council went into in camera sessions to approve the lease extension of the Boardwalk Pub. Ford in a newspaper article at the time that quotes councillors discussing an in camera session, and references to confidential items on the agenda of the May 2010 council meeting, where the Tuggs deal was approved, and the June 2010 meeting, where council considered reopening it.

And why is this key? Mr. Ford’s lawyers point to it as the grounds upon which the Mayor alleged corruption at City Hall during an editorial board meeting with the Toronto Sun three months later, in August 2010. The resulting Sun story led to the $6-million lawsuit from Tuggs owner George Foulidis.

The problem is says Brian Shiller is the in camera sessions never in fact happened and Ford is lying in an attempt to buttress his defence of "fair comment" which must have some factual basis.


Mr. Shiller argued references to in camera discussions are “very convenient” for the mayor, whose testimony he described as “disingenuous.”

“I urge you to find that when he’s saying it’s all confidential, it’s behind closed doors, it’s not true… It’s an excuse to not back up his allegation,” he told Judge John Macdonald. “Because he has no evidence of corruption.”


Initially Ford's lawyer Gavin Tighe was seeking leave to adduce additional evidence in the form of Toronto Council minutes to support Ford's story as his defence was built around this claim where Ford in a newspaper article at the time that quotes councillors discussing an in camera session, and references to confidential items on the agenda of the May 2010 council meeting, where the Tuggs deal was approved, and the June 2010 meeting, where council considered reopening it.

Slight problem... Minutes from the June council meeting indicate council did not go into closed session. Minutes from the May council meeting say council went into private session for three hours, but also state that Rob Ford was not present. The May minutes do not list Tuggs as an item that was discussed in closed session.

Tighe had planned to seek leave to introduce the May minutes, which are part of city council’s public record, as evidence, but changed his mind on Tuesday. And with good reason it seems. :lol:
http://news.national...famation-trial/

The presiding judge was not buying what Ford's counsel was selling. Justice Macdonald said he does not need to be sold on the fact that as a candidate in the last election, Rob Ford was entitled to air issues related to sole sourced contracts and transparency at city hall.

“The issue here is a little different,” Justice John Macdonald said to Tighe. “In the course of exercising those rights … did he just go too far in relation to [George] Foulidis?” (Road kill perhaps?)

In a somewhat ironical statement Ford's lawyer tried to argue that his client really does not need any believable facts upon which to base his claims. Maybe Rob Ford is an alien???

“If Mr. Ford had said I think this deal was brought from Mars, by aliens, if he can find someone else to agree with him, it’s not defamatory,” said Mr. Tighe. “The launching pad for the belief and the opinion is that the deal exists.”

Seriously??? :lol:

Ford had testified that his comments were about the process followed by city hall. He maintained that something about the Tuggs deal didn’t “smell right,” although he admitted he had no proof of corruption, just anonymous phone calls from people telling him money had exchanged hands. And his counsel claims that is enough to support a defence of fair comment.

Justice Macdonald pressed Tighe on the argument and pointed out the cases upon which he was relying did not go as far as claimed. “Where are the facts that support … the statement that the Tuggs deal smacks of civic corruption, or if the Tuggs deal isn’t civic corruption I don’t know what is? Where is the pith and substance of that?” asked Justice Macdonald.

Tighe said the defence of fair comment does not require him to prove that the allegations are true or “that there are facts upon which a reasonable person would have that belief. All I need to prove is there there are some facts which everyone can reference which anybody could possibly have that opinion.”

The judge seems to find that argument unsupportable - and with good reason as it would completely gut the tort of defamation (libel and slander).

So it seems Rob Ford stumbles around in court, just like in other venues such as the Grey Cup events and on a weight scale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rNdlWox3CBs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MzI72WrOeA0
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#2 ThaBestPlaceOnEarth

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

He's no Mel Lastman.
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#3 Wetcoaster

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

He's no Mel Lastman.

I do not get the import of that comment. Please explain.
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#4 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

The reign of error by Hizzoner Rob Ford could come to an end on Monday.

Rob Ford's run as the mayor of Canada's largest city could come to an end on Monday morning - all over a stubborn refusal by Ford to follow instructions from city's integrity commissioner.

On Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland will release his decision in a conflict of interest case that could see Ford not just dumped from his mayor's job, but barred from running in the next election.

The issue that has brought Ford's political career to the brink is his love of football — and $3,150 in donations to his football foundation.

Toronto's integrity commissioner found that Ford had erred when he used city letterhead to solicit the donations and ordered him on several occasions to pay it back.

Ford, whose two years in office have been charged with controversy, adamantly refused.

When the issue came up in city council in February, Ford took part in the debate and then voted along with the majority of councillors to let himself off the hook.

But Toronto resident Paul Magder insisted Ford was in a conflict and pursued the case.

Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who represents Magder, argued in court in September that Ford's participation in the debate amounted to a conflict of interest, something Ford denies. Ford also admitted in court he had never read the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA).

On Thursday afternoon Hackland informed the two legal teams that he would release his decision — probably by email or fax — on Monday at 10 a.m. And that's when Ford, who is in the midst of celebrating the 100th Grey Cup, which Toronto is hosting — and who is also coaching his Don Bosco Eagles in Tuesday's Metro Bowl high school championship game - will find out what his future is.

If Ford is found guilty of contravening the MCIA he would be immediately removed from office.

Justice Hackland also has some leeway if he finds the violation inadvertent, an error in judgment. He might also rule the amount involved is too small to "reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member."

The act also allows the judge to bar Ford from running for office for seven years.

http://news.ca.msn.com/canada/rob-fords-future-as-toronto-mayor-to-be-decided-monday-1
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#5 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

It even astonishes Torontonians like myself how this guy is still mayor, but I guess on the bright side, he looks like he's a Five Guys Burgers and Fries away from a coronary.

Edited by zaibatsu, 23 November 2012 - 03:34 PM.

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#6 Wetcoaster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

Four possible outcomes from Monday's conflict of interest court decision.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will learn Monday whether he will get turfed from office when an Ontario judge rules on whether Ford violated conflict of interest rules.


Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland will deliver his finding at 10 a.m. ET on Monday on a case that stemmed from a complaint against Ford lodged by Toronto resident Paul Magder.


Magder, who is being represented by Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby, argues Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke and participated in a council vote regarding a financial penalty he was ordered to pay in relation to donations he solicited for his football charity.


The vote on Feb. 7 rescinded an August 2010 directive from council and integrity commissioner Janet Leiper that the mayor pay back $3,150 in donations that corporate and lobbyist donors had given the Rob Ford Football Foundation when he was a city councillor.


Leiper found in 2010 that Ford had violated council's code of conduct when he used city letterhead to solicit donations for the foundation and recommended he pay the money back out of his own pocket.


Council adopted the commissioner's findings and sanction in a resolution Ford voted against — but he never made the repayments, despite several reminders from the commissioner.


Listed below are four possible scenarios that could play out when Justice Hackland delivers his findings Monday.


1.) Judge finds Ford was in a conflict of interest and violated the terms of the conflict of interest act.


Consequences: Ford is automatically removed from office. The judge could also bar him from seeking office for up to seven years. The judge could also choose not to put any restrictions on Ford seeking office in the future.

Ford can appeal the decision, but he would have to apply for a stay of the decision in order to remain mayor, says John Mascarin, a municipal and land use planning specialist at law firm Aird and Berlis LLP.


If successful, he would remain until a three-judge panel at an Ontario divisional court hears the appeal. The divisional court can either uphold the finding, replace it with its own finding or order a new hearing altogether.

If ultimately, after the judicial process is completed, Ford is ordered from office, council has two options on how to replace him. After voting to formally vacate his seat, council would then vote to either appoint a new mayor until the next municipal election or call a byelection for the office of mayor.


If council chooses to appoint a mayor, the appointee need not necessarily be a member of council.


If Ford has not been barred from seeking office after being removed as mayor, he could run in the byelection and again in the subsequent municipal election.


All the power and duties of the mayor's office while vacant would be conferred on Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday.


2.) Judge finds Ford was in a conflict of interest, but acted through inadvertence or an error in judgment.


Consequences: Ford, who said in court he had never read the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, remains as mayor, but may be ordered to pay back some or all of the money that he solicited on behalf of his charity. He would face no other sanctions. Ford also has the option to appeal a restitution order, if one is made, to a divisional court.


3.) The judge finds Ford was in a conflict of interest, but determines the amount of money involved is so small that it does not trigger the conflict provisions.


Consequences: Ford remains as mayor and faces no other sanctions.


4.) The judge finds Ford's actions did not constitute a conflict of interest.

Consequences: Ford faces no sanctions, legal or otherwise. The judge could, for instance, find that Ford had the right under law to speak in his own defence at the council meeting. Ford's legal team has argued that the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act does not apply in this case; rather the matter centres on Leiper's finding that he violated council's code of conduct.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...finding216.html

Edited by Wetcoaster, 25 November 2012 - 06:33 PM.

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#7 Shift-4

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

And he has just been punted

(not bothering with a link.............check any Cdn news outlet)
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#8 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

Here is the decision of Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland who ruled that Rob Ford breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
http://www.cbc.ca/ne...est-ruling.html

The stupidity defence was not a winner for Ford nor was the ignorant and proud of it gambit.

As Justice Hackland writes noting what seems obvious to any reasonably informed person - Ford shot himself in the foot due to his stubbornness, misplaced arrogance and wilful blindness.

(I)t is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the integrity commissioner and the [council] code of conduct.

In my opinion, the respondent's actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to wilful blindness.


Ford has been running much the same sort of defence in the recently concluded libel trial and that one could cost him $6 million in damages.

Here is what Clayton Ruby counsel for Paul Magder who filed the complaint had to say - Rob Ford was felled by self-inflicted wounds and that for Hizzoner common sense just seems to be not all that common:

Today’s decision shows that when you break the rules, there’s a price to pay. It's important for the courts to assert that nobody is above the law, Rob Ford included.

Rob Ford did this to Rob Ford. It could so easily have been avoided. It could have been avoided if Rob Ford had used a bit of common sense and if he had played by the rules.


The effective date of the order removing Ford from office will be in 14 days in order that a replacement mayor may be appointed and the necessary administrative actions can be undertaken to give effect to the order.

Also while removing Ford from office the order only applies to the current term as the ruling did not impose a further penalty which may have included a bar on Ford running for office for a period of up to seven years.

And Hizzoner's reaction?

"This comes down to left-wing politics. The left wing wants me out of here and they'll doing anything in their power to."

"And I'm going to fight tooth and nail to hold on to my job. If they do for some reason get me out I’ll be running again whenever the next election is, if there’s a byelection. My name will be the first one on the ballot."


The next step for Ford may be an application for a judicial stay of the ruling while he files an appeal with a three member panel of the Ontario district court.
http://www.cbc.ca/ne...on-release.html
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#9 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

A couple of LFMAO comments from Twitter on the Rob Ford ouster.

At least Rob Ford will be able to fully focus on coaching Bosco to a Metro Bowl win this week without a pesky second job interfering.

They threw the book at Rob Ford. He still hasn't read it.


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#10 vancanfan

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

TOROTNO POLITICS AT ITS BEST ::D
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#11 Mainly Mattias

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:11 PM

Posted Image
i feel sorry for his lawyer.
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#12 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 PM

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i feel sorry for his lawyer.

Clients like Rob Ford are what keep lawyers up nights.
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#13 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

All of the Toronto jealousy aside, Ford will drag this along.. I can only hope his challenges get swiftly defeated. The longer it plays out, the odds of a concerning re-election increases.
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#14 Wetcoaster

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

Ford has claimed he will run again if there is a subsequent by-election to fill the remainder of his unexpired term.

However various experts including the Toronto City Solicitor are of the opinion that he is barred until the current term expires.

City solicitor Anna Kinastowski told council that a judge's ruling booting Ford from office for the "current term" precludes that option.

"It is my opinion that that word 'term' means 2010 to 2014," Kinastowski said.

"That is our interpretation of that particular fact."
...
"If down the road there is a by-election and Mr. Ford does not agree with our interpretation, he can certainly take action to get a judicial interpretation at that time," she said.

Coun. Paula Fletcher said council will probably go with the solicitor's advice that the "term" runs from when he was elected in 2010 until 2014.

"Sometimes the mayor interprets the rules differently than everybody else," she said. (My note - Ya think??? :lol: )

http://www.globalnew...1284/story.html
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#15 Wetcoaster

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

Ford has now filed an appeal of the ruling ordering his ouster and an application for a stay of the order that will be heard on December 5, 2012.

He has also sort of apologized but hey his heart was in the right place as he was just thinking of the kids, eh? He still obviously does not get what constitutes a conflict of interest.

And one of Ford's staunchest supporters, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti has called upon him to step aside in favour of Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday while the legal proceedings are ongoing.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has said sorry for the first time for the council-floor speech that led a judge to conclude he should be fired.


“Looking back, maybe I could have expressed myself in a different way,” Mr. Ford said. “To everyone who believes I should have done this differently, I sincerely apologize.”


Mr. Ford made his qualified apology as part of a brief statement to the media about why he and his lawyer filed a formal appeal and a request for a stay of the decision Tuesday.


The mayor said that while he “respects” the Ontario Superior Court’s decision, he did not believe he had a conflict of interest when he spoke and voted at council Feb. 7 to free himself from personally repaying more than $3,000 in improper donations to his football charity.


“I was focused on raising money for underprivileged youth. I never believed there was a conflict of interest because I had nothing to gain and the city had nothing to lose,” he said.


Mr. Ford's bid to keep his job temporarily while he appeals his case will be heard by a court on Dec. 5, according to the mayor's lawyer and his press secretary.


News of the crucial court date came as the city's top lawyer concluded that if Mr. Ford loses his appeal he would be banned from running for office again until the 2014 general election.

...


One of the mayor's former allies called Tuesday for the mayor to step aside temporarily and let Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday take over while the appeal is heard.

"The city of Toronto is bigger than any personality or anybody and we should be thinking about the city of Toronto," Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said.

Mr. Mammoliti announced Monday that he was quitting the mayor's executive.
http://www.theglobea...article5720402/


Edited by Wetcoaster, 27 November 2012 - 04:27 PM.

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#16 DonLever

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:37 AM

Rob Ford is clearly a clown and a buffoon and he broke a conflict of interest rule which some commentators say was a bad law.

But is what he did that bad? He raised money for his kid's football foundation He did not take the money for his own use. He did not put it in his pocket like those Quebec politicians, like the Montreal mayor who resigned
recently.

Basically this is what happened: Mayor Ford used a official city letterhead to solicit donations for his private football foundation. A Toronto man, Paul Magden, raised the complaint, and was represented by Clayton Ruby, a top civil rights lawyer in Canada..

Mayor Ford claimed leftwingers were out to get him. Maybe he was right afterall because the end result is exactly that: He lost his job.

Edited by DonLever, 28 November 2012 - 12:58 AM.

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#17 Wetcoaster

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:11 AM

Rob Ford is clearly a clown and a buffoon and he broke a conflict of interest rule which some commentators say was a bad law.

But is what he did that bad? He raised money for his kid's football foundation He did not take the money for his own use. He did not put it in his pocket like those Quebec politicians, like the Montreal mayor who resigned
recently.

Basically this is what happened: Mayor Ford used a official city letterhead to solicit donations for his private football foundation. A Toronto man, Paul Magden, raised the complaint, and was represented by Clayton Ruby, a top civil rights lawyer in Canada..

Mayor Ford claimed leftwingers were out to get him. Maybe he was right afterall because the end result is exactly that: He lost his job.

Like Ford you are missing the point and what cost him his job.

He was ordered by the integrity commissioner to pay the money back six times and refused. And all of that isn't really even what got him thrown out of office.

He voted in council on the issue after all that and broke another major rule. You can't speak in council and vote on an issue you have a personal financial interest in. And that was the violation that cost him his job.

As Justice Hackland writes noting what seems obvious to any reasonably informed person - Ford shot himself in the foot due to his stubbornness, misplaced arrogance and wilful blindness.

(I)t is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the integrity commissioner and the [council] code of conduct.

In my opinion, the respondent's actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to wilful blindness.


And as the judge pointed out in his decision referring the affidavit of the councillor who was acting as Speaker at the meeting (said affidavit referring to the attached transcript) she specifically raised the issue of conflict of interest and Ford just ignored her and voted. Standard Operating Procedure for Ford it would seem. here is what the judge said in his ruling:

At the City Council meeting on August 25, 2010, the Integrity Commissioner's report and recommendations were initially approved without debate. Later in the meeting, a Councillor moved for reconsideration of that approval. A vote was held and the motion for reconsideration was defeated. The respondent voted on that motion. Just before this vote, Council Speaker Sandra Bussin alerted the respondent to a conflict of interest. She described what occurred in her affidavit in this proceeding, as follows:

Because the matter involved Councillor Ford's conduct and made him personally liable for $3,150.00, it was my opinion that Councillor Ford had a direct and personal interest in Item CC52.1 which amounted to a conflict of interest that prohibited him from speaking on or voting on the motion.

As a Councillor bound by the City's Code of Conduct, it was Councillor Ford's responsibility to declare that he had a conflict of interest because of his pecuniary interest in the motion. Nevertheless, as Speaker, when I realized that Councillor Ford intended to vote on the motion, I alerted him directly to his conflict of interest. I said to him in a clear voice:

"Councillor Ford. This matter deals with an issue regarding your conduct. Do you intend to declare a conflict? You are voting? Okay."

I have attached a transcript of the exchange to this affidavit as Exhibit "A".

I alerted Councillor Ford to his conflict of interest in the hope and expectation that he would declare his conflict and not vote on the motion. Having ignored my warning, there was nothing more that I could do.

Councillor Ford did not seem surprised when I told him that he had a conflict of interest. Instead, he just nodded to me, indicating that he understood what I had said but that he was voting on the item. He then proceeded to do so.

...
On my view of the evidence, the respondent gave little or no consideration to whether he was lawfully entitled to speak or vote on the motions before Council on February 7, 2012, that involved his financial interests. I also find that he was well aware that he may have been in a conflict situation because Speaker Bussin had specifically warned him that he was in a conflict when he voted on a motion concerning these same issues (i.e., the recommended repayment to donors) when the matter first came before Council on August 25, 2010.


Edited by Wetcoaster, 28 November 2012 - 01:15 AM.

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#18 Wetcoaster

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:18 PM

Ford has formally filed a notice of appeal and applied for a stay of proceedings from the ruling that he broke conflict of interest rules and must be removed from office.

In court documents, Ford’s lawyers argue that he will "suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted," as he will lose his position as the mayor of Toronto.

Furthermore, removing the mayor from office would create “significant disruption” for city councillors and staff as well as the general business of the City of Toronto.

Ford’s lawyers also argue that Toronto residents chose him to be their mayor, a position in which he should continue to serve in until the appeal has been dealt with.

"The public elected Robert Ford as its mayor by more than 90,000 votes over the next candidate," says a factum prepared by the mayor’s lawyers and filed in a Divisional Court.

"It cannot be right that the democratic process and the democratic will should be denied for a period of another few months while the appeal is being heard and decided."

His lawyers also argue that city council did not have the jurisdiction under the City of Toronto Act in to compel Ford in August 2010 to pay back $3,150 to donors that had contributed to his football foundation.
...
According to the factum submitted to the Divisional Court, if the council’s original penalty levied upon Ford was not within its jurisdiction, then the subsequent resolution that council came to is ultra vires, or beyond its powers.

The factum submitted to the court is seven pages long and also makes other arguments Ford’s lawyers will include in the appeal.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...-documents.html
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#19 Wetcoaster

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

Mr. Justice Hackland has clarified his ruling. In the event of a by-election to fill the office of mayor if and when Ford is removed, Ford would be eligible to run in that byelection.

The embattled mayor of Canada's largest city can have another shot at his job if his appeal of a judge's ruling that ordered him from office over a conflict of interest violation fails and council calls a byelection to fill the vacancy.

The clarification by Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland came Friday amid confusion over his initial decision as to whether he had meant to bar Rob Ford from running until the next municipal election in 2014.

Hackland modified his decision to say there would be no "further disqualification from holding office" — beyond declaring the Toronto mayor's seat vacated.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mayor+Ford+eligible+byelection+judge+clarifies+ruling/7634783/story.html#ixzz2Dk0zDmrf
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#20 Special Ed

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

The fact that he even became mayor says enough about how flawed our system is.
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#21 Wetcoaster

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

The fact that he even became mayor says enough about how flawed our system is.

Ford played by the rules governing the election of the mayor in Toronto and when he failed to play by the rules governing his conduct once in office he was ordered removed.
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#22 Wetcoaster

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:24 PM

And much hilarity ensued at the council meeting today when Ford lost it... again. The City Council session concerned a provision that allows the city to provide height for developers in exchange for money to ensure the demands of the city by increased tenancy is taken care of.

Adam Vaughan had negotiated a million dollar settlement from developers instead of letting it go to the Ontario Municipal Board. At the OMB, the outcome is much less certain, and it could lead to a taller building with no extra support for the city.

Rob Ford bumbled around and was called out for his lack of knowledge. At one point, Councillor Doug Ford yelled “I’ll whoop both your *****,” — apparently at councillors Adam Vaughan and Gord Perks — during the final hours of what could be his brother Rob Ford’s final council meeting as mayor.

Tensions started to boil when Rob Ford attacked Vaughan over his proposal that council approve a zoning amendment for a new building at 219 Queen St. W. in exchange for the developer donating $1 million for so-called Section 37 community benefits.

City staff recommended council not approve Vaughan’s motion, saying they would prefer a small building on the site, but conceded he negotiated the agreement with their input and that, without it, the developer would take the project to the Ontario Municipal Board where it might be approved without any community benefits.

“All I’m saying is that looks like a shakedown,” said the mayor, who has recently railed against Section 37 funds although they do not personally benefit a councillor and, as Ward 2 councillor, he himself used them to get a new dressing room for the school where he coaches football.

“You cannot go up to a developer and say I want $1 million when staff say they don’t want it.”

Vaughan fired back: “What is wrong with this building?” and repeated it as Ford acknowledged he knew nothing about the project itself, but that he disagreed with the process.

Ford, who has been reprimanded in the past by the city’s integrity commissioner for such statements, later relented: “If I offended the local councillors saying it was a shakedown, I withdraw that.”

But tensions heated up over another issue, prompting Ford to call Vaughan “an outright liar.”

“You just cool your jets, Mr. Mayor,” Deputy Speaker John Parker told him at one point.

During another exchange, Doug Ford yelled, “Why don’t you shut up and sit down?”

The summary:


The clip begins with councillor Adam Vaughan asking Mayor Rob Ford what exactly his objection is to the proposed zoning change. The Mayor responds that the deal with the developer to pay an additional $1 million sounds like a shakedown.

4.30: Councillor Gord Perks asks Ford whether the mayor had attended any of the meetings about the zoning issue in question. Perks and Ford then have a heated exchange.

7.50: The Mayor says he will withdraw the term 'shakedown'.

8.45: Perks continues with the questions to the mayor, asking whether Ford's objections are ameliorated by the fact that the community was part of the negotiations with the developer.

11.00: Councillor Nunziata questions the mayor to clarify his objection to the zoning issue.

13.15: Councillor Shelley Carroll asks the mayor whether he was listening when city staff agreed with councillor Vaughan about the dangers of letting the zoning issue get settled with he Ontario Municipal Board.

16.20: Councillor Doug Ford blasts council for working directly with developers.

18.30: Councillor Perks wonders whether council has hit rock bottom.

:lol: :lol: :lol:


A couple of reports on the latest fractious council meeting.

Rob Ford accuses Adam Vaughan of a ‘shake down,’ calls him a ‘liar’ in heated Toronto City Council session
http://news.national...ouncil-session/

Rob Ford involved in shouting match at council
http://www.cbc.ca/ne...l?autoplay=true

Edited by Wetcoaster, 30 November 2012 - 06:00 PM.

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#23 Wetcoaster

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

An interesting column going through the entire history of the events in depth that led to Ford being ordered removed from office highlighting how Rob Ford simply ignored advice, warnings and help so that in the end Justice Hackland had no option left under the law as written.

Toronto’s political system is equipped with numerous fail-safe mechanisms to keep a mayor out of legal trouble.

Mayor Rob Ford managed to crash through every one and land in a heap, steps from being tossed out of office.


How it happened is an unprecedented tale of arrogance, hubris, incompetence, stubbornness and, in the words of Justice Charles Hackland, “willful blindness.”


It’s been reported that Ford ignored as many as six letters from city council’s integrity commissioner to comply with the rules that now threaten to abort his mayoralty, midterm.


What many may not know is the extent to which Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper, Ford’s council allies and opponents, staff, advisers — Justice Hackland, even — tried to avert the pending disaster.


This is the story of how Ford burned through all the firewalls erected to protect him from himself.


The saga began when Ford was a penny-pinching Ward 2 councillor, constantly attacking the way councillors spent taxpayers’ money.


To underscore how colleagues used their office budgets as a slush fund — all legal, mind you — Ford used his own family wealth to finance his city hall office. He provided his own stationery and postage. While the average councillor filed annual expenses of $40,000, Ford filed a ridiculous $2.


By presenting himself as Mr. Clean, the spending police, Ford attracted attention even as his fame grew on talk radio and among his anti-government, anti-taxes, anti-union constituency.


Ford announced his candidacy for mayor on radio on March 25, 2010. Six weeks later, Leiper received a complaint from a citizen.


The complainant, not a ward constituent, had received a donation request from Ford on his councillor letterhead, postmarked March 19. The money was for Ford’s football foundation, a charity set up in 2008 to buy football equipment for struggling high school teams.


The complainant wrote that the letter “left me uncomfortable. While it was not stated in words, there was a clear sense of an implied suggestion that a donation to his charity might serve me well should he be elected mayor.”


It wasn’t the first such complaint. In December 2009 and February 2010, Leiper had warned Ford to separate his private fundraising efforts from his public councillor’s job and not use city hall letterhead to raise money.


Now, she advised Ford again — twice in person and twice by telephone — to no avail. Ford responded: “I do not understand why it would be inappropriate to solicit funds for an arms-length charitable cause using my regular employment letterhead.” The complaint had no basis in policy or law, he wrote. Besides, a “worthy cause would be undermined by an inconsequential complaint about the use of letterhead.”


Leiper asked him to reconsider. Councillor Ford refused to amend his response.


The two previous complaints give insights into Ford’s thinking. “On Nov. 11, 2009, a member of the public provided a copy of a mailing received from Councillor Ford which contained the same “Dear Friends” letter requesting donations to the football foundation, along with a copy of the news article, a business card from Rob Ford, Councillor, a fridge magnet for Rob Ford Etobicoke North Councillor and a promotional sticker for Deco Labels and Tags, the Ford family business.”


Ford agreed it was improper to include the Deco sticker in the mailing. But he added a couple of telling twists that would recur as he plunged deeper into trouble.


For one, city letterhead paper isn’t city property because he paid for it out of his own pocket, Ford argued.


Secondly, his fundraising falls within city business because it assists underprivileged residents. And, he maintained, the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF), which administers his charitable foundation, had approved the content of his fundraising.


He was wrong on all counts and Leiper told him so, Dec. 10, 2009.


City council had established the position of integrity commissioner to assist politicians with issues not clearly black and white. When in doubt on a code of conduct issue, councillors were to check with the commissioner and go with her advice or risk a complaint and a finding of violation.


Leiper was clear that Ford’s actions were improper. By “asking citizens for money for a personal cause on councillor letterhead, there is a risk that you could be seen to be using your influence as a councillor to raise money for your private foundation,” Leiper wrote to Ford.


She reported that “Councillor Ford was advised that lobbyists or developers who might want to seek his support in his role as councillor might feel that they could do that by making donations to his named foundation.


“Finally, I identified the City of Toronto logo as being property of the City of Toronto that is subject to the Use of Corporate Logo, Donations and Sponsorships policy to be used only for officially sanctioned City of Toronto business.”


Separate your councillor business from your private fundraising efforts, Ford was told. He apologized to the complainant, but would continue to violate the code of conduct.


Leiper’s probe uncovered other troubling facets of Ford’s fundraising efforts, later reported to council.


Ford’s Ward 2 website improperly featured links for donations to his private charity.


Ford frequently used office staff and city resources to solicit funds and manage the foundation on city time.


Ford’s mayoral campaign website boasted that his foundation had donated $100,000 to eight schools. Leiper’s investigation uncovered records showing the foundation had raised only $37,294.68 and assisted four schools since its inception.


There was a “lack of rigour to record-keeping by Councillor Ford that included deleting or discarding the source material used to create the mailing lists, and the details of financial reporting.”


Ford failed to provide records showing his donor list — records Leiper needed to check to see how many were registered as lobbyists. Leiper asked Ford if he was aware he was soliciting from lobbyists. He first denied knowing, then acknowledged that he knew two of them.


“I asked him if he had been lobbied after he had received a donation from them. He responded that it was ‘ridiculous to say something like that.’ Neither he, nor his assistant, responded to requests to confirm whether they had met with the lobbying firm.”


Leiper found 26 businesses who donated to Ford’s charity between August 2009 and May 7, 2010. Eleven had been lobbying city hall for business during this time. Seven of the 11 were registered to lobby Ford. The lobbyists donated $3,150 to Ford’s charity.


One donor ($400 in 2009) received “multi-million-dollar contracts spanning 2009-2011,” awarded by the city through competitive bidding.


If there were any doubts as to Leiper’s concerns, her Aug. 10, 2010, report to council erased them.


Strict rules on both sides exist to ensure city hall lobbying is transparent and conducted with integrity. She quoted directly from Justice Denise Bellamy, who headed up the Toronto Leasing Inquiry into one of the city’s biggest scandals:


“When public office holders, elected or not, accept meals, gifts, entertainment and other favours from those attempting to influence them, they corrode public trust.”


Bellamy’s “list of problematic corporate benefits” included donations to charitable events sponsored by public office holders, Leiper said. She detailed the improper nature of Ford’s actions:


“In this case, Councillor Ford solicited and received donations from lobbyists to his named private foundation, on City of Toronto official letterhead from his office at city hall where he conducts his councillor business.

“In return for these donations from lobbyists, Councillor Ford received the benefit of additional funding to his foundation, which he used to enhance his reputation both as a councillor via his website and as a candidate by including this information in his campaign materials.”


Ford usually called all donors to personally thank them. Sometimes, more money was requested. “This was not an “arm’s-length” arrangement,” Leiper wrote, as Ford “combined the roles of public office holder and private citizen. It would be understandable if those who made donations concluded that they were ‘doing the councillor a favour’ by making a donation to his foundation.”


Leiper then addressed head-on the argument that the donations were for a good cause.


“The validity of the charitable cause is not the point. The more attractive the cause or charity, the greater the danger that other important questions will be overlooked, including who is being asked to donate, how are they being asked, who is doing the asking, and is it reasonable to conclude that a person being asked for money will take into account the position of the person asking for the donation.


“Where there is an element of personal advantage (in this case, the publication of the councillor’s good works, even beyond what they had actually achieved), it is important not to let the fact that it is “all for a good cause” justify using improper methods for financing that cause.


“People who are in positions of power and influence must make sure their private fundraising does not rely on the metaphorical ‘muscle’ of perceived or actual influence in obtaining donations.”


More than two years later, Justice Hackland was to lift those three last paragraphs, word for word, in his judgment. He said Leiper’s was “an excellent report” which he did “respectfully endorse.”


It had a similar effect on council, led by former mayor David Miller. On Aug. 25, 2010, council approved Leiper’s recommendations that Ford must reimburse the lobbyists’ $3,150.


In opposing the move, Ford made a critical error.


When Speaker Sandra Bussin called for the vote she specifically reminded Ford he had a conflict of interest in that the matter involved a financial benefit to him. Ford ignored her and voted.


“Having ignored my warning, there was nothing more I could do,” Bussin said in an affidavit filed in the conflict of interest case.


Ford wasn’t done. He refused to reimburse the lobbyists, and ignored six letters from Leiper urging him to comply.
Ford won the mayoralty in October 2010. Fifteen months later, Leiper reported his noncompliance and asked council to enforce its order, effective March 2012.


Leiper noted one final defiance on Ford’s part: Instead of repaying the $3,150, Ford wrote to the donors and then told Leiper they did not want to be reimbursed.


Unimpressed, Leiper reported that to ask the donors to forgive the repayment was piling impropriety on top of impropriety. But this was now a new council, led by Ford himself. And some of the normal barriers to impropriety had been removed, thanks to new political alliances.


While Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Ford’s attack dog, publicly excoriated the report, some councillors were working behind the scenes to resolve the matter.


Councillor Anthony Perruzza, a left-winger not on Ford’s team, says he approached Ford’s staff on the night of the council vote last February with a face-saving motion. Perruzza would move that Ford be forgiven the repayment if he conceded he’d done wrong and not debate the issue.


Meanwhile, Councillor Michael Thompson, a Ford ally, was in the mayor’s ear.


“I told him, ‘Don’t speak on the matter,’” Thompson recalled Wednesday. “And just before the vote, I said, ‘Just step outside for a minute, don’t vote.’”


But Ford did speak, influencing his colleagues. Before the Perruzza motion was crafted the debate was cut short, and Ford voted with the majority in a 22-12 decision to rescind the previous council decision and free him from repaying the $3,150.


“People now say, ‘Why didn’t you guys warn him?’ Well, we did,” said Thompson.


Citizen Paul Magder took Ford to court, where the mayor argued his vote was inadvertent, an error; that council didn’t have the right to order the repayment; and that the amount was so small as to make the violation insignificant.


Justice Hackland searched for every crack in the law to avoid using the sledgehammer on the mayor of just two years. But Ford bulldozed ahead, destroying himself with his own testimony.


Ford protested strongly against paying the $3,150 — so “his pecuniary interest in the recommended repayment of $3,150 was of significance to him,” Hackland had to conclude.


Following the dictate of the law, he found Ford guilty and ordered his removal from office by Dec. 10. On Wednesday, Ford will seek to suspend that decision, pending an appeal to be heard Jan. 7.


Stating the obvious, as kindly as he could put it, Hackland wrote in his decision:


“It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the integrity commissioner and the code of conduct. In my opinion, (Ford’s) actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to willful blindness.”


Only now, you know Mayor Ford could not have been ignorant of the law after so many warnings; neither did he lack professional advice. He simply defied logic once too often, with no council allies or integrity commissioner present to save his skin.

http://www.thestar.c...lf-from-himself
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#24 Special Ed

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Ford played by the rules governing the election of the mayor in Toronto and when he failed to play by the rules governing his conduct once in office he was ordered removed.


Fair enough.
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If you like looking at statistics to determine who's better, you're just a casual fan.

2.41 season GAA isn't very impressive. Let's not get into playoffs and his SV%.

Cory Schneider is the next Patrick Roy.


#25 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:38 PM

Justice Gladys Pardu of the Ontario Divisional Court granted Ford's application to stay last week's ruling that he vacate his seat. Pardu's ruling means Ford can keep his job until the appeal process concludes. The application was not opposed by Paul Magder - the plaintiff in the originating suit.

Here is the ruling:
http://www.canlii.ca...12onsc6929.html

Ford's appeal of the removal order issued by Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland will be heard in Ontario Divisional Court on Jan. 7, with a decision expected soon after.
http://www.cbc.ca/ne...oval-order.html
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#26 dudeone

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

Are two heads better than none? Ideas on replacing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

By Matthew Coutts | Daily Brew – Fri, 14 Dec, 2012

http://ca.news.yahoo...-171615245.html

If Rob Ford loses his appeal to remain mayor of Toronto, what would you think of two co-mayors holding the spot until the 2014 election?

That is one of the latest solutions raised at city hall, where rumblings continue about how the city would proceed should Ford be ousted from office sometime in thee new year.

You will recall that Ford won his bid to stay on as mayor until he has appealed a court ruling that he broke conflict of interest laws by participating in a debate over whether he should be forced to pay back questionable donations.

Ford slipped out of town earlier this week to take a much-needed vacation before his appeal process begins on Jan. 7. But that hasn't stopped the city from buzzing.

Although most attention has turned from his crumbling career to the city's crumbling Gardiner Expressway.

[ Related: Rob Ford 'very glad' to keep Toronto mayoralty for now ]

The Toronto Star reports that Ford's office was left in the dark over the full extent to the concern surrounding the elevated expressway. And, as the National Post reports, there is talk of privatizing the highway or possibly imposing tolls.

Ford has been outspokenly opposed to tolls on other Toronto highways, so one would easily infer his response to such suggestions.

Of course, if he loses his appeal, that opinion would be moot.

The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale has a handy breakdown on the four points Ford's lawyer will argue at his appeal. On most points, Alan Lenczner's argument is that Justice Charles Hackland erred in the way he made various conclusions that led to the decision.

Should the three-judge Divisional Court panel reject the appeal, council will be tasked with finding a replacement for Ford until the 2014 municipal election.

[ Related: Rob Ford apparently very happy about keeping his job ]

The Toronto Sun's Don Peat has been taking the temperature of various Toronto councillors and drummed up a number of interesting possibilities:
  • TTC chairman Karen Stintz says Ford should be given a chance to reclaim his seat in a byelection.
  • Coun. Josh Matlow also supports a byelection unless an appropriate caretaker mayor comes forward. He floated the names of former Ontario PC leader John Tory and former mayor David Crombie as examples.
  • Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti doesn't want a byelection and says Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday should lead.
  • Coun. Paula Fletcher raised the idea of appointing co-mayors as a way to appease both sides of the split council.
Fletcher says the idea of co-mayors could be the outside-the-box idea necessary to succeed, but it is also likely to cause as much trouble as it avoids.

On one hand, two heads are better than one. On the other, we haven't been doing any worse without a mayor at all.
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#27 Wetcoaster

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:47 AM

The Plaintiff in the lawsuit Paul Magder is asking Justice Hackland's decision to oust Hizzoner Rob Ford from office be upheld as his actions were deliberate and he demonstrates no remorse.

‘Nothing less than the integrity of government is at stake’: Rob Ford must be ousted says man who brought him to trial



The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act must be “interpreted harshly” to ensure the maintenance of public trust in elected officials, argues the man seeking Mayor Rob Ford’s ouster.


“Nothing less than the integrity of government is at stake,” Paul Magder contends in a factum filed two weeks before the mayor goes to court to fight his removal order.


Mr. Magder, backed by high-profile lawyer Clayton Ruby, categorically rejects each of the mayor’s grounds for appeal, maintaining the November decision of Justice Charles Hackland — to boot Mr. Ford from office for contravening the Act by voting on a motion in which he had a pecuniary interest — should stand.



“The appellant admitted to speaking on and voting on the motion deliberately. On cross-examination, he said he would ‘absolutely’ do it again,” notes the factum, filed in divisional court Monday. “Even as he went to trial on this issue, he has absolutely no regrets.”


The case centres on a February council meeting, during which Mr. Ford voted to rescind a previous council resolution requiring him to repay $3,150 in donations to his football foundation, after the integrity commissioner found he improperly used city resources to solicit funds.


By participating in that vote and debate, Mr. Ford violated conflict-of-interest legislation, Judge Hackland found. He consequently imposed the mandatory penalty, which is removal from office. The mayor later received a stay of that order, pending the outcome of his Jan. 7 appeal.


In his appeal filings, Mr. Ford’s lawyer says city council had no jurisdiction to require the mayor to repay the $3,150 in the first place — deeming the resolution “ultra vires,” or beyond their powers — and notes the city “neither stood to benefit or lose” by any vote on the matter. He also argues the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act had “no application to the circumstances of this case,” which was initially investigated as a complaint under the City of Toronto Act, legislation that serves a different purpose and contains different penalty provisions.


Mr. Magder, who rejects the appeal grounds one by one, says city council did not exceed its authority by requiring Mr. Ford to repay the $3,150.


However, “even if the appellant’s ultra vires argument is correct, it cannot be a valid ground for appeal… The debate and vote that are challenged in these proceedings occurred some two years [after the original resolution],” Mr. Magder’s legal team argues in the written factum.


The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the City of Toronto Act “do not exist as distinct silos, [but as] complementary pieces of legislation with common purposes,” the factum adds.


Mr. Magder also disputes the mayor’s suggestion that Judge Hackland erred in discounting Mr. Ford’s defence that he made a genuine error in judgment when voting on the repayment motion.


“To the contrary,” Mr. Magder’s lawyers argue, “there was an abundance of evidence that the appellant’s contravention of the [Municipal Conflict of Interest Act] was wanton, reckless and completely lacking bona fides… The appellant’s history of violating the code of conduct as well as his complete failure to make himself aware of his responsibilities as a member of council (despite his long tenure on council) demonstrate an attitude that the rules do not apply to him.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/24/nothing-less-than-the-integrity-of-government-is-at-stake-rob-ford-must-be-ousted-says-man-who-brought-him-to-trial/
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#28 Wetcoaster

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

The lower court decision to oust Mayor Rob Ford was before a three judge appeal panel today and a quick decision has been promised.

And in true Rob Ford style he seems to have done it yet again in what may be his final day as Mayor - Hizzonner voted against his own budget and that left even a number of his supports shaking their collective heads and even the Toronto Sun which acts as his unofficial PR firm dubbing him "Sideshow Rob" for his latest antics.

Mayor Rob Ford’s political future is now in the hands of three judges.


The mayor of Canada’s largest city vowed Monday to keep “fighting for the taxpayers” as he awaits the ruling in his appeal of a judge’s decision to toss him from office for violating the municipal conflict of interest act during a Feb. 2012 council meeting.


Last November, a judge ordered Ford removed from office for taking part in a vote that he repay $3,150 raised for his football charity. The ruling was stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal.


The panel of justices which heard Ford’s appeal did not provide a date for the release of their judgement.


However, after hearing arguments from Ford’s lawyer, Alan Lenczner, and Toronto resident Paul Magder’s lawyer, Clayton Ruby, the panel’s senior judge Justice Edward Then promised a “prompt decision.”


If Ford wins the appeal, he’ll be able to stay in office for the rest of his term. If the appeal fails, Ford will lose his seat and City Hall will go into a political tailspin ahead of council’s decision on whether to appoint a replacement or hold a mayoral byelection.


Ford — who was accompanied by his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, and several of his staff — sat quietly through the legal arguments in the packed Toronto courtroom Monday.


Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Councillor Frances Nunziata also sat with the mayor for some of the court proceedings.


As he left Osgoode Hall Monday night, Ford said he plans to keep working despite the looming decision.


“I can’t say anything about today’s court proceedings. All I know is I’m going to continue fighting for the taxpayers like I always have,” he said.


Ford promised he would be at executive committee “first thing (Tuesday) morning” and said he looked forward to getting the city’s 2013 budget finalized and passed by council this month.


“Just keep fighting for the taxpayers. It’s all about customer service. There is a lot of good infrastructure money in this budget - that’s what people want and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.


The mayor refused to say if he’s worried he’s going to lose his job.


“I’m going to continue fighting for the taxpayers. I’ve got a lot of phone calls I’ve got to go home to make right now. I’ve got a lot of emails I’ve got to respond to,” he said. “I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support that I got.


Lenczner argued Ford’s violation of the municipal conflict of interest act at the February council meeting was an error in judgement. He showed the court video of the mayor’s speech at the council meeting in question, citing it as proof he had a “demeanor of an honest man.


“Do we want to throw out a mayor who served the city? Who was elected by these people because he voted on one occasion? There is no pecuniary detriment to the city and no benefit,” Lenczner said.


Lawyer Nader Hasan, Ruby’s colleague, argued the municipal conflict of interest act must apply in Ford’s case and the original court decision ousting the mayor must stand.


“The municipal conflict of interest act belongs to the people. It is a way for the people to police government and it is a way for people to hold government to account when government behaves unethically,” Hasan told court.


He submitted that “reading down” the conflict of interest act would carve out a “whole swath of misconduct” for municipal officials.

http://www.torontosu...t#disqus_thread

And the "Sideshow Rob" article from the Toronto Sun:

We have a new nickname for Mayor Rob Ford.


It’s Sideshow Rob, in tribute to the famous Simpsons character Sideshow Bob.


Sideshow Bob spends most of his time in Springfield, plotting to kill Bart.


Sideshow Rob spends most of his time in Toronto, plotting to kill his own credibility.


Ford’s latest handiwork occurred at Tuesday’s council meeting — which may be his last as mayor.


If so, Ford will have gone out in style — defending his proposed 2013 budget, including a 2% property tax increase, at a morning press conference, before entering the council chamber and voting against it and in support of a 0% tax increase.


Never mind that the tax freeze was proposed in a pie-in-the sky motion by Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, whose bright idea for paying for it was a floating casino that he apparently pulled out of his ... hat.


Never mind that the publicity-happy Mammoliti’s silly proposal lost by a vote of 40-4, with Ford then switching sides and voting with the majority in favour of his own 2% tax hike, 36-8.


The problem is Ford still doesn’t understand you can’t pull stunts like this when you’re the mayor.


We say this as firm supporters of Ford’s fiscal agenda, which we have backed from his first day as mayor.


You can’t suddenly pull out the rug from your political allies — who are backing you on a 2% tax increase — just so you can engage in some meaningless, last-minute grandstanding in order to claim you were against your own tax hike.


No wonder Ford supporters like Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong were ticked off by his antics.


For Coun. Doug Ford to then accuse Minnan-Wong of playing politics was absurd, since his brother was the one playing games.


Sadly, if Rob Ford loses his appeal and is booted from office for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, it’s nonsense like this that will define his administration.


Ford is right on the big issues — controlling city spending, contracting out, eliminating waste.


The problem is he repeatedly shoots himself in the foot, whether voting against his own budget, or voting on an issue in which he had a conflict of interest, while even his own council allies shouted at him not to do it.

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/01/15/sideshow-rob-does-it-again#disqus_thread

Edited by Wetcoaster, 15 January 2013 - 07:23 PM.

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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

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#29 Tearloch7

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

Dam it, Wet .. do you REALLY consider TO to be the "big show"? .. I am gonna start a fund raising group to raise enough cash to buy you a round trip ticket to next weeks Council meeting .. includes room, $200.00 cash and a voucher for Young street .. :emot-parrot:
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"To Thine Own Self Be True"

 

"Always tell the Truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said"  ~ Mark Twain ~
 


#30 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

Hizzonner will learn Friday if he keeps his second job as Mayor of TO. if he loses he can devote more time to his beloved high school football team.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will learn Friday whether he can keep his job.

A three-judge panel of the Ontario Divisional Court will release its decision at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Ford is appealing a judicial order to remove him from office, after an Ontario Superior Court justice ruled in November that he had violated conflict-of-interest rules during a council vote last year.

His appeal went before the court earlier this month.

The decision will be made available online.

Ford's lawyer, Alan Lenczner, argued during the appeal that forcing Ford to relinquish the Toronto mayoralty is a "draconian" punishment for an honest error in judgment in his interpretation of conflict-of-interest rules.

Lenczner argued that the mayor misinterpreted the law when he voted in favour of a council motion that would have absolved him from an earlier council directive to repay $3,150 in donations made by lobbyists to his football charity.

In November, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland found Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, and ordered the mayor to vacate his seat.

The act does say that violation of conflict of interest rules would result in automatic expulsion from office, save for an error in judgment or if the money involved was too small to be classified a pecuniary amount.

Lenczner cited both provisions in his arguments to the three-judge panel hearing the appeal.

He also argued that city council did not have the power to order Ford to pay back the donations, and that the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act only applies when the city or a council member gains money, which he says did not apply in Ford's case.

Moreover, the penalty for violating the act — removal from office — is "draconian" and punishes not only Ford, but the electorate that sent him to office by a margin of 100,000 votes, Lenczner said.

The legal proceedings stem from a complaint filed 10 months ago by Toronto resident Paul Magder, who alleged Ford had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by speaking and voting on a matter in which he had a financial interest.

After Hackland ruled Ford had broken conflict-of-interest rules and should be removed from office, the mayor successfully sought a stay of the decision which has allowed him to keep his job while the appeal process takes place.

If the mayor loses his appeal, city council will have to decide whether to hold a multimillion-dollar byelection, or simply appoint someone to take over for the remaining two years of Ford's term.

Council could also appoint Ford himself to serve out the rest of his term.

Ford has said he would run again for mayor at the earliest opportunity if his appeal fails and he is ousted from office.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...d-decision.html
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