Rob Ford advised the City Clerk today that he is taking a personal leave of absence due to his ongoing problems with substance abuse. I wish Mr. Ford, and his family, well if he is trying to improve himself.
However, his recorded bigoted comments toward the LGBTQ community, his racial slurs and his sexist and misogynistic remarks regarding Councillor Karen Stintz are completely inexcusable. As Torontonians, we are proud of our remarkable diversity and are committed to equality. We should expect our leaders to reflect our values.
Mr. Ford did not indicate how long he intends to be on leave. But it is my opinion that he should resign immediately. If he truly loves this city, and cares about its residents, he would put the well being of Toronto before his own interests.
To help you understand what this change means to the governance of our city, I'm providing you with the following information.
During Mr. Ford's absence, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will assume the full duties and responsibilities of mayor. This shift, while seemingly dramatic, is an easier transition due to Council having already taken necessary steps to remove many of his powers and staff last November and reassign them to the Deputy Mayor. Moreover, Rob Ford will no longer officially represent our city at official functions, here at home or abroad, during his absence.
Deputy Mayor Kelly continues in the role of Deputy Mayor. All official documents will bear the title "Deputy Mayor". Deputy Mayor Kelly continues to serve as the Member of Council for Ward 40. He also now has all of the duties and responsibilities of the mayor that Rob Ford had before he started his leave, including:
- The power to appoint and remove standing committee chairs and the deputy mayor
- The power to appoint nominating panels for appointments to City corporations
- Various powers and duties under the Emergency Management chapter of the
- Toronto Municipal Code (Chapter 59)
- The power to appoint and chair the selection panels for the selection of
- Accountability Officers
- The duty to chair the Executive and Striking committees
- Various duties under the Debenture chapter of the Toronto Municipal Code.
- The right to lead and conduct agenda briefings for Council meetings
- The right to call special meetings of City Council
- Chair the Executive Committee.
As your city councillor for Ward 22, I am dedicated to working respectfully and productively with Deputy Mayor Kelly and Council to move our city forward and focus clearly on Toronto's real priorities.
As always, please feel welcome to contact me or my staff if we can be of assistance to you.
For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca. Click here to read my previous community updates.