Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is set to learn whether he will still be mayor Friday morning, when a judge will decide upon his appeal in a November court decision that found the mayor had contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and, as a result, had to be removed from office.
The decision from three divisional court judges is expected at 10:30 a.m.
So what will happen tomorrow? It could be one of three things, Toronto Star city hall reporters explain in a helpful video.
The options are:
1. Ford wins his appeal and remains mayor. It’s business as usual at city hall.
2. Ford loses his appeal and city council appoints an interim mayor at a council meeting.
3. Ford loses his appeal and city council calls a byelection. People vote and choose a new mayor.
The first scenario, the win, will be pretty straightforward. But a loss for Ford means council will have to decide what to do within 60 days and it would “set off a frenzy of politicking unlike anything modern Toronto has seen,” writes Marcus Gee in The Globe and Mail.
While appointing a new mayor seems the easiest solution (the councillors could even reappoint Ford if they wanted), it deprives citizens of their democratic voting rights.
But a byelection will cost taxpayers an somewhere between $7-9 million, something a man who based his election platform on eliminating the gravy train would certainly have a difficult time justifying.
Whatever happens, as Gee points out, there are plenty of politicians waiting in the wings to get in on the action.
It would be “nutty” at city council, Coun. Josh Colle — who is considered a centrist candidate and not aligned with Ford’s right-leaning supporters – tells the Toronto Sun. If council goes for the appointment option, there is no guarantee that councillors will be able to come to a majority decision about who to appoint, particularly because it seems many councillors think it should be them.
As for how Ford is spending his potentially last day in office, the mayor’s staff were mum on the details.
And whatever happens tomorrow, Ford has already lost control of at least part of city hall. His office is no longer allowed to control the final paragraph included at the end of all city hall press releases, reports the Toronto Star.
The paragraph, which Ford changed to reflect his priorities upon coming into office, currently reads: “Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city.”
The city communications department is currently reworking the paragraph to “highlight current factual information” after a city councillor complained that the paragraph was too ideological.