Rob Ford wins court appeal, will remain as Toronto mayor

Divisional Court rules in favour of mayor

by Emily Senger

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his lawyer's office in on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (Chris Young/CP)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has won a court appeal, which means he will remain mayor.

The appeal to Divisional Court stems from a November decision, in which Justice Charles Hackland found that the mayor had contravened the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke at a council meeting in February 2012 and then voted on an item that had to do with the use of city resources to solicit donations to his private football charity. The penalty for Ford’s actions, Hackland ruled, was that the mayor would be removed from office.

Ford appealed that decision and was also granted a stay, which allowed him to remain in office until after the appeal. During the appeal hearing, Ford’s lawyer argued that the mayor was an honest man who had made a mistake.

In the decision, which was released Friday morning, a panel of three judges write that Hackland was wrong: “we conclude that the application judge erred in finding that Mr. Ford contravened the MCIA [Municipal Conflict of Interest Act],” says the judgement.

The judgement found that council didn’t have the authority to make Ford pay back the $3,150 that he has supposedly solicited with the aid of city resources, and which was the topic of debate during the February 2012 meeting. Instead, the judges wrote, council could have considered ”reprimand or a suspension of remuneration.”

Now that Ford has won his appeal, he will continue governing at city hall until the next regularly scheduled municipal election, which is in less than two years time, on Oct. 27, 2014.

Clayton Ruby, the lawyer representing Paul Magder, the citizen who brought the case against Ford, said in a statement that he will challenge this decision and will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“We believe that there are serious errors of law in the judgment and we will ask the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal to that court,” lawyer Clayton Ruby said in a statement.

“It must be acknowledged that such appeals are not easy but this remains an important issue for all citizens.”

With a file from The Canadian Press




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Rob Ford wins court appeal, will remain as Toronto mayor

  1. Leftist heads exploding in the morning, smells like………………victory.

    • Must be a huge stink at The Star this morning all the leftie loons pooing their pink panties in unison.

  2. It aint over until the fat man wins. Congrats MAYOR Ford

  3. It looks like the stupid and self-defeating war against Ford by the downtown left in Toronto will continue.
    It was obvious to me that Ford would win this appeal—he probably would have lost the next election, if the left had not pissed off the electorate by engaging in petty politics—he will now win easily.
    I don`t know what lessons the left can learn from this failure to overthrow the democratically elected Mayor. Maybe, they could start by accepting the fact that their narrow view of a socialist utopia is stupid and not shared by the majority.

    • A few years ago my small city waited six months to throw out a corrupt mayor. If you dont like Ford fire him at the ballot box not through the courts

    • “It was obvious to me that Ford would win this appeal”

      Care to elaborate? It wasn’t obvious to me, and I’ve read a lot of court decisions as part of my job. I’m actually rather surprised by the decision.

      If a victory was to happen (and I didn’t think it would), I would have expected it on the grounds that the minimum punishment was excessive, and that the law itself was overturned as a result.

      BTW, you don’t have to be a “leftie” to think Ford is a dolt and should not be mayor. I actually think some (but by no means all) of his policies are good ones, but the man, with his complete disregard of laws (and here I’m talking things like traffic laws – cellphone use; reading while driving [it is distracted driving]) and public safety (throwing candy into the crowds at the Santa Claus parade after organizers specifically told him not to) and simple obnoxious behaviour all make him a poor “face” to represent the biggest city in Canada.

      I agree, though, that his removal should be via electoral defeat unless he commits a breach of ethics or a crime more serious than the one that brought him before the court.

      • I know I predicted back in Nov. when everyone was writing off Ford, that he would continue as Mayor for at least the next 6 years.
        Why ?—Because the small wrong he did was not worthy of a reprimand, let alone a Judge overruling the will of the electorate. I suspect the Appeal Court Judge knew that if he ruled similar to the first Judge there would be a by-election and Ford would win in a landslide. Better to have one foolish-looking judge than two.

        I would agree with you that Toronto could have a more attractive mayor. But sometimes when you have a bunch of uglies making an ugly mess you have to send in your own ugly to clean things up. And trust me, there is a lot of people disgusted with the irresponsible way the downtown clique have been running things. So they`re willing to hold their nose and let Ford take at least one more term to fight the “lefties “.

  4. Well I for one want to run for council, lobby the lobbyists to give money to my personal hobbies, refuse to pay the money back and then keep my job. Looking forward to my election campaign now!

    • Lefty sour grapes………….don’t bother with facts, just your delusional manure.

      • I don’t give a crap about contracting out and like that taxes have been kept to a small rise. And I am just stating the facts, the solid facts of the case.

    • sore loser…money didn’t go into Ford’s pocket…went to a needy youth football team

  5. One down – one to go. The Ford Campaign Audit decision is more likely to bring about mayor Ford’s removal from office than the conflict matter ever was. The consequences of overspending and accepting illegal contributions in a municipal election include being removed from office and being prevent from running in the next general election. What the City of Toronto Municipal Elections Campaign Finance Committee decides to do with the Giorgio Mammoliti audit decision on Feb. 4th. will be a sign of things to come. If the committee chooses not to prosecute Mammoliti after the audit found he overspent the limit, or act on a similar finding against Mayor Ford, S. 81(17) of the Municipal Elections Act allows any elector to appear before a Justice of the Peace and have a charge laid. It is doubtful in the face of an audit determining a violation of the MEA, that any MECFC committee would fail to act and initiate a prosecution against either of them.

      • Where is the left or right in my comments. I was a Peter Pocklington delegate to the convention that elected Brian Mulroney leader of the P.C. Party of Canada, a three time candidate for the Ontario P.C. Party that was instrumental in changing the party constitution to allow the one-member-one-vote leadership process that elected Mike Harris leader, and I have written books and been a life long advocate for non-partisan democratic reform in Canada. Your comments are clearly a self reflective partisan reaction to a ‘common sense’ observation that unfortunately is a great example of what has become the norm in our country now that economic and selfish self interests have completely overtaken our democracy.

        • Your “great example” is clearly not as you see it.

          • He Billy Bob, why don’t you use your real name along with your select references like a commentator with nothing to hide or a partisan axe to grind with pride in their opinions would not be afraid to do. Maybe to be balanced you might print the retractions, corrections, letters to the editor, and supporting comments the National Post and Mississauga New have published too. Mississauga News http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/1565584–city-wants-a-closer-look-at-candidate-expense-reports and http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/1497958–higher-court-to-hear-parrish-s-appeal and http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/letters/article/1384611–play-by-the-rules National Post http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=c1d04427-06e6-4e55-b7ea-fc4cfa78c201&sponsor= and http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/23/todays-letters-does-the-former-ambassador-have-bairds-missing-limb/

            While you are at it, print the Mississauga News editorial congratulating me for raising important questions and having the sense to take action when no one else would because gutless legislation or lack or other regulators would not otherwise allow it. Just in case for some reason you can’t locate it, here is a link and copy of it.
            http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/1566031–time-for-reform

            Time for reform – (Mississauga News Editorial Jan. 15, 2013)

            Mississauga resident Greg Vezina’s common sense suggestions to the municipal governance committee are just the latest call for reform to the Municipal Elections Act.

            For years now, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government has ignored repeated calls to tighten the rules and clamp down on election spending violations.

            The need for reform is obvious. In Mississauga and in other municipalities across the GTA, abuses of campaign spending laws are common. Candidates regularly “fudge” the rules in what amounts to a culture of non-compliance.

            In the wake of the contentious 2011 Ward 5 by-election, Vezina and several other residents began complaining that both winner Bonnie Crombie and runner-up Carolyn Parrish should be audited because they were less than truthful when they filed their election expense reports.

            Neither has been proven guilty.

            But Vezina poses a legitimate question when he asks why it falls to Joe Citizen to catch offenders.

            “There needs to be a responsibility somewhere for someone other than an elector to review questionable expenditures,” he said.

            We like Mayor Hazel McCallion’s suggestion to form an independent three-person committee to review the election spending of all candidates following a municipal vote.

            We suggest candidates will be less likely to ignore the rules if they know their post-election financials will be examined scrupulously by a watchdog committee that includes, for example, an accountant, a lawyer and the City’s integrity commissioner.

            Vezina is also correct in his assertion that it’s high time candidates are banned from accepting corporate and union donations.

            Over the past nine years, the Grits have shown no inclination to curb election spending violations.

            Maybe a Tory government led by Tim Hudak can get the job done.

          • The audit will cost taxpayers in the neighbourhood of $50,000.

          • And?

            That bare-faced statement implies that you think it is better to let politicians to continue to cheat and break the law than to spend what, by government spending standards, is chump change.

            i.e. you appear to be in favour of corruption in politics as long as it “saves” you a few pennies.

            You think a politician corrupt enough to break the law to get elected is then going to carry out his/her duties scrupulously and with the best interests of the taxpayer in mind?

          • Idiot

          • Yet another cogent argument from the Master. I consider myself ably refuted.

            *rolls eyes*

          • Ah, yet another scintillating retort…

          • The Mayor Hazel McCallion conflict of interest inquiry Carolyn Parrish was responsible for making happen cost Mississauga Taxpayers $7 Million dollars, and when the decision did not result in her removal from the mayors office, Ms Parrish started the whole thing all over again using the Mayor’s vote on Peel Council to try to do it that way. She has and continues to cost Mississauga taxpayers millions of dollars. I did not file my audit request until Parrish had facilitated and organized to unsuccessful audit requests by two other losing candidates against the winner, when the media reported her intentions to re-double her efforts to support anyone who wants to attack the by-election winner or Mayor. As someone with knowledge about politics I simply decided to look at her campaign filing and found the violations and requested an audit.

            Why is it that there is something wrong when a citizen uses the only process available to ask those responsible to determine if there have been violations of the law, they do not and are appealed, and a Court orders it? Are taking such measures attempting to enforce the law in matters involving only Carolyn Parrish unjust because it may cost taxpayers money? Who should obey the law and when? The laws says if the audit finds the law was broken the City pays for the audit, but if not and the request is found to be frivolous, the elector must pay for it, which is not the case in other such legislation. By your logic, are you not saying politicians should not have to obey the law because law enforcement costs money? While I want to reply that next will you say we should let criminals out of prison because we should save money, I do so with the provision that it is correct in the case of the few people still incarcerated for simple possession of marijuana.

          • She lost, it’s a waste of taxpayer money and resources.

            And yes, Parrish is a waste of space and you joined her in that.

            $7 million or $50,000, you’re both vindictive POS who have no regard for taxpayers.

            By the way, how’s the ammonia powered car going? Ha

          • Google it and find out. How many patent applications have you filed recently, I am up to 22. Do you have any world records to talk about? Mine, for driving an ammonia powered 1981 Chev Impala over 4000 km from Edmonton to Toronto via Ottawa and Montreal, still stands over thirty years later, although a couple of University Students came close to breaking it in 2007 when they drove an ammonia/gasoline powered truck 3860 km from Detroit, MI, to the Fourth Annual Ammonia Fuel Conference in San Francisco, CA. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology just got a Patent on a new ammonia engine, cooling and NOx reduction technology and the Federal Government is funding the development of an ammonia fuel cell. Perhaps the fact that is costs about one third of the cost of gasoline, including taxes, has something to do with it. Keep typing Billy Bob, everything you say makes me look smarter and smarter. If you keep it up much longer, MacLeans might ask me to write a column just to reply to your brilliance.

          • How many companies have lined up to buy or license these patents?

            0

          • it’s high time candidates are banned from accepting corporate and union donations…………….agreed.

        • He won but we all lose

          Look here;

          Taxpayers should be getting tired of footing the
          bill as career politicians with inflated egos do battle in and outside
          the courts to settle old scores.

          Members of both the McCallion (Hatfield) and Parrish (McCoy) clans
          continue to exhibit a stunning lack of common sense and a total
          disregard for the residents they once, so long ago, pledged to serve.

          The latest feud has resulted in a Pyrrhic victory for resident Greg
          Vezina (Hatfields), who convinced an Ontario court judge to compel
          Parrish to have her election campaign finances audited to see if she
          violated municipal laws in last year’s Ward 5 by-election.

          Parrish lost that vote to current Ward 5 councillor Bonnie Crombie (Hatfields), a friend to both McCallion and Vezina.

          But, while McCallion, Crombie and Vezina are enjoying a smug chuckle
          over the judge’s ruling, the joke’s on us. The audit will cost taxpayers
          in the neighbourhood of $50,000.

      • That seems to be your answer to everything. How about presenting a cogent argument based on facts for a change? Simply calling people names (and labeling them “leftists” with no proof) pretty much destroys your own credibility.

        • Long walk short pier fits the bill for you.

          • You and EmilyOne share the same body?

        • ANd you were surprised that Ford won the appeal……….figures.

          • Yes I was. The ground on which he won was not the one on which he seemed to have pinned his hopes and not one that I foresaw from reading the earlier decision or from the media coverage.

            My view was based on, you know, actually paying attention to the legal issues at play rather than basing it on who I like. Yours seems to be based on “Rob Ford Nation!!! Woo hoo!!!”

            I don’t like Rob Ford and I think he is a buffoon, but I didn’t think this particular issue should have been grounds to give him the boot. From my layman’s understanding of the legal principles involved, though, I didn’t think he had strong enough grounds for his appeal to be successful.

            You might want to read the reasons; it is far from an endorsement of Ford’s behaviour. The man got lucky because the penalty he voted on turned out to be one that wasn’t permissible. Ford admitted a complete lack of awareness of the law, so he would have behaved in the same way regardless of whether the penalty was permissible or not. And the court verbally slapped him for that.

            So enjoy your Woohoo time for now. It seems likely Ford will step in it again, and sooner rather than later.

      • Excellent contribution to civil debate…

  6. —Just a little reminder to the justice-seeking left and their friends in the media.

    If you want to go after corruption and mismanagement in Canada`s cities, you would have better luck finding it in London On. or Montreal. You tried to pin a 3000 dollar contribution to a charity on Ford, who has a record of never even spending any of his Councillor`s budget the past number of years. The Courts and certainly the people won`t go along with your conspiracy.

    And if you still have time in your justice crusade—there is a Liberal government in Ontario that is responsible for wasted billions on ORNGE and mobile gas plants—-follow the money there—smells corrupt.

    It was justice you guys were after wasn`t it ?
    You didn`t have another agenda did you ?

    Jeez. I just heard Clayton Ruby wants to go to the Supreme Court over the 3000 dollar charity contribution—what a waste of an idiot.

    • nor would the silly left go after someone like spence…now the Supreme Court…such desperation…would that court even hear this appeal?

  7. Magder and Ruby should be sued by the Toronto voters en masse for disrupting the important business of the City for reasons of personl dislike.

    The leftist tax and spend is a large factor but the left wing freaks hate Ford mainly because of his adamant refusal to pander to their Annual Sick Parade. He’d rather go to the cottage and I’m glad of it.
    Way to go Rob, encourage some decent folks to run for council next time around and let’s load Perks and Vaughn an Mihevic into a SepticTank pumper.

    • the Annual Sick Parade eh? I hope the next Mayor fundraises for the Annual Sick Parade on his stationery and see how the courts react.

      • Yeah it doesn’t make much sense does it?

        Expensive uniforms for the football and the Mayor was only looking for 3,500 bucks.

        At the Annual Sick Parade, forget about uniforms, the wayward deviants don’t even wear clothes they prink around stark naked.

        And who needs a $3,500 fundraiser when you can simply go to the City Council NDP’s and steal an annual $125,000 from the ratepayers

  8. Courts can’t always be right!

  9. I have to say I don’t like the decision. Don’t like Rob Ford. But it was the proper decision, I think. I remember hearing quite a while ago (even before the appeal) that the raising of this issue by Council was beyond its authority, so the rest follows naturally.

    I do find it a bit ironic, though, how pleased the right-wingers are by the competence of the court now that they have a decision they agree with, as compared with the howls of protest about the high-jacking of democracy when Judge Hackland’s decision went against Ford.

  10. I do not endorse Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s action of using the city’s letterhead to raise fund for his football foundation. However, what has bothered me most is that Michaelle Jean incessantly represented her beloved homeland, the “FOREIGN” COUNTRY — Haiti — throughout her term as the 27th GG of Canada, yet no one sued her for conflict of interest (even before the earthquake of January 12, 2010, she had successfully coffered hundreds of millions of dollars of Canadian taxpayers’ money on behalf of Haiti). Not only was she not sued, she has also been praised as an angle of hope, and showered with honorary degrees by many prestigious Canadian institutions. Whereas, Rob Ford — using the city’s letterhead once to raise a few thousands of dollars for his football foundation of our CANADIAN CHILDREN — has found himself in big legal trouble. It is time for us to look at what is wrong with Canadian politics of our time.

  11. Why must this be looked at as a left/right issue? He broke the law, and there is a penalty for breaking that law, and the courts are too timid to enforce it. So it must either be strengthened and made more crystal clear or eliminated. This an issue of a muddled justice system more than anything.

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