The big news: Rob Ford's grip on power loosens

Toronto city council could weaken the mayor's role at city hall

Chris Young/CP

The story
Rob Ford faces yet another wave of attacks from his colleagues on Toronto’s city council. Today, councillors will convene a special session—they don’t usually meet on Fridays—to open debate on a motion that would strip Ford of many of his powers and limit his budget. Ford would maintain the same budget as a city councillor, lose the chairmanship of the city’s executive committee, and be stripped of the right to vote at standing committees. Premier Kathleen Wynne is even considering her options to provide the city “new tools” to remove Ford. The premier will act only if council provides clear direction, and opposition parties at Queen’s Park are game.

The stat
28: The number of councillors, out of 44, who currently support a motion to transfer many of Ford’s powers to deputy mayor Norm Kelly

The quote
“There’s nothing that [Ford] could say now that will be acceptable to me any more … The province has to step in, because council cannot remove him.” —Toronto City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong


What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Toronto’s city councillors are poised to remove many of Rob Ford’s powers.
National Post
Many councillors sit with their backs to Ford when the mayor speaks.
Toronto Star Premier Kathleen Wynne could take action on Ford, if council asks.
Ottawa Citizen Trillium Wind Power will move ahead with a $2.25-billion lawsuit.
CBC News Ford’s showdown with council caps a week’s worth of showdowns.
CTV News A majority of Torontonians think the police chief should keep his job.
National Newswatch Council will hold a special session today to debate Ford’s powers.


What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Fracking protests. The RCMP closed a section of Highway 11 in northern New Brunswick after First Nations protesters attempted to block SWN Resources from conducting seismic testing. One woman was arrested, but the protests remained peaceful—unlike recent demonstrations in nearby Rexton.
THE GLOBAL Rainforest. The Brazilian jungle experienced a spike in deforestation last year, when loggers took down 28 per cent more rainforest than the year before. The total amount, 5,843 square kilometres, is still the second lowest since 1988, when the Brazilian government started tracking deforestation.

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