Another motion set to hamstring Mayor Rob Ford’s power and authority

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew
November 18, 2013
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during a special council meeting at City Hall in Toronto
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (R) walks around council chambers while an unidentified member of his staff captures images of the public gallery during a special council meeting at City Hall in Toronto November 18, 2013. The Toronto city council may further curb the powers of embattled Mayor Rob Ford on Monday, slashing his office budget and offering his staff a chance to transfer to new jobs. REUTERS/Aaron Harris (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will face a third bid that would limit his authority as mayor on Monday, after city council passed motions last week that removed key decision-making powers from his hands.

At a special meeting of council, a motion will be raised that would pare back Ford's office budget to match that of a regular councillor and shift the balance to the office of Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

CBC News reports that council could further decide to delegate additional mayoral powers not protected by law to Kelly, essentially leaving Ford the mayor in title alone.

[ Related: Rob Ford could see council restrict his office budget today ]

Ford has recently retained constitutional lawyer George Rust D'Eye to fight council's move to limit his authority. A plan to seek an injunction to block Monday's special council meeting was considered but does not appear to be planned.

Rust D'Eye told Newstalk 1010 that any challenge would come after the motion is passed.

Ford has already vowed to take council to court over two previous power-limiting motions passed last week, one that removed Ford's authorities in an emergency situation and one that froze his ability to hire and fire committee chairs. Those motions passed with near-unanimity.

[ More Brew: Mayor Rob Ford’s wife Renata is no longer ‘invisible’ ]

Ford said he understood why council made the decision but that he still felt he had to take the city to court. “If I would have had a mayor acting the way I’ve conducted myself, I would have done the exact same thing. I’m not mad at anybody. I take full responsibility,” Ford said.

The Globe and Mail reported that Ford went on a spending spree ahead of the likely freezing of his finances, hiring a new assistant and giving raises to several Ford loyalists.

It is an interesting move from a mayor who claims to pride himself on fiscal restraint.

Speaking of fiscal restraint, it is widely expected today’s bid to freeze Ford’s budget will pass with ease. Only the fallout remains in question.

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