Flaherty on Ford: 'He has to make his own decision'
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:49AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:19PM EST
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty became emotional while speaking about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, telling reporters that it's up to the mayor to decide his own political future.
Flaherty choked up at a press conference Thursday morning when asked about Ford, who admitted earlier this week to smoking crack.
"I am close with the family," Flaherty said, pausing for an extended period of time while appearing emotional.
"At the end of the day, he has to make his own decision about what he ought to do. Certainly his family is helping him and wishing him well. That's all I can say."
The finance minister had served with Ford's father in the Ontario legislature during the 1990s.
Meanwhile Ford's admission continues to reverberate across the city, with Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong saying it's time for municipal lawmakers to unite behind his push for the mayor to "do the right thing."
Coun. Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford's executive committee, has drafted a symbolic motion that would limit Ford's ability to hire and fire the deputy mayor and committee chairs.
He told CTV's Canada AM that he wants all city councillors to pass the motion together, and thereby send the mayor a unified message.
"We've spoken as individual councilors, but we haven't spoken as a council. So if all 45 of us get together and say ‘You need to do something', then I hope he will listen," Minnan-Wong said Thursday.
Ford has been bombarded with calls from individual city councillors to either resign or take a leave of absence since admitting to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" last year.
"He did the wrong thing over the weekend in terms of an apology, it wasn't a real apology. He's been doing the wrong thing for the last six months," Minnan-Wong said.
"This is an opportunity for council to give him some advice so that he can do the right thing," he said, urging the mayor to take a leave from his job in order to seek help. "He is not helping the city, he is an impediment to moving the city forward."
Minnan-Wong argued that the ongoing intense media attention on Ford's story is distracting council from other important issues facing the city.
"It's a huge distraction. I've never seen so many people down at city hall," Minnan-Wong said.
"Instead of the budget, instead of the police budget, instead of the water budget, instead of congestion and transit, we're talking about Rob Ford all the time and that's not good for the civic government and that's not good for council," he said.
Meanwhile, Ford has ignored all calls for his resignation, vowing to remain in office until his term is over.