'Ford Nation is a failed state,' Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan says
Christina Commisso and Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2013 3:01PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 5, 2013 8:12PM EST
A Toronto city councillor says Mayor Rob Ford has been reduced to an “irrelevant political figure” in the wake of his admission that he has smoked crack cocaine.
Adam Vaughan, one of Ford’s most vocal detractors on council, said Tuesday that the mayor’s admission and apology are “a lot like his entire political career: lots of promise, lots of slogans, not much performance, not much substance.”
“I think many of us don’t even care if he resigns anymore,” Vaughan told CTV News Channel.
He said Ford is mayor “in name only,” even though he has vowed to stay in office and continue working “for the sake of the taxpayers.”
Vaughan said council has been “working around the mayor’s erratic behaviour” for almost three years.
“It’s over. Ford Nation is a failed state and we’ll just have to wait for the next election, I guess, to see him disappear from politics.”
Vaughan said council can effectively ignore the mayor to move the municipal agenda forward.
“He’s just an irrelevant political figure in the city now.”
Earlier Tuesday, city councillors said they were planning to table motions that would limit the mayor’s powers after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine.
A motion drafted by Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong and seconded by Coun. Peter Milczyn – both members of the Ford's powerful executive council – asks the mayor to take a temporary leave of absence.
"We, quite frankly, need to conduct the business of city council. We need leaders that are going to advance the fiscal agenda of the City of Toronto," Minnan-Wong told reporters at city hall Tuesday, shortly after Ford made his bombshell revelation. "At this time there are too many things happening that are coming in the way of that."
Minnan-Wong said he was waiting for Ford to "do the right thing" over the weekend and called today's admission "remarkable."
While council can't force Ford to temporarily leave office, Minnan-Wong said it's important for councillors to take a stand and speak as one voice.
"The circus that has been taking place over the last few days, and the problems that the mayor has been encountering -- I think it's time for him to take a break," he said.
Minnan-Wong said he's concerned that in the coming days there may be more information about Ford revealed that will further distract from city business.
Another notice of motion drafted by councillors John Filion and Paul Ainslie seeks to suspend the mayor's power to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and standing committee chairs. It would remove the mayor's ability to shuffle the members of his executive committee and hand that power over to city council at large.
Filion said his motion is the strongest action council could take against the mayor.
"As long as the mayor has the power to hire or fire committee chairs, the two get all tangled up," he said. "This sort of removes his ability to connect the two."
In a statement released Tuesday, Coun. Karen Stintz, who has announced her intention to run for mayor in 2014, said she would not comment on whether or not she believes the mayor should take a leave of absence.
She said Ford’s admission to smoking crack cocaine was a “betrayal to many in our city, and likely to many of his supporters,” but that council will “continue to do the important work of running the City of Toronto.”
“I am confident that Council will continue to fill the void created by the Mayor,” Stintz said.
The councillor and TTC Chair also urged Coun. Doug Ford to stop calling for the resignation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.