Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has formally filed a notice of appeal and applied for a stay of proceedings, after an Ontario Superior Court justice ruled that he broke conflict of interest rules and must be removed from office.
A judge will hear a motion at Toronto’s Osgoode Hall on Dec. 5. Ford is asking for an expedited appeal and a stay of the judgment that Justice Charles T. Hackland released two days ago.
In court documents, Ford’s lawyers argue that he will “suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted,” as he will lose his position as the mayor of Toronto.
Furthermore, removing the mayor from office would create “significant disruption” for city councillors and staff as well as the general business of the City of Toronto.
Ford’s lawyers also argue that Toronto residents chose him to be their mayor, a position in which he should continue to serve in until the appeal has been dealt with.
“The public elected Robert Ford as its mayor by more than 90,000 votes over the next candidate,” says a factum prepared by the mayor’s lawyers and filed in a Divisional Court.
“It cannot be right that the democratic process and the democratic will should be denied for a period of another few months while the appeal is being heard and decided.”
His lawyers also argue that city council did not have the jurisdiction under the City of Toronto Act in to compel Ford in August 2010 to pay back $3,150 to donors that had contributed to his football foundation.
As Hackland noted in his decision, council passed a resolution “requiring [Ford] to repay the donors” in August 2010. Ford’s lawyers argue the judge “erred” in determining that this was within council’s jurisdiction.
The removal challenge that led to Ford’s current predicament was filed by a Toronto resident who alleged the mayor broke the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by taking part in a more recent council vote, in February 2012, which absolved him from paying back the $3,150.
According to the factum submitted to the Divisional Court, if the council’s original penalty levied upon Ford was not within its jurisdiction, then the subsequent resolution that council came to is ultra vires, or beyond its powers.
Ford, 43, was elected as mayor in the fall of 2010, after serving as a city councillor for 10 years.
He is a lifelong resident of Etobicoke, where his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, is now a councillor.
Reprinted with permission from CBC.ca