Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rob Ford Defiant as Toronto Council Readies Vote to Further Weaken His Authority

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rob Ford Defiant as Toronto Council Readies Vote to Further Weaken His Authority

Article excerpt

Ford defiant heading into council showdown

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TORONTO - Scandal-plagued Rob Ford didn't shrink from the spotlight Sunday in the face of a key vote by his council that would effectively make him mayor of Toronto in name only.

Despite a plea from the CFL commissioner to stay away, an upbeat looking Ford showed up to watch his hometown Argonauts take on and lose to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a berth in next week's Grey Cup. He also gave an interview with an American media outlet to make his case.

Ford posed for pictures and hugged fellow spectators before taking a seat near a rival fan with a sign stating "Our mayor's better than yours," while those sitting behind him looked angry at having their view blocked by the commotion.

He was mobbed by people who mostly seemed supportive as he left the game.

Ford sounded a defiant tone in an interview with U.S. Fox News recorded just before the game, appearing unbowed at the prospect of a special city council meeting on Monday to vote on a motion further stripping away his mayoral authority.

"I'm going to continue to fight for the little guy. I'm going to continue to save taxpayers money. And if the councillors want to strip all my powers, that's up to them," he said, suggesting voters will have final say in next year's municipal election.

Ford repeated that he is not an alcoholic or a drug addict, adding that he's getting professional help and hitting the gym "for two hours every day."

City council can't oust Ford, but Monday's motion would make him little more than a figurehead, with control of his office and budget essentially placed in the hands of the deputy mayor.

Two previous motions that sailed through council Friday took away Ford's ability to appoint key committee chairs and exercise emergency powers, as once-bitter rivalries between councillors melted away in the face of bombshell revelations about the mayor's behaviour. …

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