Statement About Monday’s Special Council Meeting

Statement About Monday’s Special Council Meeting

The special council meeting on Monday, November 18th was emotionally charged and unprecedented. I want to reiterate what I have stated many times before; I do not condone the Mayor’s conduct and behavior (inside and outside the council chamber). It has been an embarrassment and sets a poor example to all Torontonians, particularly to our youth. It is unfortunate that the Mayor did not listen to the advice given to him by me personally and by Council as a whole to step aside in order to deal with his issues.

Last week, I supported sanctions that included:

  • An investigation by the Integrity Commissioner;
  • Stabilization of committees and chairs;
  • The transfer of emergency powers;
  • Request for the Mayor to take a leave of absence; and,
  • Request for the Mayor to cooperate with the police.

These sanctions were significant and provided the necessary stability that our city needed. On Thursday, November 14thanother special council meeting was called for Monday, November 18th. The agenda consisted of four recommendations to strip the Mayor of additional powers. Given the seriousness and the impact of these recommendations, I spent much of the weekend obtaining community feedback and researching the consequences prior to Monday’s meeting. As I entered the council chamber on Monday, I noted that there was an amendment that was distributed minutes before the meeting. It was evident that staff did not have the time to study the motion to properly respond to questions.

Upon reviewing this motion, it was clear to me that it was radically changed from the original. I strongly felt this was a move to seriously redefine the role of the Mayor’s office (regardless who the Mayor is) and its responsibilities that in essence would reduce Mayor Rob Ford to be a Mayor in name only. My decision had to do with protecting the value of your vote and respecting your democratic rights. The next election is months away and the final decision should be left up to the voters.

While I disagree with council’s decision, I will work with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in the hopes of continuing to move ahead with the agenda that I was elected to implement. I will continue to fight for low taxes, outstanding customer service, building transportation for the future and pass a 2014 budget with a minimal tax increase. The power has shifted. Mere days after Monday’s vote, there is already talk about more spending, which will result in higher taxes.

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Media contact:  Alex Greco, Acting Executive Assistant to Councillor Vincent Crisanti, 416-338-5133, agreco@toronto.ca