The Washington Post

Toronto council votes to limit Rob Ford’s powers

Mayor Rob Ford has rebuffed huge pressure to resign over his drinking and drug habits and erratic behavior. (Associated Press)

Toronto’s city council has voted to limit Rob Ford’s authority at the end of an embarrassing week for the mayor, who has acknowledged smoking crack cocaine and drinking while driving and who used an obscenity in responding to an accusation that he sought oral sex with a female aide.

As a result of the vote, Ford will lose his power to dismiss his deputy mayor and members of Toronto’s executive committee, who are responsible for the city’s budget. The council plans to remove additional powers next week.

Until Ford is convicted of a crime, the council is barred from removing him from office. Police Chief Bill Blair said last month that law enforcement officials had recovered footage of the mayor using a crack pipe, but he added that the evidence is insufficient for criminal charges.

Court documents from a police investigation, however, paint a disturbing picture of Ford’s style of leadership:

Former staff members of Ford told police that the mayor smoked marijuana in front of them, used Oxycontin, hung around with a suspected prostitute, drove after drinking, and had city staff regularly deliver alcohol to him.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.


Ford was wearing the jersey of the Toronto Argonauts at the time of his obscene comments Thursday, drawing a note of protest from the football team. Ford later apologized for his language, saying he had lost his temper in response to what he called the false statements in the court documents.

Max Ehrenfreund writes for Wonkblog and compiles Wonkbook, a daily policy newsletter. You can subscribe here. Before joining The Washington Post, Ehrenfreund wrote for the Washington Monthly and The Sacramento Bee.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.