Toronto mayor: 'The people haven't spoken yet'

Rob Ford's council has voted overwhelmingly in favour of him taking leave of absence but it can't get rid of him unless he commits a crime. Picture / AP
Rob Ford's council has voted overwhelmingly in favour of him taking leave of absence but it can't get rid of him unless he commits a crime. Picture / AP

Toronto mayor Rob Ford has predicted he would be re-elected next year when the city holds its next mayoral election.

"The people haven't spoken yet,'' Ford said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

"Mark my words, on October 27 the people are going to speak loud and clear,'' he said, referring to next year's election.

The embattled mayor, who has admitted smoking crack cocaine and going on drinking binges, had his powers limited by Toronto City Council on Friday. He faced another vote on Monday that would further strip him of power.

Ford responded defiantly to the city council's moves, telling Fox News he already admitted using illegal drugs and drinking too much in the last year. He said he was "seeking professional help'', but he again denied he was an alcoholic or drug addict.

"We're going to move forward and I am going to continue to fight for the little guy. I'm going to continue to save taxpayer's money, and if the councillors want to strip all my power, that's up to them,'' he said.

Ford later appeared at the Toronto Argonauts' Canadian Football League playoff game, against the wishes of the league commissioner.

He did not, however, attend the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto.

The city council voted overwhelmingly on Friday in favour of two motions that limited Ford's powers to appoint and fire the chairs of the city's standing committees and delegated the mayor's powers in an emergency situation to the deputy mayor.

The council is preparing to vote on Monday on a motion delegating to the deputy mayor "all powers and duties which are not by statute assigned to the mayor''.

If as expected the motion is passed, Ford's budget to run his office would be reduced to that of a city councillor. He would lose all his staff and would no longer have the right to vote in any standing committee.

Under Ontario law, Ford cannot be removed from power unless he is charged and convicted of serious crimes. But Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Friday she was ready to step in.

- AAP

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