Should Ontario Step in to Remove Ford from Office?

Unless you’ve been away on vacation this past week (and by “away,” we mean deep in the hills or valleys somewhere in the furthest depths of the world, completely cut off from all civilization and communication,) you’ve heard about the Rob Ford scandal that’s been unfolding in Toronto these past few weeks. From the finding of a video from chief police, to Ford admitting that he’s smoked crack cocaine “probably in a drunken stupor,” from the latest video where he’s enraged and talking about killing someone, the news surrounding Toronto’s mayor never seems to stop.

And while it’s now really just his family members that are insisting he should not resign while the rest of the city and country seems to agree he should step down, Ford refuses the idea of resigning. So the question becomes: should the Ontario government step in to remove Ford from office? Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford’s executive committee, certainly seems to think that’s the case, but not everyone at City Hall is agreeing with him.

“We’ve been, I think, very reasonable and measured in trying to be sympathetic to the circumstances and also recognizing that he needs to take a break for his well-being and for the well-being of the city,” Mr. Minnan-Wong said on Thursday. “And if he won’t take an exit, that we’re going to show him the door.”

By that Minnan-Wong means that he’s going to put a motion forward to the city council, and that motion will look to petition the province to come in and force Ford to take a leave of absence. In order to even be debated at the city council meeting next week, two-thirds of the committee have to agree to debate the issue at the meeting.

But while we may all think that Ford needs to resign, if only so that city business can once again become just that and for a short while anyway, stop revolving around Ford’s personal life, not everyone is in agreement that he should be forced out of office.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, says that while the mayor should step down so that he can get help, asking the province to come in isn’t the right move to deal with it. And he goes a step further, accusing Minnan-Wong of just wanting to run for mayor.

“I don’t want the province interfering in the government of this city because once they start doing that, it sets a precedent for future councils who in their difficulties with the mayor conclude that, well we can’t work it out here, let’s bring in the province,” said Mr. Kelly. “We are a mature order of government and its’ up to us to find a way out of the mess we’re in right now.”

What do you think? Should Ontario be the ones to step in and force Ford from office? Or do you think this is a City Hall issue, and it should remain within the confines of City Hall?