Law used to boot Toronto mayor from office under review

Ontario MPP Bob Chiarelli



TORONTO -- A law used to boot Toronto Mayor Rob Ford from office has been under review at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs for about a year.

Minister Bob Chiarelli said there has been interest in updating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) for some time.

"That review will be ongoing," Chiarelli said Wednesday. "Certainly, it's not going to be imminent in the next month or two."

Anyone found guilty of an offence under the MCIA, as Ford was earlier this week, is bounced from political office.

Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham's Report of the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry in October 2011 recommended retaining the existing sanction -- removal from office -- but giving judges the option of less severe penalties.

Cunningham suggested a formal apology, suspension for up to 120 days, a form of probation with oversight by the integrity commissioner or auditor, removal from a council committee or a reprimand publicly administered by the judge.

Chiarelli said the ministry will consult with municipalities over the next while on possible changes to the act.

"The process of changing legislation has to be careful and we have to be very judicious and consultative," he said. "It's only been a year since Justice Cunningham issued his report, and almost immediately we started reviewing it from that point of view."

PC Leader Tim Hudak said Tuesday that he would consider any request from municipalities that the MCIA be overhauled.

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