Rob Ford has good chance of staying Toronto mayor during court battle

Mayor Rob Ford looks at Toronto Community Housing, Dec. 3, 2012.

Credits: Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI AGENCY


TORONTO -- Rob Ford chances of staying on as mayor while he fights his appeal improved on Monday.

Lawyer Clayton Ruby announced his client, Paul Magder, will not oppose Ford's request for a stay of last week's court decision that Ford be booted from office after being found guilty of conflict of interest by Justice Charles Hackland.

The judge ordered him to vacate office within 14 days if he did not apply for a stay with the intention of appealing the decision.

Ford, who has said he will appeal the decision, is slated to appear in a court on Wednesday to ask for a stay.

"By breaking the law in such a flagrant manner, Rob Ford has put this city into unnecessary turmoil," Ruby said in a news release. "We are agreeing to this stay to give the City of Toronto a measure of stability, something that has been wholly absent during Mr. Ford's term in office."

Coun. Doug Ford said Ruby's announcement was "good news." His brother has been upset since the shocking decision last week, but feels the public still supports him, he said.

"He was down, to say the least, but everywhere you go, everywhere we go, no matter if it's a restaurant, every person is coming up to us and telling us 'keep focused, don't give up, keep going forward.'
"That's what we're going to do."

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said while winning a stay would be an important victory for the mayor, he's more concerned about any coming byelection that could spring from Ford potentially losing his appeal.

He said any councillor who wants to run against Ford in the byelection should have to step down from council. That would allow council to also run a byelection to replace the ward councillor at the same time and save cash, he said.

"It shows the public they're not just there trying to garner some public attention at the taxpayers' expense," he said. "If you're not going to do that, if they're going to sit back from the safety of their council position and go out and throw some snowballs at him, it's not worth $7 million to have them do that."

Coun. Shelley Carroll, who declared her interest in the mayor's chair last week, said Magder has helped "streamline" the court's activity by not opposing the stay. Carroll said a byelection would be run no different than a regular municipal election and in those votes, councillors aren't expected to give up their seats to seek re-election.

-- With files from Maryam Shah

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