Credits: Jack Boland / Toronto Sun / QMI Agency
TORONTO -- Councillors should appoint Mayor Rob Ford to replace Mayor Rob Ford if he does get thrown out of office, deputy mayor Doug Holyday proposes.
Holyday argued that appointing Ford to replace himself would be the "easiest" thing for council to do if he loses his appeal and is tossed out of office for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
"I would be supportive of just reappointing him," Holyday told QMI Agency on Wednesday.
Ford's appeal of the decision removing him from office will be heard Jan. 7.
If the mayor loses that appeal, the November decision by Justice Charles Hackland throwing him out of the mayor's chair would take effect, leaving council to either appoint a replacement or order a citywide mayoral byelection.
While some Ford loyalists have advocated appointing Holyday, Ford's hand-picked deputy mayor, the former Etobicoke mayor said his first choice would be putting the current mayor back in office.
"I think what's happened to (Ford) is harsh and far exceeds what happened to get him into this predicament," Holyday said. "I think council should see that; I don't think they should prolong it."
Holyday noted the cost of a byelection, which would range from $7 million to $15 million.
"In my opinion the next best thing to having a byelection, which is very expensive, is just to reappoint him," he said. "The whole process that he has been through seems to me to be out of all proportion to what happened."
Hackland ruled Nov. 26 that Ford was guilty of breaching the conflict of interest rules when he spoke and voted last February on whether council should accept a report from the city's integrity commissioner explaining he had yet to obey a council order and pay back more than $3,000 in donations improperly received for his youth football foundation.
Holyday said Ford should be eligible to be reappointed because council can appoint any "eligible elector" to assume the job.
"If he's eligible to be elected, he is certainly eligible to be appointed," he said.
Holyday acknowledged he could also be appointed by council to assume the mayor's job.
"That could be a step further down the line but the first step would be trying to appoint him," he said.
"Certainly this could come to the point where I would put my name forward. We're not simply going to turn it over to (council's left wing)."