Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told reporters Sunday that he is proud of the staff that he works with, though he didn’t say much about the pending departure of one of his senior advisers.
Ford’s current chief of staff, Amir Remtulla, is leaving the mayor’s office to take a new job with the Toronto Pan and Parapan American Games later this month.
There is no word yet on who might take on the job next.
Remtulla is the second person to serve as the mayor’s chief of staff since Ford was elected in the fall of 2010.
He succeeded Nick Kouvalis, who held the position during Ford’s first few months in office.
After taking part in a press conference at the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday, Ford was asked what the departure of his staff members said about leadership in Toronto.
"I have fantastic staff, I’m very proud of them," he said.
When the mayor’s office announced Saturday that Remtulla had stepped down from his job, Ford said in a statement that his chief of staff "brought tremendous leadership to my team," and he wished him "all the best in his new role."
Alan Slobodsky, who served as chief of staff and worked for 12 years under former mayor Mel Lastman, said the job that Remtulla is leaving is a demanding one.
"This chief of staff job is unbelievable," Slobodsky said during a telephone interview with CBC News on Sunday.
"The pressure is unbelievable … it’s seven days a week, 24 hours a day."
Slobodsky said that Remtulla has "accomplished a ton" during his time in the mayor’s office, including playing a role in reaching new labour deals with city workers.
"Mayor Ford got labour deals that I never thought were possible. You know what kind of toll that takes on you personally?" Slobodsky said.
"I know from Amir, that was one of his goals to get done."
Remtulla’s departure is not the first time that the mayor has seen one of his more senior advisers take a position elsewhere.
Last November, the mayor’s press secretary, Adrienne Batra, stepped down to take a job with the Toronto Sun newspaper and at a Toronto radio station.