If Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is forced from office and a byelection is then called, Coun. Doug Ford suggested the public should not view the costs of doing so as an optional expense.
"What price do you put on democracy?" Ford told reporters Wednesday, when asked how the expected multimillion-dollar cost of holding a byelection would be justified to the public if one were to be called.
His brother, Mayor Ford, was granted a stay of the judgment of Justice Charles T. Hackland, which would otherwise have forced him from office within days.
The mayor will now hang onto his job until his appeal is heard in January and then decided upon.
Following the news that the mayor had been granted his application for a stay of the judgment, Doug Ford said that while a judge will rule on his brother's appeal, the courts should not decide who holds office.
"We believe in democracy, that the people elect our leaders. Judges do not elect our leaders and we’re going to bring it to the people if this appeal doesn’t go through and that's it, folks," he said.
Councillors hesitant to speculate
Should Mayor Ford lose his appeal, council will have to choose whether to hold a byelection or appoint a successor.
Some councillors shied away from predicting what may happen should the mayor lose his appeal.
"It's lots of fun to speculate, it’s lots of fun to calculate different outcomes," said Coun. Adam Vaughan.
"Until we get a decision by the courts, I think it’s wise for all of us on council to stick to our business," Vaughan said.
Coun. John Filion tweeted Wednesday that the stay decision may result in some "calm before the storm" during budget discussions.
Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said the stay decision was both fair and supported by the public.
"It doesn't make sense to remove him and then let him have his appeal. So I think the judge did the right thing," he said in an interview with CBC News on Wednesday.
But Coun. Karen Stintz suggested that council should call a byelection, which Ford himself has been calling for.
"Mayor Ford has said that if his appeal is not granted, he wants to have a byelection," said Coun. Karen Stintz.
"So if he continues to call for a byelection, I think that that’s the direction we would go."
Stintz would not say if she would run in a byelection.
"Without knowing the outcome of the appeal at this point, it’s too soon to say," she said.
Asked the same question, Minnan-Wong called the prospect of running in a byelection "a hypothetical right now," saying that "we'll see what happens and deal with it as it comes."
Coun. Shelley Carroll, the budget chief under former Mayor David Miller, has already said she's seriously considering a run for mayor.