'Constant circus' around Rob Ford a distraction, councillors say
Mayor's problems getting in way of Toronto business, say Josh Matlow and Jaye Robinson
The ongoing controversy surrounding Rob Ford has one member of his executive committee suggesting the Toronto mayor step aside temporarily.
- Ford has no plans to step aside.
- Ford ducks questions on drug video as new ones emerge.
- Ford's office reportedly tipped to location of video.
On Thursday, two of Ford’s staffers quit, bringing to five the number of staff members who have left his office since reports were published saying a video recording exists showing the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
The video has yet to surface, but the story has continued to create a daily furor at city hall as Ford is asked daily about the most recent revelations by a pack of reporters.
Coun. Jaye Robinson, a member of Ford’s hand-picked executive committee, said Friday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning that Ford should step aside temporarily to clear what she said is a distraction that is hindering city business.
New staffers hired
After losing five staff members since news broke about a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack cocaine, Mayor Rob Ford said during a media availability on Friday that he had hired three "great people today and [is] planning on hiring three or four more on Monday."
"There doesn't appear to be any end in sight," she said. "It’s increasingly difficult to draw attention to the key issues we're facing as a city."
Robinson also said Ford’s few public statements about the drug use allegations have "left too many unanswered questions."
'Constant circus' at city hall
Coun. Josh Matlow issued a Twitter message Thursday saying the city "needs a new mayor." Matlow later clarified those remarks, saying the change should happen in the next municipal election, scheduled for fall 2014.
"I'm fed up with this constant circus at city hall," Matlow told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway on Friday. "It feels like trying to build a house next to a tornado."
Ford’s troubles have also not gone unnoticed at Queen’s Park, Ontario's provincial legislature.
Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters Thursday she’s "concerned" about how the controversy surrounding Ford is hurting the running and reputation of Canada's largest city.
"I'm concerned that things are not as they should be at city hall," said Wynne. "It's hard to imagine that it could be business as usual."
Wynne was also asked if the province would intervene if the situation at city hall gets worse.
There is currently no existing legislation to allow the province to force any change at the municipal level.
"There are actions we can take and those that we can't," said Wynne. "I have to listen to my advisers and the legal advice that we get as to whether we can or cannot and what's appropriate and what's not appropriate.
"I will act when and if it is appropriate having followed the due process."
Both Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, bristled at Wynne's comments. At a press conference Thursday, Doug Ford called Wynne an "unelected premier" and said she should first take care of problems at Queen's Park before criticizing the mayor.