Councillor accuses Ford brothers of 'decision by fiat'
Toronto Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam is accusing Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Coun. Doug Ford of making a "decision by fiat" in deciding not to bid for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
Two weeks ago, Doug Ford emerged from a meeting at the mayor’s office with other civic leaders and told reporters Toronto would not be submitting a bid for the games. Ford said the city, which faces a $774 million budget shortfall, could not afford to bid.
"Literally it lasted five minutes," said Ford at the time. "We saw it and said there’s absolutely no way we’re gonna get the Olympics."
In an open letter released Wednesday, Wong-Tam said that decision should have been discussed by council.
The deadline for cities to express interest to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is Thursday.
'Disrespected our roles'
"I cannot hide my disappointment that on the day before the deadline to express interest to the IOC, 43 other members of council were not privy to any details of the proposal," wrote Wong-Tam. "In fact, I believe that you and Councillor Doug Ford disrespected our roles as elected representatives when you made a decision by fiat without council consideration."
Wong-Tam said some of her constituents have asked her why the decision about the Olympic bid never came before council.
"I don’t think a local councillor from Etobicoke-North [Doug Ford’s ward] should have more access to information of this magnitude than myself.
'Informal discussions in your office between you and your brother are not to be mistaken for official committee or council meetings'—Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam
"Informal discussions in your office between you and your brother are not to be mistaken for official committee or council meetings," wrote Wong-Tam.
She said the Olympic bid is the latest instance of backroom decision making by the Ford brothers.
She also cited Mayor Ford’s move to kill the Transit City plan and Doug Ford’s surprise public statements this week about plans for the developing the Port Lands as other examples.
There was no comment from the mayor’s office.