John Tory ousts Vince Crisanti as deputy mayor after comments supporting mayoral rival Ford
'He has clearly stated he does not support my administration and intends to campaign for another candidate'
John Tory has ousted his Etobicoke deputy mayor, Vince Crisanti, after the councillor publicly backed the Toronto mayor's rival Doug Ford at his annual Ford Fest.
Tory has replaced Crisanti, who represents Ward 1, Etobicoke North, with Coun. Stephen Holyday.
"I thank Councillor Crisanti for his time in this position," Tory said in a statement Tuesday.
"But based on his words and actions over the past few days, he has clearly stated he does not support my administration and intends to campaign for another candidate who has an approach that I believe will take the city backwards."
The move comes after Crisanti, who had been in the role since 2014, publicly voiced his support for Ford on Friday night, when the former Ward 2 councillor and brother of the late Rob Ford announced he was launching a mayoral run.
"If anybody out there doubts the power of Ford Nation, just come here tonight ... I got first elected in 2010 with the support of Rob Ford and I'm here today because of the Fords and I want to thank them," Crisanti told the Ford Fest crowd.
Doug Ford stepped into the mayoral race in September 2014 after Rob Ford was forced to drop out due to a cancer diagnosis. He finished second to Tory with about 34 per cent of the vote. Rob Ford then entered the council race for Ward 2, Etobicoke North, which he won handily.
The former mayor died in March 2016.
In his statement, Tory said while he doesn't expect to agree with his deputy mayors "on every issue or every stance, I do expect that they are committed to my overall vision of building a stronger, fairer Toronto."
In the 2014 mayoral election, Ford carried Crisanti's ward by a margin of 9,000 votes.
On Tuesday evening, Coun. Michael Ford — Doug Ford's nephew — reacted to the decision, calling it one "purely based on politics and not on merit."
"Councillor Crisanti has done an admirable job as deputy mayor for western Toronto and delivered real results, but that did not matter to Mayor Tory," he said.
Michael Ford won Ward 2, which had been left vacant after his uncle Rob Ford's death, in a byelection in July 2016.