Rob Ford is lone vote against LGBT homeless youth shelter proposal

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was the only member of city council to vote against a report looking into a potential homeless shelter for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in Toronto.

Measure passes 37-1

Rob Ford cast the lone vote against a report on space in a shelter for LGBT youth. (CBC)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was the only member of city council to vote against a report looking into a potential homeless shelter for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in Toronto.

The shelter report recommendation passed on Thursday by a vote of 37-1. Several councillors, including the mayor's brother Doug, were absent for the vote.

The vote means that council has requested a report on the feasibility of allocating 25 per cent of shelter beds to LGBT youth in an existing shelter for the coming winter.

Alex Abramovich, a research co-ordinator with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital, has spent eight years studying the issue and proposed a shelter exclusively for LGBT youth.

Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam questioned the mayor's motivations.

She said that since there is no financial impact of the vote, there would be no reason Ford, an avowed tax fighter, to vote against it.

"It tells me he doesn't care," she said. "He's demonstrated he doesn't care."

She said she has tried on many occasions to try to persuade Ford to interact more with the gay community. She said the conversations always end with the mayor saying he was too busy.

"In the private sector, if there was anyone who behaves in this way, they would be reprimanded," she said.

"This just clearly demonstrates there are two different standards here: one for Mayor Ford and one for everyone else." 

The vote comes one day after Ford remained seated during a standing ovation from city council for Toronto's hosting of the WorldPride, a celebration of LGBT rights.

Ford responded that he was not homophobic, but did not offer a reason why he didn't stand.