Rob Ford sees 'no reason' to declare emergency in Toronto

Mayor Rob Ford has no plans to declare a state of emergency in Toronto, despite calls from critics to do so.

Declaring emergency would hand powers to deputy mayor

Not an emergency yet

9 years ago
Duration 3:03
Mayor Rob Ford sees no need to declare a state of emergency for now.

Mayor Rob Ford has no plans to declare a state of emergency in Toronto, despite calls from critics to do so.

The mayor was among those without power as a result of the ice storm that took down tree branches and power lines, left city roads slick and snarled much of the transit system over the weekend.

Environment Canada said the storm dropped 10 to 30 millimetres of ice on the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto Hydro has restored power to more than 100,000 customers as of Monday evening, but there were nearly 200,000 customers still waiting in the cold and dark.

"I just want to clarify that we’re not declaring a state of emergency," Ford said Monday, when speaking to reporters at city hall.

Ford said it’s something that might have been considered had conditions worsened overnight.

"But at this time, there is no reason to do that," he said.

A state of emergency would help the city obtain outside resources, something the city’s public works chair said is already occurring.

"I don’t think declaring a state of emergency is going to make the electricity go on any quicker, or our furnaces turn on any faster," said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, the chair of the public works committee.

Minnan-Wong said the province is already "in on the calls" with the city’s emergency operations centre.

"They know what we need," he said.

The mayor’s position on the issue puts him at odds with several councillors who are urging for a state of emergency to be called.

Jim Stanton, a crisis management expert, questioned the mayor’s motivation for avoiding the declaration of an emergency.

"He’s had a lot of his powers taken away from him by council and I’m wondering if this isn’t just one way of him trying to hang onto power and perhaps not be listening to the advice he’s getting from his key emergency advisers," Stanton told CBC News Network on Monday.

"Because I know they would be telling him: ‘Declare a state of emergency.’"

Ford was stripped of a series of powers by Toronto council following a drug-related scandal that has made headlines around the world.

Some of his powers have been handed to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who would be in charge if an emergency is declared.

When Premier Kathleen Wynne reached out to various political leaders in southern Ontario over the weekend, she told reporters that she had made contact with Kelly, but she did not mention Ford.

Kelly said that he told the premier on the weekend that the city did not yet need the province’s help.

With a report from the CBC's Jamie Strashin