Walking scandal and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told a supporter today that he's "not going anywhere, guaranteed," even after admitting publicly to smoking crack cocaine. Rob Ford's opinion on the matter, that he should remain mayor of Toronto, is an unpopular one. But unless someone finds a new legal avenue to remove the mayor from office against his will, it could be the only opinion that matters.
According to current provincial law, there's more or less one way for Ford to be forced from office. If the mayor was convicted and jailed for a crime, he would no longer be eligible to hold a municipal office. Toronto has no mayoral recall process like the one that began before San Diego's ex-mayor Bob Filner's resignation. The most the city council seems to be able to do right now is to bring up a measure that would call on Ford to take a leave of absence. That measure includes another provision asking provincial officials to re-write its municipal laws so that Ford can be forcibly removed if he refuses to take leave or go. That's an idea provincial officials are open to considering, even though they'd reportedly prefer not to get involved. Although Ford has made no indication either way on whether he'd consider a leave of absence, his deputy mayor Norm Kelly told the press on Monday to leave Rob Ford alone if he did decide to take leave.
Last week, Ford finally admitted that he had, in fact, smoked crack cocaine after Toronto police announced that they were in possession of a notorious tape showing the elected official using drugs and making racist and homophobic remarks. The admission marked a new chapter in a months-long, slow boiling scandal that began when Gawker and the Toronto Star reported on the existence of the tape. In his confession last week, Ford said, "Yes I have smoked crack cocaine," adding, "Probably in one of my drunken stupors." Ford continued: "all I can do now is apologize and move on," omitting the fact that he could also resign from office. Days after his admission, a second video of Ford emerged in which he angrily rants about how much he wants to fight and kill an unnamed person.
The mayor's embarrassing behavior has, however, forced Ford to lighten his public appearance schedule. He lost his weekly radio show, for one thing. And parade officials and the mayor's office can't seem to agree on whether Ford will participate in Sunday's Santa Claus Parade (Ford says he is, the parade says he isn't). After today's stint at a Remembrance Day ceremony on Monday, Ford might want to consider taking the day off: a group of veterans booed Ford as he took the stage for a brief speech. At least one veteran then refused to shake his hand.