In Flux

November 28, 2012

In the end, it was just another day at the office for Mayor Rob Ford. If you tuned into yesterday’s council meeting looking for fireworks, hoping for the mayor and his closest (albeit dwindling) supporters to be breathing fire, scorching the earth around them in defiance of his judicial ouster from office, yeah, that didn’t happen. It was all pretty much routine.

Council gathered, worked through the usual procedural matters. The mayor moved his two key items – one being the plastic bag ban implementation… yes, that… yet again his key item… *sigh* — over to today. The city’s legal staff then made a presentation as to its take on how the mayor’s battle to keep his job would play out. Interesting nugget. It is their view he could not run in a by-election if one was called, stating that ‘the term’ as presented in Judge Hackland’s decision meant the 2010-2014 term not simply Mayor Ford’s term in office. Of course, there were legal recourses he could take to challenge that opinion if he wanted.

And with that, council moved on to the business at hand.

Word soon came that the mayor’s team would be in court next week to seek a stay of Monday’s ruling pending an appeal which, if granted, would keep Mayor Ford in office until his appeal. That was scheduled for early in the new year, January 7th. All things considered, a quick turn around.

Later in the afternoon, after he’d partied it up in Nathan Phillips Square with the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts, the mayor issued a sincere sounding if not worded apology. “Looking back, maybe I could have expressed myself in a different way,” he said at a grim press conference. “To everyone who believes I should have done this differently, I sincerely apologize.”

Yeah. So if you thought I should have done this different, I’m sorry. I’m not really sorry for doing things the way I did.

With that, Mayor Ford disappeared, off to coach his Don Bosco team to defeat at the Metro Bowl and a pledge, word has it, to be on the sidelines again next year. If so, it’ll be a much less controversial season since it may well not be competing with his official duties as mayor.

In his absence, council carried on, sorting out committee appointments for the second half of this term, all of which could be rendered irrelevant if a new mayor comes to pass sometime in the winter months. There was hours and hours of elephant talk, the fate of the Toronto Zoo 3 finally decided and hopefully, fingers crossed, prayers to heaven, never, ever talked about in council chambers again.

All very dry and technical but with a provisional air about it. A council in limbo, patching together an agenda, lacking in a firm direction of leadership. That isn’t new. Arguably, it’s been the situation for over a year now. But the stakes are different.

It’s not about a mayor in absentia. It’s about a mayor under siege, facing the very, very real possibility of removal and a complete changing of the guard. Proceed lightly, folks. The political sand under your feet is shifting sharply.

ifilly submitted by Cityslikr