As members of the city’s powerful executive committee prepare to meet on Tuesday, councillors say they have no plans to censure Mayor Rob Ford or his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, in light of controversies swirling around both men.
While Doug Ford took to the airwaves for a second straight day categorically denying a Globe and Mail investigation that alleged he sold hashish in the 1980s, fellow councillors lamented about the ongoing distraction of the Fords’ personal lives.
“It doesn’t help,” said Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday of the unrelenting spotlight on the Ford brothers rather than on city hall business. “I certainly would like business to go back to normal.”
The cabinet-like executive committee has no power to take formal action against sitting members of council, but last week six members signed a letter asking the mayor to address allegations in the Toronto Star and on Gawker.com that he smoked crack cocaine.
The mayor responded with a speech on Friday in which he denied being a crack-cocaine user.
After the speech, executive members were divided on whether his statement was clear enough.
Councillor Jaye Robinson, who describes herself as an independent, but is a member of the executive, said she was hoping Mr. Ford’s statement would be “a bit more comprehensive, more definitive.”
Ms. Robinson said three of the 12 councillors on the executive – Frank Di Giorgio, Cesar Palacio and Vincent Crisanti – have told her they consider the matter closed.
Others, such as Ms. Robinson and Councillor Peter Milczyn believe questions remain unanswered.
Councillor Josh Colle, a moderate on council, says the Ford administration has lost its focus, as was shown in their loss on a key vote to expand the casino at Woodbine Racetrack. Mr. Colle, who supported the expansion, said he did not have one discussion with the mayor’s staff on the issue and no attempt was made to secure his vote. He said more effort was made to get a burger stand outside City Hall than to lobby for the Woodbine vote.