Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ventured out of his office Monday afternoon to take a rare walk in the corridors of City Hall and visit some of his council colleagues. Throughout the day, there were closed-door huddles among councillors as they considered how to respond to the mayor’s public statements and his failure to address key questions in the controversy that surrounds his leadership, including his involvement with alleged drug dealer Alessandro Lisi.
Here is some of what councillors on his executive or who hold high-profile posts in his administration had to say.
Norm Kelly, deputy mayor
Mr. Kelly would take over Mr. Ford’s duties if the mayor decided to take a leave, as many are requesting.“He’s made his decision. I’ll work with him. I’ll hold him to his commitment. And hopefully time will prove that he’s made the right decision.”
Karen Stintz, chair of the Toronto Transit Commission
Ms. Stintz, once a member of Mr. Ford’s team, oversees the city’s transit system and recently stated her intention to run against him in the race for mayor next year.“My view is that the mayor has spoken. He is not going to resign. He is not going to take a leave of absence. ... There are enough issues before us. We now just need to pull together and figure out how we will do the business of the city.”
Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works and infrastructure committee
Mr. Minnan-Wong, another possible contender for mayor, holds a central post, overseeing roads and garbage collection – two areas Mr. Ford holds near and dear. A fiscal conservative, he has in the past been critical of the mayor’s choice of friends.“The facts and circumstances are troubling to me. I think that we need to move forward. I don’t think that the mayor did enough yesterday to satisfy the public. The mayor and I had a closed-door conversation. It was full, frank and open. I’m going to consider what he said to me and I hope he’ll consider what I had to say.”
Peter Milczyn, chair of the planning and growth committee
Mr. Milczyn represents a ward in Etobicoke, Mr. Ford’s home turf, but found himself on the opposite side from the mayor as the unsuccessful Liberal Party candidate in a provincial by-election this summer.“I don’t think the mayor’s apology was sufficient. ... It is not about drunkenness and it is not even necessarily about substance abuse. It’s about poor judgment ... and putting the office of the mayor in the position of being open to extortion, and that’s very serious and he has to explain himself. And he needs to take some time to get some help.”
Michael Thompson, chair of the economic development committee, vice-chair of the police board
As chair of economic development, Mr. Thompson said the controversy surrounding Mr. Ford is damaging the city’s international reputation and has the potential to hurt its economy.“We are becoming the butt of many jokes at this time and it’s not particularly helpful. ... I believe all members of council are working hard to make sure Toronto is recognized by the world – this is a world issue now.”
Mr. Crawford, a member of the executive and budget committee, represents a ward in Scarborough and gained attention this summer for his artistic talents when he painted a portrait of Mr. Ford for the mayor’s mother.“I’m very pleased that he has suggested that he has to make some changes in his life. I think that was a very positive statement he made yesterday and I honestly, sincerely hope that he makes those changes in his life – actions speak louder than words.”
Anthony Perruzza, chair of community development and recreation
Mr. Perruzza joined Mr. Ford’s executive earlier this year, replacing Councillor Jaye Robinson, whom the mayor fired after she said he needed to take a leave to address his personal issues.“I don’t believe that is my place to cast judgment on any individual, whether it’s the mayor or anybody else in terms of their own personal behaviour and how they conduct themselves.”
- With a report from Kaleigh Rogers