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The Globe and Mail

Rob Ford to face critics head on at Wednesday council meeting

Mayor Rob Ford signs bobble head dolls for supporters at city hall in Toronto

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Mayor Rob Ford is preparing to meet his council critics head on, moving a debate over his behaviour to the top of this week's meeting agenda.

"Let's get it on," Mr. Ford told reporters Monday, in reference to his decision to make the motion addressing his leadership one of his key items when council meets Wednesday.

The decision means the debate over concerns about him continuing as mayor will be one of the first items on council's agenda. The designation also means Mr. Ford will face questions from council on his conduct and integrity following his admission last week that he smoked crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor," after months of denial.

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The motion by Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former ally of the mayor, asks Mr. Ford to apologize for misleading Torontonians about the existence of a video in which he is alleged to have smoked crack cocaine; to co-operate with police; and to take a leave.

Mr. Minnan-Wong also has signalled his intention to amend his motion on the council floor to ask the province to step in and remove the mayor from office if he will not go voluntarily.

Mr. Ford continues to resist calls for him to take a leave and has refused requests from police to answer questions.

"I'm not going anywhere, guaranteed," he told one supporter as he walked back to City Hall Monday after delivering the address at a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Mr. Minnan-Wong said as long as Mr. Ford is in the mayor's office he will continue to be a distraction to city business. His actions also mean he can no longer speak "with any type of moral authority" on issues of crime and safety or drug use, he said.

"I think it's critically important that council speaks with one voice to say what he's done is wrong, that he should be going to the police and co-operating, that he should apologize and fundamentally that he should go, take a leave of absence, remove himself from council while he gets the help that he needs," Mr. Minnan-Wong said.

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