Saturday, November 16, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kathleen Wynne urges Rob Ford to heed councillors urging him to step down

Premier Kathleen Wynne is urging embattled Mayor Rob Ford to “pay very close attention” to those city councillors urging him to step down.

In her most pointed comments yet on Ford, who has admitted to using crack cocaine and is under police investigation for his connections to an alleged drug dealer, Wynne hailed city council for taken action Friday morning.

“The concern for me is that city council can function and it seems today that that’s exactly what’s happening,” she said, referring to two overwhelming council votes to politically emasculate the mayor by stripping him of some powers.

“I see that city council is making decisions and they are determined . . . to find a way to make that work,” the premier said at a Council of the Federation meeting in Toronto.

On Thursday, she had warned she was open to giving the city “new tools” to deal with the rogue mayor — provided Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath agreed.

Horwath was noncommittal while Hudak, a close political ally of Ford, has refused to comment.

But a provincial intervention may not come to pass because councillors are flexing their muscles against Ford, who has also acknowledged drinking and driving and buying illegal drugs while in office.

“The actions this morning demonstrate that city council is determined to function,” said Wynne.

“What’s happening at city hall right now is very fluid and I think that the mayor needs to pay very close attention to the messages that he’s getting from his councillors and my hope is that he would take his lead from their advice.”

When reporters noted the advice includes some councillors urging Ford to resign, Wynne was pointed.

“He needs to pay close attention to what he’s being advised by the councillors and the people around him,” the premier said. (Source: Toronto Star)