News

Premier Wynne eases off threat to 'take action' against Rob Ford

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks in Sarnia Friday, May 31, 2013. (QMI Agency)

Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks in Sarnia Friday, May 31, 2013. (QMI Agency)

TORONTO - 

Premier Kathleen Wynne beat a hasty retreat yesterday from her threat to “take action” against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

“All I have said is that I believe that city council in Toronto needs to deal with the business of the council and there is legislation that prescribes when and if there would be any change in the relationship between the municipality and the provincial government,” Wynne said.

“So we’re working within those parameters and I just wish, I just hope, that city council can get on with its business and I trust that they will.”

Wynne added she was not prepared to “pass judgment” on whether Ford was able to do his job.

The premier waded into the ongoing city hall controversy Thursday, suggesting the mayor’s “personal issues” are hurting Toronto, referring to allegations there is a video that purportedly shows the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Wynne’s comments prompted return fire from Ford.

“I think the premier should take care of the problems that she has at Queen’s Park right now,” he said.

Councillor Doug Ford also took a shot at Wynne for having the “nerve, hypocrisy to criticize the mayor,” saying she was “up to her eyeballs in scandals” and has wasted billions of tax dollars.

Wynne continued Friday to duck specifics on what action she could take against Ford.

Under existing provincial legislation, there is little the premier can do to remove a sitting politician.

According to Municipal Affairs and Housing, an elected official’s seat can become vacant if a person is disqualified from holding office for serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution or if a judge orders it.

Even being charged or convicted of an offence does not automatically boot a municipal politician out of office.

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