C.O.T.A. Powers of Council & Mayor

This old post below comes to mind whenever CP24 mentions John Tory. Today his name often came up about his getting people into public housing. The Black Lives Matter group mentioned him as a person wrongly supporting police involvement in the Pride parade. And poll results on CP24 have reminded viewers of his high approval ratings; the last I heard 74% believed he was doing a good job.

March 6, 2014

I think it’s worth recalling the 2010 election that made Mr.Ford mayor of Toronto and the many who expected that his term would be a full four years from December 1, 2010 to December 1, 2014 and who might not have expected that the councillor they’d voted for might one day  replace him. Mr Ford recently stated in a television clip that 383, 501 people voted for him, nearly 100,000 votes more than the favoured Mr.Smitherman surprising everyone including me. I was also surprised by the flyer I received in my Scarborough walk-to-mail box shortly after the election asking me to join a campaign to oust the new mayor by putting Twitter comments Online. At that point all I knew about Mr. Ford was that before being elected I saw him on television as councillor speaking to council and that he’d been stopped by traffic police in Florida for some sort of substance abuse, and warnings during the campaign  not to vote for him. So I didn’t. But I did vote for one of the councillors who, ignorant of  both the City of Toronto Act and Municipal Elections Act or confident of the electorate’s lack of legal expertise, removed some of his authority.

Rob Ford Mayoral Candidates Forum June 2010 (crop).jpg
These results were copied from Wikipedia
George Smitherman Nomination.jpg
These results were copied from Wikipedia
Joe Pantalone Doors Open Toronto 2010 Crop.jpg
These results were copied from Wikipedia
Candidate Rob Ford George Smitherman Joe Pantalone
Popular vote 383,501 289,832 95,482
Percentage 47.11% 35.61% 11.73%

Still my own lack of  legal expertise motivates my bias against such councillors who contrary to statute I believe gave some of Mayor Ford’s  authority to Councillor Kelley. The City of Toronto Act Paragraph 133 establishes an elected mayor’s powers in subsection (1) As head of council the mayor provides “leadership to council“”as chief executive officer of the City”. Since under this act the elected mayor as council leader is obliged  “to carry out the duties of the head of council”. Council therefor does not have the power to act without his presiding “over meetings of council” as council leader.

City of Toronto Act 2006

133. (1) It is the role of the mayor of the City, as the head of council,

(a) to act as chief executive officer of the City;

(b) to preside over meetings of council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively;

(c) to provide leadership to council;

(d) to represent the City at official functions; and

(e) to carry out the duties of the head of council under this or any other Act. 2006,

Elected councillors’ giving some of the elected mayor’s authority to a person elected councillor,  are subverting the precisely defined powers the City of Toronto Act gives them in paragraph 131 and the powers and duties given to the mayor in paragraph 133.

For councillors’ meeting to remove some of his authority could not have been conducted with the mayor’s “leadership to council” in accordance with the terms of paragraph 133 of the City of Toronto Act. Councillors’ intention and act of removing the mayor’s statute based role of council leader could not have been led by the mayor even if he had for some paradoxical reason wanted to and as he has said numerous times metaphorically: the council’s removing some of his authority was tantamount to the attack on Kuwait.

This authority is given to the mayor when he is elected to office, and is an authority which he exercises for four years in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act: “(3)The holders of offices continue to hold office until their successors are elected and the newly elected council or local board is organized.  1996,”

Municipal Elections Act, 1996

(1)The term of all offices to which this Act applies is four years, beginning   on December 1 in the year of a regular election.  2006,


(3)The holders of offices continue to hold office until their successorsare elected and the newly elected council or local board is organized.  1996,