Councillor Doug Ford said Toronto taxpayers should be willing to foot the bill for a byelection should a Divisional Court of Appeal uphold an order to remove his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, from office next year.
“The people of the city should decide who’s going to be running the city — not politicians, not judges, not generals — but the people of Toronto should be deciding who our leader is,” said Ford.
The councillor for Etobicoke North made the comments as the mayor settled into a short vacation in Florida.
Rob Ford left the city on Monday, less than a week after a judge granted him a stay from the order to be removed from office.
Ford got in hot water when he voted and spoke on a report by the city’s integrity commissioner, requiring him to pay back $3,150 in donations he solicited from lobbyists for his football foundation.
If he’s removed from office following the Jan. 7 hearing, council will have to decide whether to simply appoint a successor — possibly Mayor Ford himself — or hold a byelection, which will cost taxpayers approximately $10 million.
Doug Ford said council should go ahead with the byelection.
“What price will the people of Toronto pay for democracy?” he said.
“Is democracy worth a million dollars to the people of Toronto. Is it worth a million dollars to the politicians down here or is it worth two million or is it worth five million?”
Doug Ford said his brother ought to have the opportunity to renew the mandate he received in 2010, when he was elected mayor.
“This is a man that has saved the taxpayers a billion dollars and it’s up to the people,” said Ford, who did not elaborate on what that billion dollars in savings entailed.
“The people want Rob Ford to continue being mayor — they will decide.”
Ford also lashed out at his colleagues on council.
“They are serving themselves — and not worrying about the people,” he said. “It’s the people that are going to decide in this city who they want to run the city for the next two years.”