Ontario’s Liberal government made it clear Monday it was not open to a request from embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for a snap municipal election so voters can decide if he should be booted out of office after admitting he smoked crack cocaine. “It’s not something we’re considering at the moment,” Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey told reporters. “We’re not considering changing the electoral period that members sit. It’s not something we’re contemplating.” The province probably wouldn’t be open to changing the election date even if the request comes from the entire Toronto city council, added Jeffrey. Mayor Ford himself has spoken out against the cost of special elections, noted Finance Minister Charles Sousa. “The antics that are occurring in Toronto are distressing and concerning, but the last thing we want is for more disruption,” said Sousa. “Council has a job to do, let them do it, and we’ll wait to see when the next general election occurs in October.” Premier Kathleen Wynne has repeatedly said she wants city council to deal with Ford, and would step in only if there is a specific request from the city, and only if all three parties in the legislature approved any provincial action.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak agreed Monday that the controversy surrounding Ford is best dealt with by the municipal councillors, and said they appear to be doing what’s necessary.
“They’re taking action and getting to a point of clarity as to where they’re going to go,” said Hudak. “If ultimately there is a request from the city that they legitimately can’t function, then I think the provincial level has an obligation to respond to that within the powers that we have.”
Neither Hudak nor NDP Leader Andrea Horwath would comment on Ford’s request for a snap election, calling it premature and saying it’s not up to one politician to decide.