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Tim Hudak on Mayor Ford: Rob needs to get help

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

PC leader Tim Hudak. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)

PC leader Tim Hudak. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives will consider any request from Toronto council to stabilize the situation with Mayor Rob Ford, Tory Leader Tim Hudak says.

“Obviously, the situation we’re in today needs clarifying and Rob needs to get help,” Hudak said Monday.

“Ultimately, if the city says that it legitimately cannot function, then we do have an obligation at the provincial level — within the powers that we have — to ensure some clarity and stability. Right now, it looks like the city is taking its own action.”

New Democrat Party Leader Andrea Horwath said she also will look at any proposal brought forward by Toronto council.

“But at this point, I think it’s important to give them the room that they need to come to their own conclusions,” she said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said last week that she would be prepared to act on any request from Toronto council for some “tools” to deal with the scandal-plagued mayor.

Later, Wynne said she believes that city councillors appear to be moving on their own to corral the situation.

PC MPP Doug Holyday said he has been vocal in his call for Ford to get help, but is now concerned that council may be going too far in stripping the mayor of his powers.

“I don’t know why they need to kind of beat up him to the point that they’re doing,” Holyday said. “After all, he is only one out of 45 votes down there so if they want to control him, they can control him on the floor of council with votes ... It’s not necessary to be vindicative and to just slap him around just for the sake of slapping him around.”

Holyday, the former deputy mayor of Toronto, said he believes that councillors have the power needed to respond to the situation and that it would be a “very slippery slope” for the province to curtail municipal councils.

Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey said council can take away any powers it delegated to the mayor but he retains the right to vote.

Ford has asked for a snap election, but Jeffrey said she is not interested in moving up the October 2014 date for the next municipal election.

Ford isn’t the only Ontario mayor up to his neck in controversy who has held onto his job.

In London, Mayor Joe Fontana was charged by the RCMP last November with fraud, breach of trust by a public official and uttering forged documents.

He has denied any wrongdoing and refused calls to step down.

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