In a much anticipated decision,the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, has allowed the appealof Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. This decision overturns a lower court’s previous decision(which we wrote about here)that held that Mr. Ford had breached conflict of interest legislation and requiredhim to vacate his seat on Toronto City Council.
At issue was Mr. Ford’s participation ina Council motion to rescind its past order that he repay donations he collectedfor third party charities using the City of Toronto logo, City staff resourcesand his status as a City Councillor. The Court found that the City of Toronto Act limited City Councilto applying two specific remedial penalties: a reprimand, or a suspension ofremuneration. The Court held that forcing Mr. Ford to repay monies he had notpersonally received was a punitive sanction and, consequentially, outside thejurisdiction of City Council. The Court determined that as the repayment orderwas a nullity, Mr. Ford had no pecuniary interest in the motion to rescind theorder, and, therefore, his actions did not amount to a conflict of interest.
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