TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford’s penchant for lone-wolf votes got him in hot water Wednesday — and council wouldn’t let him get out of it.
Ford was the only vote on council against naming a street in honour of Nelson Mandela and congratulating Canada’s Olympic athletes.
Although Ford often finds himself the lone vote against council on a variety of items, many were shocked he would vote against having staff look at naming a street in honour of Mandela and simply extending congratulations “to all of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes for their inspiring performances at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.”
The move was particularly surprising considering Ford came out almost immediately after Mandela’s death to pay tribute to the South African leader. And during the Olympics, Ford made headlines when he put up a Canadian flag in his office window as a sign of support for Canada’s Olympic team and to protest the city raising the Pride flag on the ceremonial flag pole during the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The mayor’s chief of staff Dan Jacobs brought the votes to Ford’s attention minutes after the vote when reporters brought it to his attention and asked for an explanation around the mayor’s votes.
“He voted in error,” Jacobs said after speaking with Ford.
Ford tried to ask council to re-open the two items so he could correct his vote but some councillors had already left the council chamber, preventing the possibility of a revote. It isn’t clear if Ford will be able to correct his admitted voting mistake.
Councillor Josh Matlow doubted Ford made a mistake in the initial votes.
“I don’t buy it for a second,” Matlow said. “He knew exactly what he was doing … and now he’s trying to get out of it because he’s been caught.”