September 4, 2012
Doug Ford defends brotherRips conflict-of-interest case against Toronto mayor
By Don Peat, QMI Agency
TORONTO — Toronto Councillor Doug Ford came out swinging in his brother's defence Tuesday.
"Should Rob Ford be in front of a judge for helping kids? No, he shouldn't be," Ford said Tuesday -- a day before Toronto Mayor Rob Ford goes to court to testify in the conflict-of-interest case that could see him tossed from office.
"With all the other shenanigans that have gone on, people spending $12,000 on parties of taxpayers' money, those are the people they should be chasing," he insisted. "All the backroom deals that took place over a number of years down here, they should be hunted down and chased and questioned."
He listed off several deals including the $50-million sole-sourced contract for Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square renovation.
"That should be questioned, not someone trying to support youth," he said.
The mayor is due to testify Wednesday in a conflict-of-interest case launched by lawyer Clayton Ruby in March on behalf of Paul Magder, alleging Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act during a February city council meeting.
During that meeting, councillors -- Ford included -- voted 22-12 to rescind a 2010 council decision ordering the mayor to repay $3,150 in donations from lobbyists and their clients his children's football foundation.
Councillor Ford said the mayor was "doing the right thing for needy kids in priority neighbourhoods.
"He'll continue doing that," he said. "Everyone in the city knows this is all politically driven."
The councillor doubted Ford's ardent supporters, dubbed Ford Nation, would show up at the courthouse en masse Wednesday.
Councillor Paula Fletcher said the issue isn't about Mayor Ford's charity football work.
"This is about playing by the rules and there are rules about accepting money from lobbyists ... I'm sure he's teaching his (football) teams to play by the rules. The mayor just has to play by the rules, it is that simple."
Fletcher said Ford "paddled that canoe out into deep water himself.
"I think he got caught with his pants down because no one told him, 'You have a conflict,'" she added.
Councillor Adam Vaughan said he'd be surprised if anything comes of the court case. "I don't think we're going to see a different mayor in the mayor's chair come next council meeting. I'd be surprised," he said.