Ford's lawyer thinks he could run in a byelection

Doug and Rob Ford (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

Doug and Rob Ford (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

Jonathan Jenkins, Queen's Park Bureau

, Last Updated: 12:39 PM ET

TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford's legal team is convinced he could run again if a byelection were held to replace him, his brother Coun. Doug Ford said Wednesday.

"Our lawyer is telling us he's reading it that he can run. I understand the city solicitor is reading it a little differently. The person who is going to make this decision is the judge," Doug Ford said.

The family's lawyer, Alan Lenczer, is seeking clarification on the issue from the judge, whose ruling will remove Rob Ford from office effective Dec. 10.

That ruling has thrown City Hall into turmoil and dealt a huge blow to the Fords.

It's well-known that Doug has been pondering a run for the provincial legislature — the Progressive Conservatives have been holding off on a nomination in the family fiefdom of Etobicoke North until he decides — but he downplayed any talk of the two brothers swapping nominations, with Doug running for mayor and Rob for MPP if he is barred from a municipal byelection.

"No," Doug said.

"We're running to make sure Rob remains mayor. That's what we're focused on."

Pressed further, he wouldn't rule the swap out.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.

The Fords believe they have a strong case for appeal of the removal order.

That appeal will be heard in January, and an application to stay the removal order will be heard Dec. 5.

Doug said Rob is holding up well under the pressure and is feeling fine.

He then returned to a theme Rob dropped Tuesday — slamming the conflict-of-interest charges against Rob as a politically motivated plot by left-wing activists opposed to the fiscally conservative Ford agenda.

"Let's go back to Day 1 when the social elites, the left-wing group down here, said they wouldn't respect democracy," Doug said.

"They said they wouldn't respect that the mayor was elected with the largest mandate in Canadian history. They wouldn't respect the 384,000 voters who voted for him, and said he wouldn't be able to pass gas without their support."

The "passing gas" quote came from former city councillor Howard Moscoe, who didn't run in the last election.

In his ruling, Judge Charles Hackland said the minimum penalty he could order was removal from office. He found the mayor was in a conflict of interest when he spoke to and voted against an integrity commissioner report recommending he pay back $3,150 in donations to his football charity.


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