Rob Ford wins appeal to keep his job as Toronto's mayor

Rob Ford. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

Rob Ford. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

Don Peat, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford walked away with a win in his conflict of interest appeal Friday.

"This has been a very, very humbling experience," Ford said. "I have enormous respect for the judicial system and I'm very, very thankful for the decision it made today.

Flanked by Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor thanked his legal team and his family for their support through the court fight.

"This has been a very, very challenging time for all of us," Ford said. "I'd like to thank the thousands of people who have offered their support and encouragement over the last few months. Your kind words have inspired me to continue fighting on."

Ford said he will be focused on pushing ahead with his agenda "for the next six years” — a not very subtle hint he plans on running and winning in the 2014 election.

"We are running this city better than any administration ever has," he said.

Coun. Ford called it "a great day for democracy"

The three-judge panel threw out the ruling from Justice Charles Hackland ordering Ford out of the mayor's chair for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

The case against Ford was launched last year by high-profile lawyer Clayton Ruby on behalf of Toronto resident Paul Magder.

Mayor Rob Ford Appeal by

Ruby had successfully argued Ford violated the province's municipal conflict of interest legislation when he took part in a February council debate about an integrity commissioner report about him.

The report was on Ford's ongoing failure to respond to an order from the previous city council to pay back $3,150 in improper donations to his youth football foundation.

At that meeting, Ford gave a long speech to council about his football foundation and then joined a majority of councillors in voting to forgive his failure to pay back the donations.

The divisional court panel ruled the original council decision ordering Ford to pay back the money was invalid. Once that decision was nullified, Ford was no longer in contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

Ruby wouldn't speak to reporters Friday but did release a statement vowing to try to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

"The court has let Rob Ford off on a technicality. We find that disappointing, particularly since the court found that Mr. Paul Magder was right on the facts," Ruby stated.


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