During a chaotic debate Toronto’s City Council has voted to strip controversial Mayor Rob Ford of most of his powers.
As an angry Ford got into verbal exchanges with gallery spectators he collided with one councillor, nearly knocking her over.
Ford is refusing to resign despite being under fire after admitting to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and drink driving.
City Council critic John Parker said after the vote: “I hope it sets a precedent for any future mayor that, if they carry on the way this mayor has, they can expect similar treatment.”
Mayor Rob Ford responded to council’s sanctions by declaring he would fight the move: “This is nothing more…than a coup d’etat. And if you don’t know what a coup d’etat means, it means that you are overruling a government and some people said this is democracy. What’s happening here today is not a democratic process, it is a dictatorship process.”
Rob Ford is a polarising figure in Canada’s largest city – his mainly working class supporters see him has their champion while his more well-heeled liberal opponents regard him as an embarrassment.
Toronto’s council is unable to remove him from office according to provincial law.