The act, by the biggest of stretches, has no reasonable application to the Ford situation.
Paul Daly, associate law professor at the University of Montreal, says the MCIA is clearly not aimed at a Ford situation. The act, he said in an interview, is there to “prevent politicians from awarding contracts to their buddies, or making secret profits off the backs of taxpayers. That’s what you’re really worried about.” Mr. Daly adds, in a post on his Administrative Law Matters blog, that “objectively speaking, Ford simply did not have a ‘pecuniary interest’ which would justify depriving him of his right to speak and vote.”
Even the trial judge agreed that “there was absolutely no issue of corruption or pecuniary gain” on Mr. Ford’s part, a comment that — significantly — was repeated Wednesday by Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu when she allowed Mr. Ford to stay in office until the appeal.
Furthermore, the $3,150 imbedded in council resolutions is an artificial pecuniary interest fabricated by other council members mostly to set Rob Ford up for embarrassment back in 2010. Then a councillor, Mr. Ford had used council stationary to solicit donations to his high school football charity — something he has admitted was “a mistake.”
Mischievous anti-Ford council members adopted the city Integity Commissioner’s recommendation to make Mr. Ford “reimburse” the $3,150 contributed by local businesses to the football charity. Under the City of Toronto Act, however, council had no authority to make any such order. Council can only punish Mr. Ford by either issuing a reprimand or by suspending Mr. Ford’s remuneration “for a period of up to 90 days.”