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Bad behaviour from Rob Ford and other city politicians leads executive committee to consider new code of conduct rules
May 27, 2014
Richard Warnica

Toronto’s acting mayor came out against proposed new code of conduct rules for city councillors Tuesday, saying there are already enough “regulations out there” governing the city’s fractious council.
“This is a democratic political system,” Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s Executive Committee. “The ride tends to be a little bumpier than it is in others, but that’s the character of the democratic system. It’s not the best, but it is better than all the rest.”
Mr. Kelly was responding to a proposal from Toronto’s integrity commissioner that would see incoming councillors sign a pledge saying they had read council’s official code of conduct. Commissioner Janet Leiper also wants to add a paragraph to the existing conduct rules that would urge councillors to “speak clearly and honestly” and not “attack or demonize” opponents.”

The executive committee will discuss the proposal on Tuesday afternoon.

Verbal sparring and insulting phrases often fly at city council, frequently linked to Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford.

As a councillor, Rob Ford called Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti a “Gino boy” and Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby a “waste of skin.” She later called him a “jerk.” In 2012 Doug Ford warned Councillors Adam Vaughan and Gord Perks, “I’ll whoop both your asses;” in the same meeting Mayor Ford called Mr. Vaughan an “outright liar.”
Mr. Kelly, however, does not believe the new rules are necessary. “I don’t think you need to get into the minutia of relationships,” he said.
Later Tuesday, the Executive Committee was expected to address financial losses at Build Toronto, the city’s arm’s length real estate development corporation. Build lost $2.1 million last year after posting a near $40 million profit in 2012.

Mr. Kelly told reporters the city has expressed its “uneasiness” over the loss, but said he isn’t worried about Build’s in the long term. “It made money for us in the past. We think it will make money for us in the future.”