Photo by Ben Spurr.
Mayor Rob Ford delivered a brief statement at City Hall on Thursday about the Supreme Court of Canada's decision not to hear an appeal of the conflict of interest case brought against him last year.
The case, filed by Toronto resident Paul Magder, centered around Ford's vote at a February council meeting to excuse himself from repaying donations he improperly solicited for his football charity. The case nearly cost Ford his job: in November a judge ruled he had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and declared his seat vacant.
But in January, Ford won an appeal. Magder's lawyer sought recourse through the Supreme Court, arguing the case could have national significance. Thursday the court announced it had declined to take up the case, effectively ending Ford's 15-month legal ordeal. As is customary, the court gave no reason for its decision.
The full text of the mayor's statement is below. He did not take any questions.
Good morning everyone. I respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, and respect the judicial process. I'm so happy this is finally over. I've been vindicated and we can move on.
This case has taken a significant toll on my family, both financially and emotionally. The entire case was driven by the political agenda of a very small group, a group who do not respect democracy. We all know these individuals have open ties to political activists. They tried to abuse a loophole in outdated laws, laws which even the premier admits need to be changed.
They couldn't beat me at the polls, so they tried everything they could to stop me from moving forward with my agenda. The people of this great city elected me to drive efficiencies, keep taxes low, and reduce the size and cost of government. Folks, that's exactly what I've done.
They've created months of instability, turmoil, and confusion at City Hall. Over what? Ask yourself, over what? Raising money to help underprivileged kids to play football.
I'm just glad this is finally over. Thank you very much.