Rob Ford era ends in Toronto as John Tory takes over leadership

Tory and his new council will take oath of office in front of city clerk today

Mayoral Debate
TORONTO – The tumultuous era of scandal-plagued Rob Ford came to an end Monday as his successor officially took over as mayor of Toronto.

The first major business of the day for John Tory was a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne at the Ontario legislature, where the two promised to work together to confront the challenges facing the city including transit and housing.

Tory said it was “no accident” that he chose to begin his mayoralty that way because he plans to fulfil a campaign promise to work in partnership with other governments.

“That includes not only the provincial government but the government of Canada and the governments in the rest of this region,” he said.

“I think by working together we’re going to be able to advance the interests of the people of Toronto and the people of Ontario and the people of Canada because I tend to think what’s good for one is good for all.”

Wynne repeatedly refused to meet with Ford after he was stripped of most of his powers in November 2013, opting instead to meet with his deputy, Norm Kelly, after he assumed many of Ford’s duties.

She has a warm relationship with Tory, a former provincial Progressive Conservative leader, and the premier suggested Monday that can certainly help.

“If the communication is better, I think there is much more potential that more can get done.”

Ford has been seldom seen since being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in September, which led him to drop his bid for another term as mayor, although he did win a seat on council.

He issued a statement Sunday thanking the people of Toronto for their support while he was mayor and vowing to continue fighting against what he called “extravagance, wastefulness, and a general disrespect for both the taxpayers and their hard-earned dollars.”

Ford won the mayor’s office in 2010 with a promise to stop “the gravy train” at city hall but became internationally notorious after a series of scandals that included admitting last year to using crack cocaine during a “drunken stupor” and then completing a stint in rehab this year.

Wynne promised to hold regular meetings with the city’s new mayor.

“We’re not going to necessarily agree on every policy or every file over the next four years, that’s not the point, but as elected leaders our responsibility is to work together,” said Wynne.

“We’ve got lots of challenges confronting us at the provincial (level) and Mayor Tory has lots of challenges at the municipal level.”

Tory and his new council were to take the oath of office in front of the city clerk Monday, before being publicly sworn in Tuesday at the council’s first meeting of the new term.

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