US & Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford survives bid to eject him from office

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford answers questions about the three new staffers he has hired at a news conference at city hall in Toronto 31 May 2013
Image caption Ford said he had been vindicated

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has survived a bid to oust him from office, after Canada's Supreme Court declined to intervene in a case against him.

Mr Ford had been accused of violating conflict-of-interest rules by voting on a bill pertaining to a charity he runs.

In November, a lower court ordered him out of office. He then won the reprieve now affirmed by the high court.

Recently, Mr Ford has grappled with unsubstantiated allegations he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine.

He has vigorously denied the existence of such a video and that he is a drug user.

Mr Ford has refused to step down amid several staff departures and says he will run in the next mayoral election, scheduled for October 2014.

'Nothing wrong'

On Thursday, Canada's Supreme Court declined a request to hear a final appeal in the case against Mr Ford, effectively affirming an appeals court's decision that itself overturned a court ruling ordering him removed from office.

"I'm so happy this is finally over," Mr Ford said. "I've been vindicated and we can move on."

The effort by critics to have the Toronto mayor thrown out of office began when he was cited by the city's integrity commissioner for improperly using his staff in 2010 to send out solicitations for donations to a football charity he had founded.

The commissioner recommended to the city council that he repay the donations, totalling 3,150 Canadian dollars ($3,041; £1,961).

The city council took a vote on a measure rejecting the repayment order - and Mr Ford took part in that vote. He later testified he had never read the conflict-of-interest rules barring his participation and said he had done nothing wrong.

In November 2012, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland said Mr Ford's "ignorance of the law" amounted to "wilful blindness", finding him guilty of violating conflict-of-interest rules and ordering him out of office.

Mr Ford blamed the finding against him on a crusade by "left-wing" critics. He was allowed to stay on the job while he appealed.

In January he won the appeal, which Mr Ford's critics in turn appealed to Canada's high court.

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