The recent imbroglio surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his imminent removal from office is but one of a handful of scandals involving mayors of a handful of Canada’s largest cities. From Montreal to Winnipeg, mayors are coming under fire for a range of misdeeds, of varying degrees of criminality. What does it mean for Canada’s cities? Diminished productivity, ineffectual city councils and a lot of wasted time and money as the accusations make their way through courts and inquiries. A shortlist of mayoral messes present and past:
1. Gérald Tremblay, Montreal. Recently resigned after a corruption inquiry revealed the mayor was aware of corruption in the city but did little to quash it.
2. Gilles Vaillancourt, Laval. After serving as mayor of Quebec’s third largest city for 23 years, Vaillancourt was also brought down by allegations of corruption. He denies wrongdoing, but police continue to search his home, office and condo.
3. Rob Ford, Toronto. Forced to vacate his position after breaching the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. He will, however, be allowed to run in Toronto’s next mayoral election.
4. Sam Katz, Winnipeg. A judge will soon determine whether Katz broke a similar law to Ford, by violating Manitoba’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spent public monies on a Christmas party at a restaurant venue he once owned.
5. Joe Fontana, London. Accused of using public funds to pay for personal expenses while in office, but is refusing to vacate his position, even as the RCMP investigates.
6. Hazel McCallion, Mississauga. The long-serving mayor was found guilty of a conflict interest, but wasn’t removed from office because the court found she’d made an error in judgment.
7. Linda Jackson, Vaughan. Though she was eventually cleared of charges of election financing improprieties, she lost the subsequent mayoral election by a landslide.
8. Larry Di Ianni, Hamilton. Pled guilty to violating the Provincial Offences Act for accepting inappropriate campaign donations. Lost the subsequent mayoral race.