Tory dumps deputy mayor who publicly endorsed Doug Ford
Chris Fox and Kayla Goodfield, CTV News Toronto
Published Tuesday, September 12, 2017 5:39PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:34AM EDT
Mayor John Tory has dumped Coun. Vince Crisanti as one of his four deputy mayors after the Etobicoke councillor indicated that he would campaign on behalf of Doug Ford in 2018.
On Friday night, Crisanti introduced Ford at his annual community barbecue “Ford Fest”, where he ended a year of speculation and announced his campaign for mayor. Crisanti then went one step further on Tuesday, telling the Etobicoke Guardian that “come election time, I’ll continue to do what I’ve done in the past and support Doug Ford.”
Within hours of that story being published online, Tory released a statement announcing that he would remove Crisanti as deputy mayor, appointing Ward 3 Coun. Stephen Holyday in his place.
“I thank Coun. Crisanti for his time in this position. But based on his words and actions over the past few days, he has clearly stated he does not support my administration and intends to campaign for another candidate who has an approach that I believe will take the city backwards,” Tory said.
In his statement Tory said that while he doesn’t expect to agree with his deputy mayors “on every issue or every stance,” he does expect them to be committed to his “overall vision of building a stronger, fairer Toronto.”
Speaking with CP24 over the phone following this announcement, Crisanti said he received the information from Tory over the phone, but said he was told by the mayor that a replacement had not been chosen.
Crisanti said he “almost immediately after” found out that Holyday would be replacing him as it became public knowledge.
“I was really quite annoyed in the way that he handled it,” Crisanti said. “It wasn’t very professional but certainly within the style of how Mayor Tory does things.”
“He certainly didn’t take into account performance.”
Furthermore, Crisanti said he has been supporting Tory’s administration over the past three years.
“I also made it very clear that I’m prepared to continue to support this administration,” he said. “I know what my job is, I’m clear on what my job is and I’m prepared to continue to do that until the end of the term.”
When asked about his attendance at this year’s “Ford Fest,” Crisanti said he goes every year and this year was no different.
“I’ve always been a Ford supporter,” Crisanti said. “I supported Rob Ford in 2010, I supported Rob Ford in 2014 and I know he’s watching us right now. I supported Doug Ford in 2014 and I will be supporting Doug Ford in 2018.”
Ford, meanwhile, accused Tory of using Crisanti for political reasons in a subsequent interview with CP24.
“In my opinion he was using Vince Crisanti the whole time,” he said. “I asked Vince ‘How many times did you even meet with John?’ He said, “’In two-and-a-half years he asked me once to pop by and go out with some other councilors.’ He couldn’t even get a meeting with the mayor.”
Along with this statement, Crisanti said Tory rarely contacted him during his time as mayor.
“In the three years (Tory’s been mayor) he probably exercised the right to use my phone number and call me once or twice – it doesn’t happen that often,” he said.
Ford said that it is “really unfortunate that Tory is taking this route,” especially given that Crisanti was more than willing to continue serving his administration until election day.
He said that Tory should “be prepared” to see other councillors jump ship in the coming weeks and months.
“I’ve talked to numerous councillors who are not happy with the way the city is being run,” he said.
“You can’t expect someone to stand by you when they don’t believe in you anymore.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Ford’s nephew, Coun. Michael Ford, said he was “very surprised” by Tory’s announcement.
“Councillor Crisanti has been a strong voice for the Etobicoke area ever since he was elected,” Michael Ford said. “The Mayor's decision flies in the face of his very desire to have everyone working hard to make Toronto a better place, and is a decision made purely based on politics and not on merit.”
“He's (Tory) shown us today that he will use his authority to punish those who he believes have wronged him.”
On the other hand, Holyday told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday evening that he is “honoured and privileged” that the mayor selected him to fill the role as deputy mayor.
“I believe Mayor Tory and I really do share a vision for the city,” Holyday said. “I know that Mayor Tory and I have a good working relationship and I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
“I try not to get too concerned with 2018 election politics which are a long way away. Right now I’m really focused on the work I need to do over the next year to serve my constituency and serve the people of this city.”
Ford spent one term as city councillor for Ward 2 – Etobicoke North and unsuccessfully ran against Tory in 2014 for mayor of Toronto. He entered the mayoral race after his brother had to withdraw amid his battle with cancer.
The next municipal election in Toronto is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.