Frances Nunziata, our councillor and the Speaker of Toronto City Council, rebuked Mayor Ford today. She joined an overwhelming majority of city councillors who asked the mayor to take a leave, apologize to the city, and cooperate with police. Frances Nunziata has been one of Ford’s most steadfast friends and loyal supporters.
Nunziata also had a tough day as Speaker. She drew the fire of Robyn Doolittle, the reporter who broke the crack story, who said, “Councillor Frances Nunziata is widely disliked in the role of speaker. Councillors believe she lets the Fords off and is partisan.”
She was also criticized by twitterers and redditors for not quieting down the Fords quickly enough on a number of occasions. At one point sure to make the evening news, Doug Ford repeatedly demanded of Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong—the instigator of motions against Ford—whether he had ever smoked pot, as if that were equal to Ford’s crimes.
Doug Ford’s shouting about pot went on and on while people yelled “Frances! Frances!” presumably begging her to use her powers as speaker shut him up. Yet whether she did him a favour or disservice by allowing him to continue is debatable.
Ford twice moved quickly—and, if you ask me, a indecorously, if not aggressively, toward Minnan–Wong, and at one point blocked his way. Nunziata tried, unsuccessfully, to get Ford to apologize. He refused at length. When he said in protest and only to Nunziata, “Madam Speaker, I’m sorry…”, she cut off his microphone and said, “Thank you, Mayor Ford…. That’s all I wanted you to say.” Even he laughed a little at having the rug pulled out from under him.