Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Sun: Matlow: Mayor’s use of office to recruit candidates ‘illegal’

March 27, 2012


Rookie Councillor Josh Matlow is throwing a flag on Mayor Rob Ford’s play to recruit a slate of 2014 election candidates through his taxpayer-funded office.


Ford took to the radio airwaves Sunday for his weekly NEWSTALK 1010 show and invited those interested in joining a pro-Ford slate to run against his council opponents to call the mayor’s office directly at 416-397-FORD.


Matlow took to Twitter Monday night to blast Ford’s invite, calling it “illegal,” under council’s code of conduct.


“Rob Ford is illegally using the mayor’s office to draft candidates to run against Tory, Liberal, NDP and independent councillors he dislikes,” Matlow wrote.


“I also submit Mr. Ford’s use of the mayor’s office for election-related purposes does not comply with Toronto City Council’s code of conduct.”


In an interview with the Sun, Matlow said he is meeting with Toronto integrity commissioner Janet Leiper on Tuesday to discuss Ford’s“unacceptable” actions.


“It’s important the mayor is reminded over the remaining time we have in this term that our job is to govern,” he said late Monday.


Matlow maintained Ford may view council as a “football game” but that doesn’t excuse him from “using city resources, including the mayor’s office, to electioneer.”


Ford – who replaced Matlow as a NEWSTALK 1010 host earlier this year – said on-air Sunday “we really need people to step up and run for council” and encouraged people to call his office number.


“(Councillor Doug Ford) and I, and the 19 councillors that want to change this city are doing everything we can,” he said. “But you know what, we need to run a slate next time, we have to get rid of these other 24 councillors.”


The 24 councillors were those who voted against Ford’s Sheppard subway plan last week and in favour of the Sheppard LRT.


Officials in the mayor’s office couldn’t be reached for comment Monday night.


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