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Councillors condemn Mayor Ford’s vulgar language, behaviour

Coun. Janet Davis speaks in council chambers at Toronto City Hall on Nov. 14, 2013. ROGERS TV

Toronto councillors quickly condemned Mayor Rob Ford over the vulgar language he used to defend himself against allegations that he had had sex with a former staff member — reports that were revealed in a police document on Wednesday.

A visibly angry Janet Davis stood up and spoke in council chambers on Thursday morning, saying she was appalled by the p-word Ford used.

“I’ve never heard such disgraceful language in statements made in the public realm by an elected officer — ever,” she said.

She said she wouldn’t ask him to apologize during the meeting because “I do not want to hear any more from him.” But asked her colleagues to stand up and support her views, which some did.

Ford responded anyway.

“No one, but no one, is going to accuse me of having escorts and doing lines of cocaine at a bar and former staffers saying I’m making sexual advances to my other staffers. I’m not going to be put up with it,” he said.

“Enough is enough guys. If you’re offended, I’m not apologizing because put yourself in my shoes. If someone said something about your husband or your wife, Coun. Davis, OK? Enough is enough. That’s it.”

Other councillors — including Michael Thompson, Josh Matlow and Mike Del Grande — later turned their backs on the mayor at the council meeting.

Ford apologized during a news conference for his graphic remarks and said he was getting help from a team of health care professionals.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, who was behind a motion on Wednesday to get the mayor to take a leave of absence, said the mayor’s comments were unacceptable and that Ford must resign.

“This is beyond taking a leave of absence. This mayor needs to resign,” he said.

Coun. Michelle Berardinetti also said he has to go.

“I think that it’s not responsible for him to hold this office,” she said. “There’s revelation after revelation. It’s disappointing. I’m deeply disturbed and he should step away. It’s enough.”

Deputy mayor Norm Kelly, who has been trying to get Ford to take a leave, said it was just one admission after another.

“It feels sadder and sadder that the state of good government has been reduced to, I don’t know, this squalid nature of what’s being described.”

And Kelly said it’ll make it harder for the mayor to assemble enough votes on council to drive his agenda. He said Ford’s moral authority to govern is eroding and, as proof, pointed to Friday’s special meeting to consider limiting the mayor’s power on his own executive committee.