Following the late-night approval of his 2023 budget, Toronto’s soon-to-be-former Mayor John Tory has bucked any rumours that he might actually stay in office despite a sex scandal that, late last week, prompted him to announce he would (eventually) resign.
“Mayor John Tory has submitted his formal letter of resignation to the City Clerk,” reads a press release issued by the City of Toronto just after 11 pm on Wednesday night.
“In accordance with s. 205(1) of the City of Toronto Act, he is resigning from the office of Mayor for the City of Toronto effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2023.”
Tory will attend City Hall on Thursday and Friday for a series of meetings with Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and city staff to “ensure an orderly transition,” according to the release, before stepping down at the end of the week.
John Tory’s resignation letter has been handed to journalists at city hall. He is resigning as of Friday, 5 pm. pic.twitter.com/7hp4J8juhM
— Thomas Daigle (@thomasdaigle) February 16, 2023
“I want to thank the people of Toronto for trusting me as Mayor since 2014,” reads a copy of Tory’s formal resignation letter, filed just after the 68-year-old politician managed to push through an amended version of a budget containing Toronto’s highest property tax hike in decades.
“I continue to be deeply sorry and apologize unreservedly to the people of Toronto and to all those hurt by my actions without exception.”
Tory, who was re-elected for his third term just four months ago, was outed by the Toronto Star last Friday for having had an affair with a 31-year-old former staffer.
The mayor pledged to resign almost immediately but later clarified that he would remain in office until his budget was finalized — though some in the city had been speculating this week that he may not ever resign after all.
The ever-resigning mayor.https://t.co/cTCoHtqIBE
— Al Hunter (@rastalam) February 14, 2023
“This has been the job of a lifetime, and while I have let many people, including myself, down in this instance, I have nonetheless been deeply honoured by the opportunity to serve the people of this wonderful city for more than eight years and I hope I achieved some good for the city I truly love,” reads his resignation letter as filed with City Clerk John D. Elvidge last night.
“I will continue to be a contributing citizen hopefully in a number of different ways. That is because I love the people of Toronto and I will never stop believing in Toronto and all of the residents who make it up.”
As for what happens next, city staff say that they will work with the office of the deputy mayor to “continue the uninterrupted delivery of City programs and services” until the role of mayor is filled following a by-election (a date for which has yet to be set but is expected to happen in or around June.)
Deputy Mayor McKelvie will not assume the “strong mayor” powers recently granted to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa by the provincial government, though Premier Doug Ford himself did state on Wednesday that the powers would be extended to whoever is eventually elected to replace Tory.