It's widely expected that Mr. Ford will win a temporary suspension of the decision, not least because the citizen who brought the original case against him is not opposing his request for a stay.
As we settle in to hear Ford's stay motion, sentiment in the gallery is a mix of awe at gorgeous courtroom and grumbling at crappy wi-fi.
I'm in courtroom 4 of historic Osgoode Hall to hear Rob Ford's application for a stay of his ouster. Betting is he'll get it, but who knows?
No sign of Ford. His press secretary said yesterday the mayor didn't plan to attend but that could change.
Above the dais in courtroon 4, a bas relief of Our Lady of Justice shows her with sword pointing down to signal "guilty." Bad news for Ford?
But in another courtroom, her sword points up to signal not guilty -- just to be fair and all.
Meantime, Ford's lawyer, Alan Lenczner is here. Clayton Ruby was too (he's out of the room at the moment.) But Ruby won't be opposing stay.
Proceedings begin with a pitch for a stay by Alan Lenczner, Ford's lawyer. #fordstay
Madam Justice Gladys Pardu has just arrived and Ford's stay hearing is underway. #fordstay
Lenczner says he should have all his material for the appeal ready and filed by Dec. 12. #fordstay
Lenczner is walking the judge through some case law and the 3-prong test to grant a stay. #fordstay
Lenczner argues that denying a stay would thwart "the democratic will" expressed when Ford was elected.
Lenczner points out that Ruby has filed a factum saying he doesn't contest stay; even Ruby thinks it's in the public interest to grant stay.
Lenczner now going into his grounds for appeal. First is that city council overstepped when it ordered Ford to pay back improper donations.
Now Lenczner is talking about his legal issues with the decision. These are hints of what he'll be arguing at appeal, which begins Jan. 7.
First up, the ultra vires issue. Lenczner argued at the hearing that council did not have the power to penalize Ford the way it did.
Judge Hackland didn't buy that argument.
The second branch of Lenczner's argument: Hackland should not have conflated the City of Toronto Act and Municipal Conflict-of-Interest Act.
Lenczner calls that the "most bizarre sense of conflict of interest I've ever heard."
Lenczner now arguing that the amount of money at stake in the Ford matter was "insignificant" -- another ground for appeal. #fordstay
Now Lenczner is running through the "saving provisions" in the law. First, the question of whether the amount involved ($3,150) was ...
Mayor Ford would have made the same speech at council whether $5 or $500 were at stake, says Lenczner. It was the principal he cared about.
A little background: Mr. Justice Charles Hackland concluded Mr. Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act on Nov. 26.
...Too insignificant or remote to influence the member. Ford made a big deal out of the money, so Hackland rejected that argument.
But Lenczner argues Ford would have made same speech if it was $5. "For him, it was a matter of principle."
Lenczner is now arguing Ford made a genuine error in judgment.
Lenczner also says the judge should have fallen back on another saving provision, that Ford made an honest error of judgment. #fordstay
Lenczner wraps up. Ruby stands now.
Clayton Ruby just briefly stated that he agrees with a stay.
Ruby says it would be in the public interest to grant stay.
Judge is taking a 30-minute break and will be back with her decision then. #fordstay
Court has recessed for half an hour while the judge writes out her decision.
Judge in the Ford case is reading her judgment. Says it is clear Ford would suffer irreparable harm if he were removed then won on appeal.
Judge notes that original judge found no issue of corruption.
Rob Ford will remain mayor of Toronto until at least early next year, a judge has ruled. She granted him a stay of lower court decision.
Judge says the order ousting Ford "shall be stayed." That's it, then.
That's that, for now -- Ford stays in office until his appeal is heard.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is reacting to the judge's ruling:
"I think the judge made the right decision. Most people believe that he should have his day in court."
Cllr Minnan-Wong says judge made right decision in letting mayor stay in office while appeal heard. "The city carries on," he says.
Rob Ford briefly addressed reporters outside his office. Here is part of what he said:
"Just got to work every day and run the city and respect for taxpayers. That's what people elected me to do. ... You've got to always, always be prepared for the worst and I'm just very glad I got the stay today and I can't wait for the appeal."
Mayor Ford: "We've got a lot of wk to do + I'm going to continue doing it to the best of by ability. I can't wait for Jan 7" (appeal date).
Councillor Karen Stintz said the ruling "brings a period of calm" while Ford's appeal is heard.
"We do need to bring this political instability to an end," she told reporters.
Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor's brother, is also addressing reporters.
"You never feel relieved when you're in this situation -- stress is an understatement. But we're going to move forward for the people of Toronto," he said.