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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Votes 'No' on Congratulating Olympians

Mayor Rob Ford laughs during a commercial break as he takes part in a live television mayoral debate in Toronto on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
Mayor Rob Ford laughs during a commercial break as he takes part in a live television mayoral debate in Toronto on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Nathan Denette / AP

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What could be controversial about the city of Toronto congratulating Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes?

Ask Rob Ford. The Toronto mayor on Wednesday cast the sole "no" vote on a City Council motion to offer the athletes kudos. Minutes earlier, he also was the only council member to vote against a proposal to name a Toronto street after the late Nelson Mandela.

Ford asked for a re-vote on both motions a half-hour later but was denied.

"We all make errors," said Ford, who claimed he was stretching a sore back and voted quickly. "I guess I pushed the wrong button. Of course I support Nelson Mandela."

The mayor also said he supports Olympic athletes.

Ford is seeking re-election this year despite a record of erratic behavior. After he acknowledged last year that he had smoked crack, the City Council voted to strip him of most of his mayoral powers.

Ford is known for often casting the lone dissenting vote, but his votes on Wednesday drew gasps in the council chamber. City councilor Adam Vaughn said Ford knew exactly what he was doing.

"Everyone when he did it said, `What are you doing, Rob?"' Vaughn said. "He shrugged his shoulders and let it go. And then a half-hour later, not immediately, a half-hour later, when Twitter and social media went off the charts, his staff came and said, `You better fix this. You look like a fool.' Because you know what? He is one."

— The Associated Press

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