TORONTO — Toronto's new mayor pledged better days are ahead and thanked an ailing Rob Ford for his public service as he took the oath of office on Tuesday.
John Tory, a straight-laced, button down moderate conservative, formally replaced Ford as mayor of Canada's largest city. Ford's term was plagued by scandals involving public drinking and crack cocaine use. He announced in September that he wouldn't seek re-election as he battles a rare form of cancer. Despite the cancer, he opted to seek the suburban City Council seat where he launched his political career and where his everyman style and conservative fiscal policies first gained a faithful following that became known as Ford Nation. He won his old seat in a landslide.
Tory said he missed Ford during the campaign and he declared a motion to thank Ford for his public service. It passed unanimously. They later shared a fist bump at the inaugural meeting of the council. Ford avoids shaking hands to avoiding exposure to germs during chemotherapy. He recently underwent a fourth round of treatment. Ford has previously said the doctors have told him he has a 50-50 chance of surviving the rare cancer in his abdomen, malignant liposarcoma.
After months of denials, Ford in 2013 acknowledged he had smoked crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupors," but he refused to resign. The City Council stripped Ford of most of his powers but lacked the authority to force him out of office because he wasn't convicted of a crime.
Ford's antics made him the target of late-night television comedians in the U.S. Last March, he appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" after months of wooing by the talk-show host, who introduced his guest by saying he "has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness."
Tory said he will restore trust and faith in the office. He vowed during the campaign to end the circus at City Hall and to get people moving with a new public transit plan.