Mayor Rob Ford will remain in office for at least another month after a judge granted him a stay on his removal from office Wednesday morning.

Justice Gladys Pardu deliberated for about 40 minutes before ruling that Ford will remain in office until his appeal is heard on Jan. 7.

In explaining the reasons behind her decision, Pardu said that it was clear that Ford would suffer irreparable harm if he was thrown out of office and then had the decision overturned on appeal.

The stay was unopposed by plaintiff Paul Magder.

"If the judgment is not stayed, then a byelection must be called, or council must appoint another person to act as mayor," Pardu writes in her ruling. "If these steps are undertaken, but the appeal is allowed, and the appellant restored to his position as mayor, significant uncertainty will result, and needless expenses may be incurred if a byelection is called."

Last week, Justice Charles Hackland found that Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he voted on a matter that he had a financial interest in and ordered that he be removed from office effective Dec. 10.

In arguing for the stay Wednesday, Ford’s lawyer Alan Lenczner suggested that Hackland’s initial ruling was flawed and that Ford made an honest mistake when he voted to scrap an integrity commissioner ruling that would have forced him to repay $3,150 in donations he solicited for his private football charity using city letterhead in 2010.

“You always have to be prepared for the worst and I am just very glad I got the stay and I can’t wait for the appeal,” Ford told reporters after emerging from his city hall office following the verdict. “I’m moving forward. I’m returning calls, meeting with people and running the city just like I was elected to do.”

Councillors react to stay

News that Ford had been granted a stay spread quickly around city hall Wednesday, with several councillors choosing to weigh in on the decision within minutes of it becoming public.

“I think the judge made the right decision. Most people believe. I think. that he should have his day in court and that he should remain in his position until a decision is rendered,” Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said. “We are going through a budget process and we need to focus in on that. Now that the decision is made on the stay hopefully we can move forward with some measure of stability until the appeal is heard.”

"It's lots of fun to speculate and calculate different outcomes but until we get a decision by the courts I think it is wise for all of us on council to stick to our business," Coun. Adam Vaughan added. "We need parks built, we need housing fixed, we need transportation solutions and we are not going to find those things speculating about court decisions."

Ford has previously indicated that he will look to run in a byelection if he loses his appeal, however the ultimate decision on whether to hold a byelection or appoint a caretaker mayor will be up to city council.

A byelection would cost the city an estimated $7 million.

“There isn’t a price that you can put on democracy and we believe that people elect leaders,” Ford’s councillor brother Doug told reporters at city hall.

With files from The Canadian Press

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