Toronto's virtual city council meeting took an unexpected turn on Thursday when a councillor got behind the wheel on camera.

The nine-hour meeting to vote on the city's 2021 budget went briefly off-course in the last hour when Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher was called out for her "inappropriate" decision.

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A masked passenger in Fletcher's car briefly shows their face on camera before turning it towards her.

However, it didn't take long for others on the call to accuse her of holding the phone while driving. 

"Paula, don't you dare go on the Gardiner," one member says after Fletcher was called on to vote. 

"No texting and driving, it's illegal!" says another. Fletcher immediately puts up her hands to show that she's not holding her phone.

"I'm not holding the phone, you're looking at me!" she shouts. "Look, my hands are on the wheel, my eyes are straight ahead." 

Speaker Frances Nunziata asks Fletcher if she's driving and voting on her phone, calling it "just inappropriate."

"Okay, I can leave the meeting then, if Councillor Thompson didn't want every vote recorded I'd be fine. Bye!"

Mayor John Tory defended Fletcher, though, telling CP24 "She wasn't breaking any rules."

"She had somebody in the car that was holding the phone who was masked. She was not driving and texting or anything like that because someone else was holding the phone. And there is no rule against somebody being in a car to vote."