John Tory takes the stage

- December 13th, 2014

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Mayor John Tory will be joining the ballet briefly on Saturday.

Tory will be on stage Saturday making a cameo in The National Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker. The new mayor will be continuing what’s become a bit of a tradition of mayor’s appearing as one of the cannon dolls in the annual performance. Rob Ford did it back in 2011 when he was mayor and David Miller did it in 2007.

The mayor’s office announced Friday that Tory’s wife, Barbara Hackett, will be joining him as the other cannon doll.

What’s a cannon doll? According to the National Ballet, “the Cannon Doll guest roles are colourfully costumed as Russian Petrouchka dolls in Act I who shoot a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene.”

Asked on Friday if he was ready for his ballet debut, Tory laughed.

“How are you ever ready to go into show business like that?” Tory told the Sun. ”Remember I said I wasn’t in show business? Well, I’m making a four-minute exception.

“I’m a little nervous about it but anything for the ballet.”

What’s John Tory thinking when it comes to his executive?

- November 30th, 2014

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What’s John Tory’s general philosophy behind his executive committee appointments?

Late last week Tory wouldn’t reveal who he would be picking to take up key roles on city council but he did speak generally about what is guiding his decisions.

“I’ve been trying to make a genuine effort to make sure it is more representative taken as a whole of the city and of the council than might have been the case in the past,” Tory told the Toronto Sun last week. “I know from my past experience at even helping premiers and prime ministers and mayors with these appointments, it is very difficult because you want to put the right person in the right place in terms of producing good government, but at the same time you have all these other things you’re trying to achieve about the representative nature of the bodies you’re putting place.

“We’ve done our best to achieve something that I hope people will see as being a little more kind of reaching out to say, ‘OK, we understand this body is meant to serve the interests of the whole city.’”

Tory went on to say people should “take the leadership team as a whole when it is presented.

“I think when you send people to the police services board or the TTC, that’s an important signal too,” he said. “It isn’t just about the executive committee, those other places are very important – look at the size of the budget, look at what they oversee, it is very important.”

Are the Fords about to prank John Tory? 100% guaranteed

- November 3rd, 2014

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Rob Ford holds up gravy packets left in the mayor’s office by outgoing mayor David Miller’s administration when he moved into the office in December 2010.

Mayor-elect John Tory might have some surprises waiting for him in the mayor’s office when he takes over on Dec. 1.

Doug Ford – Mayor Rob Ford’s brother – said they are still working on some “fun” pranks for Tory’s team.

“I told John, David Miller left us a whole bunch of gravy packs so we were thinking a few other things just as a friendly joke,” Ford said on Monday.

“Just as fun. I don’t know, I haven’t talked to Rob. We might do something fun.

“I was thinking of leaving LRTs all over the place.”

Back in 2010, Mayor Ford wasn’t impressed by the gravy packets left behind after he waged his winning election campaign on stopping the “gravy train” at City Hall.

“I should mail them back to him,” Rob Ford told the Sun at the time. “He may be in (gravy) withdrawal and need some.” 

Packages of gravy weren’t the only thing left behind for Ford’s then incoming administration.

Along with what was described as a “cordial note,” Miller also left behind a copy of the MFP Inquiry final report.

At the time, Mayor Miller’s spokesman said the mayor found it as a useful how-to guide for running a clean and transparent government.

Doug Ford on the first debate of his mayoral campaign

- October 20th, 2014

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Doug Ford says he just guessed John Tory wouldn’t be able to answer basic questions about City Hall before throwing them at him during their first debate together last month.

The mayoral candidate revealed to the Toronto Sun that one of the key moments in his first face-off with Tory and Olivia Chow was totally unplanned.

Ford said he just went with his gut feeling that Tory – who has never been a member of council – isn’t familiar with City Hall and wouldn’t be able to answer simple questions about council committees.

“He doesn’t know anything down there, he doesn’t have a clue,” Ford told the Toronto Sun during an editorial board meeting earlier this month.

“Imagine this, applying for a job in a $12 billion a year corporation (and saying) don’t worry I’ll learn when I get down there guys.

“I know the guy doesn’t know, he’s never showed up down at City Hall. Outside of buddy-buddy with me, he’s never shown up once. He doesn’t understand the committees, he doesn’t understand the system, he doesn’t understand the people. He doesn’t understand, he doesn’t know.”

During the raucous debate last month at York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Ford landed the stunning blow to Tory when he asked him what city council committee handles purchasing. When Tory couldn’t answer the question, Ford followed up by asking how many standing committees council has. The mayoral frontrunner then guessed the wrong answer and Ford went on to joke he could phone a friend.

“You can call the mayor and ask him how many,” Ford said at the time.

Tory shrugged off the dust-up in the immediate aftermath of the debate and argued the information would be easy to find out when he’s at City Hall.

Ford went on to claim victory in that debate based on that moment and held a press conference inviting Tory to come to City Hall to learn about the job. He dubbed the day, “Take John Tory to Work Day.”

Asked about the attack weeks later, Ford said it wasn’t prepared ahead of the debate.

“Even my team was saying, ‘yeah, that was a good one,’” Ford said. “It was just common sense. John, do you know or don’t you know? He looked like a deer in the headlights.”

But Ford said he’s decided to pull back on questioning Tory about City Hall.

“I could ask him 40 more things but I decided on the debates, I’ll pull back because I’d make the guy look like a complete idiot and incompetent if I continued asking him questions,” he said.​

When was the last time the mayoral candidates gave to a panhandler?

- October 15th, 2014

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When was the last time the mayoral candidates gave to a panhandler?

That was one of the questions that came up during Wednesday’s Newstalk 1010 debate.

Olivia Chow says she gave money to a panhandler “probably a few months ago.”

John Tory said two days ago.

“I walk by the same person everyday and I can’t walk by every single day without doing something,” Tory said.

Doug Ford started with a joke at Tory’s expense.

“John throws hundreds, I throw pennies – that’s the difference,” Ford said.

Tory piped up.

“You want to go there Doug with the $20 bill or not?” Tory asked. “Do you want to go there?”

That was a subtle reference to the time Ford was handing out $20 bills to Toronto Community Housing residents around Christmas (story here).

As Tory fumed, Ford told a story about donating to a female panhandler outside Tim Hortons.

“I took a liking to her,” Ford said. “But usually I don’t (give to panhandlers).”

The candidates then got into a discussion about whether a homeless person should have the right to camp outside a business or on the streets of the city.

“Absolutely not,” Ford said.

Tory said “of course the answer is no” but pointed out the question should be, “where would you take them?”

“When Doug says move them along, where to?” he asked. “This is where we’ve let the city down and ourselves down by not making the investment with the province and perhaps even the federal government in having adequate facilities.”

Chow went on to stress she is the only candidate that has a plan to build 15,000 new units of affordable housing.

“You cannot talk about homelessness without actually finding the solution,” she said.

John Tory & Olivia Chow won’t rule out working together after Election Day

- October 14th, 2014

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Would John Tory work for Mayor Olivia Chow or would Chow work for Mayor Tory?

During Tuesday’s Canadian Club debate, Tory and Chow wouldn’t rule out the idea.

Both candidates were asked if they’d accept a position in the winner’s City Hall if they were not elected.

“I would be delighted if I’m the winner and Olivia Chow is not to find a way to involve her in the continuing administration of this city,” Tory said. “I believe she cares deeply about the city as I do and so the answer to both ends of that question is yes.”

Chow said she felt “likewise.

“But I plan to win,” she said.

“So do I,” Tory added.

Doug Ford didn’t take part in the noon-hour debate so it wasn’t clear if either candidate would be willing to keep Mayor Rob Ford’s brother around City Hall after Oct. 27 if he doesn’t win the election.

Candidates come out cheering for Doug Ford in Scarborough

- October 11th, 2014

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Doug Ford at Splendid China Tower Mall on Saturday with council candidates Anthony Internicola (Ward 40), John Kladitis (Ward 41), Somu Mondal (Ward 42) and Patricia Sinclair (Ward 39). 

Four Ford-friendly council candidates joined mayoral candidate Doug Ford at the Splendid China Tower Mall on Saturday.

Ward 39 candidate Patricia Sinclair, Ward 40 candidate Anthony Internicola, Ward 41 candidate John Kladitis and Ward 42 candidate Somu Mondal were all called up on the stage in the mall during Ford’s appearance.

Although Ward 39 is an open council seat, the other wards are all held by incumbent councillors – Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is in Ward 40, Councillor Chin Lee is fighting for re-election in Ward 41 and Councillor Raymond Cho is running again in Ward 42.

Ford has talked about running Ford Nation-friendly councillors in the past when his brother, Mayor Rob Ford was running for mayor (story here).

On Saturday, Ford’s speech focused on his own election fight and he didn’t specifically endorse any of the candidates on stage.

After the council candidates appeared, Ford denied he’s running a slate or endorsing any council candidates.

“I appreciate their support,” Ford told the Toronto Sun. “I would have a conflict if I endorsed anyone … but I do appreciate their thoughts and likemindedness. I want to wish them all the best.”

Doug Ford not happy with chicken front page

- October 6th, 2014

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Doug Ford wasn’t chicken Monday about telling the Toronto Sun how he feels.

During a meeting with the Toronto Sun’s editorial board, Ford grumbled about the Sun front page from last month that put his head on the body of a chicken.

The front page came the day after mayoral candidate John Tory called Ford a “chicken” for refusing to take part in the Empire Club debate (story here).

“I was so disappointed. I thought it was such a cheap shot … making me into a chicken,” Ford said on Monday. “I’m thinking these guys have hit an all-time low.”

Although he said he doesn’t believe in newspaper endorsements, the Etobicoke North (Ward 2) councillor went on to make his pitch on why the Sun should endorse him in the election.

“But if you guys really stick with your roots and not because you’ve known John or he’s a good guy, he doesn’t have an issue, he’s Kumbaya,” Ford said.

“If you really believe in your roots, I’m the person that should be endorsed by the Toronto Sun. We did what we said we were going to do.”

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“Stay tuned”: Doug Ford on John Tory’s resume

- October 1st, 2014

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Doug Ford kept hinting at a looming attack on John Tory’s resume.

Ford has been saying for two days now that something is missing from Tory’s resume but he stopped short of revealing what he thinks is missing.

“Just stay tuned, you’ll see what’s missing,” Ford told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.

“I’m surprised. If it was on my resume, certain things. You guys know everything including my shoe size. Size 11 by the way.

“Again, it is not getting personal about John himself, it let’s scrutinize his resume. Let’s find out who really John Tory is and I think the people will have a clear choice on Oct. 27.”

Tory shrugged off Ford’s questions about his resume on Wednesday.

“I haven’t the slightest idea what Mr. Ford is talking about,” Tory said. “I would put my resume up against his any day of the week. I think it starts with showing up to work at the jobs that I’ve had.

“When he was here, he was a divisive force,” he added.

John Tory slams Olivia Chow’s time on cop board

- September 27th, 2014

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John Tory came out hammering Olivia Chow at Friday’s Empire Club debate over her record serving on the Toronto Police Services Board. 

Chow was stressing she has experience serving on the police board when she was a city councillor and repeated her pledge to sit on the board as mayor to try to control the police budget.

Tory said he’s “not sure” if he’ll sit on the police board and then reminded the crowd that Chow had to resign from the cop board.

Chow swung back at Tory saying she “had the guts to stand up to police.”

“You tried to tell the police what to do at a riot going on at Queen’s Park!” Tory shouted back at Chow. “You know those are the facts, it is on the record.

“It was a disgrace. You had to resign. They were throwing bottles at Queen’s Park and throwing sticks and stones at people.”