Posts Tagged ‘city hall

Rob Ford says goodbye to Jim Flaherty

- April 10th, 2014

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Mayor Rob Ford paid tribute to Jim Flaherty at City Hall Thursday shortly after news of the former finance minister’s death broke.

Here is Ford’s complete speech:

“It is with profound regret that I’m speaking to the people today. In this time of great sadness, I wish to offer my deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Christine and to his sons Galen, John and Quinn. 

Jim will be remembered as a relentless fighter and a champion for the people.

He will deeply be missed by everyone who had the good fortune of knowing him. 

Jim served in the provincial legislature with my late father, Doug Ford Sr., and was a close friend of the family for many, many years. 

I can never thank him enough for his friendship and his loyalty through the years.

He was an honourable man, husband, father and politician who dedicated his life to his family and to the Canadian public service. 

As the finance minister Jim had a stabilizing influence on the Canadian position in the international financial community.

He kept the country on track in the most difficult of financial times. Canada would not be where it is today without the efforts of Jim Flaherty. 

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I say goodbye to a very special friend. 

We love you, Jim. We’ll miss you.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly hires Mayor Rob Ford’s old spokesman

- January 24th, 2014

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Isaac Ransom is back in the City Hall fish bowl but now he’s working for Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

Ransom worked in communications for Mayor Rob Ford until the crack scandal broke last year. He resigned on May 27 with press secretary George Christopoulos.

When police documents came out featuring details provided by Ransom, Ford publicly promised to sue him, Christopoulos and former chief of staff Mark Towhey. He has never followed through on that lawsuit.

Ransom will be working as Kelly’s Director of Communications and Media Relations. He starts on Jan. 29.

“I am pleased to welcome Isaac to my office and my team,” Kelly said in a statement sent out late Friday. “Isaac brings a wealth of knowledge in communication practices and media experience from his time at City Hall.”

It should be interesting to see how Ransom interacts with the Fords here at City Hall.

Here’s an e-mail he sent about Councillor Doug Ford during his tenure in the mayor’s office that came out this week due to a freedom of information request:

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Here’s Ransom’s letter to the City Hall press gallery today: 

 

January 24, 2014

Dear Members of the Toronto Press Gallery:

 

It is with reservation and some sadness that I have made the difficult decision to leave the Office of Councillor Peter Leon.  I have made this decision with a heavy heart and I will always cherish my time in his office.  However, there is comfort knowing that my support and advice will still be readily available to Councillor Leon through my new role as Director of Communications and Media Relations to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

 

Over the past three months, Councillor Leon has had great faith in my abilities to help set up a new office and lead his staff.  I would like to thank Councillor Leon for his confidence and the opportunity to serve his office.

 

Councillor Leon has and continues to thoroughly impress with his commitment to public service and the people of Ward 3.  Councillor Leon’s tireless work ethic and willingness to transcend party lines to make good decisions for all Torontonians is truly refreshing at City Hall.

 

As of January 29, 2014, I will begin my new role in a full time capacity.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve the Office of the Deputy Mayor.  Mr. Brian Johnson, will assume the role of Executive Assistant to Councillor Peter Leon upon my departure.

 

In the coming weeks and months I look forward to working with each of you.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Isaac Ransom

Quote of the day – Mayor Rob Ford lets the cat out of the bag

- November 14th, 2013

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“Oh and the last thing was, Olivia Gondek it says that I wanted to eat her p—–, I’ve never said that in my life to her – I would never do that. I’m happily married, I’ve got more than enough to eat at home.”

- Mayor Rob Ford on Thursday as he arrived at Toronto City Hall

Denzil Minnan-Wong objects to $75K for “the bums of councillors”

- September 27th, 2013

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“It’s an extravagance, it’s an indulgence that taxpayers can’t afford. It is really hard to tell someone who is in one of our housing projects and their stove isn’t working and they can’t cook their meal yet we spent $2,500 buying a brand new chair for the bums of councillors to sit in.” 

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong objecting to the city spending around $75,000 to buy 30 new chairs (original Sun story on the chairs here).

A prayer by Doug Ford

- September 25th, 2013

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“God help us if the lefties are ever in charge again at City Hall. We’d go backwards – back to high taxes, back to streetcars, back to the government telling us how to live our lives. It’d be disaster.”

- Councillor Doug Ford in an interview with the Toronto Sun on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2013.

Mayor Rob Ford: The Mayor Who Votes No

- September 18th, 2013

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Barring a catastrophe, Mayor Rob Ford will be on the 2014 campaign trail next year.

(He’s never really stopped campaigning since the day he was elected but officially, he can campaign starting this January.)

But as Toronto waits for the 2014 campaign, Ford has planted the seeds for a blockbuster campaign stump speech in the last few weeks.

The city has been conducting service level reviews of all its departments and  the reports on those reviews have been coming to committees this month. Left-leaning councillors frustrated with a budget process where service levels are set based on the available cash rather than the service councillors think they should be providing residents have been trying to win the service level debate at the committee level. If they win at committee their motions go on to council to force a debate over service levels ahead of the 2014 budget. Losing this debate at council could lead to the tax hike for 2014 being higher than the 1.75% Ford has publicly promised because the city would have to raise more revenue to meet the higher service levels council has imposed.

At two committee meetings so far, the vote has been so close the mayor – a member of all council committees – has shown up to break the tie.  A mayor using his vote at committee is a rare thing so Ford does make a big splash each time he shows up and votes. After the meetings Ford has argued he’s stopping the left from running wild with spending – compared to other boasts he’s made lately, this is fairly accurate.

If he’s smart, he’ll show up at the community development and recreation committee today where he’ll likely lose a vote but be able to illustrate he’s lining up against the left and fighting the good fight.

Which brings us to the 2014 election.

Most expect next year’s race will include at least two key players – Ford and Olivia Chow. The arch-conservative versus the arch-NDPer.

So imagine Ford’s on the campaign trail talking to seniors in a church basement or a crowd at Ford Fest 2014 or out at a barbecue in Scarborough. How does he win the votes of those sitting on the fence?

He tells this story:

Councillors on the left down at City Hall want to spend first and figure out how to pay for it later. We had a fight last year over service levels where they wanted to jack them up and by doing that, likely jack up your taxes. I wanted to ensure our budget committee could pay for services before we went about setting their levels to keep your taxes low. I was so committed to this, I walked into committee meetings and invoked my privilege as mayor to vote on these committees. I said no to spending, I cast my mayoral vote against spending to ensure you don’t get taxed to death. Now I ask you, who do you want in the mayor’s office? Do you want someone who will use their vote to stop spending or do you want someone who will use their vote to increase spending? I’ll tell you right now, folks, Olivia Chow will vote to spend. It’ll be spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax. Rob Ford will vote no, folks. Rob Ford has voted no and will keep doing everything to ensure you don’t pay more taxes than you need to. 

And most Toronto residents who vote and who worry about paying the bills will hear that speech and will likely vote ‘yes’ to the mayor who votes no.

Mayor Rob Ford’s subway victory speech

- September 5th, 2013

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Mayor Rob Ford in Bridlewood Park on Wednesday night (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)

Hours after Transportation Minister Glen Murray announced a plan for a shorter Scarborough subway funded entirely by the provincial government, Mayor Rob Ford was at Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly’s community barbecue in Bridlewood Park. Ford took the opportunity at the barbecue to claim victory on subways and deliver a campaign-style speech to the crowd. Here’s what Ford said:

Thank you so much Mr. Deputy Mayor. You should be very proud to have a deputy mayor from Scarborough, folks.

As you know Doug Holyday got elected so the choice was mine, I looked at all 44 councillors at who would best represent the views of not just their area but all of Toronto. It was a no-brainer, folks, it was a no-brainer. Norm Kelly was head and shoulders above the rest. I appointed Norm Kelly as deputy mayor, second in command to running this city so congratulations Mr. Deputy Mayor. It is an honour to have you serving as deputy mayor and he’s no nonsense, he’s on to me constantly, non-stop of which I need and I appreciate that.

But even better news, better news today, folks, we’re getting subways in Scarborough!

And when everyone else was talking LRTs, LRTs, LRTs there was one person that said he’s not moving away from his vision of subways and that’s Rob Ford. 

I said to the chair of the TTC Karen Stintz “I want LRTs, LRTs, LRTs” – I said, “No Karen, you’re not getting LRTs, we’re getting subways.” 

I told the premier, Kathleen Wynne, she says “I want LRTs.” I said, “You’re not getting LRTs. We want subways in Scarborough.” We won that victory.

I told Metrolinx, we don’t want LRTs in Scarborough, we want subways, subways, subways. 

Promise made, promise kept. Thank you so much for the support out in Scarborough. 

I can’t wait until the next election. The election is Oct. 27 of next year. I really need your support, I know we can win it and we’re going to go another four years. 

So again folks, thank you so much for your support. I want to thank the new deputy mayor for being here, I want to thank you for inviting me.

Subways, subways, subways! Scarborough, Scarborough, Scarborooooough! 

All the best, God bless everybody, I’ll see you around, take care. 

 

 

Welcome back, Milczyn

- August 3rd, 2013

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Councillor Peter Milczyn lost his bid Thursday night to be the next MPP for the Liberals in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday beat Milczyn in the byelection so he’ll be heading to Queen’s Park for the Progressive Conservatives while Milczyn will be coming back to City Hall.

On Friday morning, Councillor John Parker (a former PC MPP) had a little fun by posting this note on Milczyn’s City Hall office door.

“Welcome back, Peter,” Parker wrote on the signed note. “All is forgiven.”

And that’s City Hall getting back to normal – or as close as it ever gets.

 

Mayor Rob Ford swings at the provincial Liberals

- August 1st, 2013

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As voters go to the polls in Scarborough-Guildwood and Etobicoke-Lakeshore Thursday (along with three other ridings across the province) here’s a rundown of some of the shots Mayor Rob Ford fired at the governing Liberals during the summer byelection campaign:

 

 ”If you don’t want to vote Conservative, vote NDP. We cannot reward these Liberals with this corrupt behaviour, enough is enough. Hopefully (Thursday) we’ll send a message one way or another.” 

- Rob Ford on Wednesday in Etobicoke

 

“They deserve to lose and the people have seen this.” 

- Rob Ford on Wednesday in Etobicoke

 

“If you say you want to go and vote Liberal, you’re basically just giving a bank robber another gun and saying go rob another bank.”

- Rob Ford on Tuesday in Scarborough at PC candidate Ken Kirupa’s campaign HQ

 

“It’s unbelievable how desperate these Liberals are getting, saying they are subway champions. I’ll tell you one thing, Rob Ford and Doug Ford, my brother, obviously we’re the subway champions. Tim Hudak, Ken Kirupa are the subway champions.”

- Rob Ford on Tuesday  in Scarborough at PC candidate Ken Kirupa’s campaign HQ

 

“They are at the table and discussions are ongoing – we are moving in the right direction. I look forward to meeting with the federal and provincial ministers to discuss how to move forward together, and get this subway built. I am fully confident that we can bring all three levels of government together, to deliver this vital project to the residents of Scarborough.” 

- Rob Ford statement on July 18 after the Liberals announced $1.4 billion for the Scarborough subway (OK, this isn’t really a “shot” at the Liberals but it’s an interesting contrast to his verbal statements)

 

“I don’t support a government that just blows millions of billions of dollars. That’s it.”

- Rob Ford at Doug Holyday’s campaign HQ opening on July 8, 2013

 

“I know (Holyday) will go up there and keep them honest. That’s not an honest government we have at Queen’s Park.”

- Rob Ford at Doug Holyday’s campaign HQ opening on July 8, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford feels Calgary’s flood pain

- July 9th, 2013

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he has a greater appreciation for Calgary’s flood woes after Monday’s storm and flash flooding.

“You see it on the news but until you live it, it is a completely different story,” Ford said Tuesday at City Hall. “At some points it was really scary out there.

“I saw a few people panicking underneath the Martin Grove bridge in Rexdale.”

Toronto was slammed with slow-moving thunderstorms Monday night that dumped around 126 mm on the city and leading to flooding on city streets and in the city’s subway system. Around 300,000 were without power at the height of the storm.

As the storm raged, many Toronto residents took to Twitter and called for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi – fresh from dealing with flooding in Cowtown – to come and help.

Ford said he’s glad Hogtown got through the storm and the flooding.

“Hopefully we learn from it,” he said. “We have to learn from it.

“I think we did a satisfactory job but I’m still not happy.