Toronto Sun photographer Craig Robertson got this shot of Mayor Rob Ford and his brother city councillor, Doug Ford, getting a visit from one of the Toronto Zoo’s marmots during the Mayor’s radio talk show on Sunday May 12, 2013. Robertson reports the Ford brothers didn’t want to get too close to the agitated animal.
Posts Tagged ‘doug ford’
The Fords will know when to fold ‘em when it comes to a Toronto casino.
Councillor Doug Ford made it clear Thursday if city council rejects a downtown casino in the next few weeks, Mayor Rob Ford’s administration will walk away from the issue.
“We’re going to try (to win the vote),” Ford said, looking ahead at what appears to be an uphill battle for the pro-casino forces at council.
But Ford stressed if council rejects pushing ahead on a downtown casino the mayor won’t campaign in 2014 on reopening the issue.
“Once it is done, it is done,” Ford said. “We move on, continue running the city and just move on.
“If the councillors don’t want it, very simple, we aren’t going to do it.”
Regardless of what side you are on in the casino debate, Ford’s comments make the stakes of the looming council vote that much higher.
Toronto councillors approved the 2013 budget this week and continued to buzz about what to do if Mayor Rob Ford gets tossed out of office.
Here’s a rundown of five things we learned at City Hall this week:
1) Mayor Rob Ford will vote for a tax freeze no matter what
It was practically a no-win situation for Ford. His vote for the freeze goes against the proposed budget he’s been haranguing councillors to support without any changes but he’s a tax fighter so likely didn’t want to be on the record voting against a possible tax freeze.
The tax-averse Ford told his allies he voted for the tax freeze because he was confident if it passed, they could go back into the budget and find the savings to make it work.
Ex-Budget Chief Mike Del Grande was baffled by Ford’s tax freeze vote.
“I don’t think he understood what that vote meant,” Del Grande told the Sun Thursday. “I can’t explain it. It is one of those unsolved mysteries of the universe.”
Del Grande said that vote signaled a wavering on the budget just as the debate was getting underway.
“You don’t leave an opening for the barbarians,” he said.
2) Councillor Doug Ford blames Mike Del Grande for bringing him to City Hall
“I hold Mike Del Grande accountable for one thing – for getting me down here,” Ford said Thursday. “He was responsible for getting me here.”
Ford met Del Grande for the first time back in 2010. The elder Ford was back in town from Chicago and went out for dinner at Swiss Chalet with Del Grande and Mayor Rob Ford.
“(He) sat me down, looked at me, lied through his teeth and said (being a councillor) was a part-time job,” Ford said. “And the mayor lied too.
“That’s exactly what they said, it is a part-time job, a couple days a week. He lied through his teeth. But I love the guy.”
3) Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday sticks to his principles (even if it could possibly cost him the mayor’s chair)
While that prospect would lead some councillors to address councillors fairly carefully in case he’ll need 22 of their votes at some point in the near future, it doesn’t seem to be factoring into Holyday’s council floor speeches.
Holyday blasted councillors for pushing for around $51 million in spending increases to various parts of the proposed document.
“We’re setting it up for next year for an absolute disaster,” Holyday told council. “We’re going to put this into the budget this year, next year we’re probably to have to fund it through taxes and (an election year) is not the year to be going to the residents with large tax increase. Some of you won’t survive it.”
The Etobicoke councillor went on to say there were so many requests for councillors “pet projects” being made they might as well call it “the Ikea monkey budget.”
He also slammed councillors for folding on cuts to Toronto Fire in the 2013 budget.
“If the councillors in this chamber haven’t got the backbone to stand up on their own two feet and make their own decisions un-pressured by unions and un-pressured by special interests groups then they shouldn’t be here,” Holyday yelled. “Find another line of work.”
Councillor Paula Fletcher was quick to make a quip as Holyday wrapped up.
“Was that your speech for appointment?” Fletcher asked.
4) Mayor Rob Ford was right in the middle of behind-the-scenes negotiations to compromise on proposed cuts to Toronto Fire
Councillor Paula Fletcher says Ford was in the midst of discussions with councillors as they hammered out a motion to avert the proposed cuts to Toronto Fire – which he had been urging councillors to support.
Fletcher moved a motion, worth around $5 million, to stop the cuts for a year and hire around 63 firefighters. Councillors eager to avoid the fire cuts warned Ford they’d have to support Fletcher’s motion if an alternative wasn’t crafted. That lit a fire under Ford to broker a deal.
The $3.1 million compromise supported by Ford stops the cuts and hires firefighters until more information is available in July.
“It was hot and heated for a number of hours,” Fletcher said after the vote.
“He was happy that we weren’t going for the whole year and we had the $3 million compromise for the six months.”
5) Mayor Rob Ford and former Budget Chief Mike Del Grande agree on one thing – councillors are “piranhas” when money is involved
In the wake of the 2013 budget, both Ford and Del Grande described councillors as piranhas when it comes to spending.
Ford told reporters Wednesday the $12 million council added into the budget could have been worse given the spend-hungry councillors at City Hall.
“It could have been $50 (million) more. We fended them off. They’re like piranha. So you’re going to get bitten a few times but you know what you’re in there,” he said. “They could have been a lot worse but you know what we got away unscathed … no one touched our surplus.”
A day after he handed his resignation to Ford, Del Grande said it was funny the mayor used the word “piranha” because that’s exactly how he felt as he steered the budget through the process.
“They’re like piranhas to the bone. They’ll even also try to eat the bone as well,” Del Grande said.
City councillors meet Tuesday to hammer out the 2013 budget.
In the lead up to this budget vote at council, most councillors in the political middle haven’t been complaining that much about the proposed document. But Councillor Doug Ford – the vice-chair of the budget committee – made a cryptic comment Monday ahead of the debate. Ford seems to hint a brewing budget revolt at council might be in the works.
Here’s what Ford told several reporters in the press gallery:
“It’s very, very disturbing that you invite certain people on the executive – they decline. You invite certain people on the budget team – they decline. They decline to show up to one budget meeting. They decline to answer any calls from the chief of staff, from the mayor, from the budget chief. They want to come up and be the big hero again and try to get a couple extra million dollars. It is really unfortunate because this is a great budget, it really is.”
That perked up the ears of most City Hall reporters scrumming Ford. Asked if he’s worried things are about to change on the council floor, Ford shrugged.
“I’m not worried it is what it is … I think we’ve got the support but then again you never know, they get a little crazy in their head.”
Sounds like the council meeting could get interesting.
Stay tuned tomorrow.
Mayor Rob Ford was back in Toronto Wednesday – a week and a half after he left for “personal time off” in Florida.
Ford’s office confirmed he was back from Florida late in the day but have yet to say when he’ll make a public appearance. The last time the mayor was out in the public spotlight was Dec. 9 when he hosted his weekly radio show on Newstalk 1010.
George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary, told the Sun that Ford was now at “home with his family”.
Ford’s vacation came just a few days after he won a stay of the court decision ousting him from office.
It’s been a hectic few months for the mayor capped off with a judge’s decision throwing him out of the mayor’s chair back in November. Ford goes to court Jan. 7 to fight for an appeal of the ruling he violated the municipal conflict of interest act and has to vacate his office.
The mayor’s vacation was no vacation for Ford’s brother Councillor Doug Ford. He’s spent the last 10 days defending the mayor’s absence.
“We have bigger things to worry about than Rob going on vacation for a week,” Ford said Monday (story here).
As U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night you may have heard cheers coming from Mayor Rob Ford’s house in Etobicoke.
Why is the right-wing mayor of Canada’s largest city cheering on a Democrat? Because Obama’s win proves Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, wrong. Better than that, the brothers bet on it and the Ward 2, Etobicoke North councillor now owes the mayor a dinner.
The Ford brothers made the public bet on the outcome of the U.S. election during their radio show on Sunday (story here).
Ford predicted Obama was going to “smoke” Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“You’ve heard it first, Obama is going to take it hands down,” the mayor told his Newstalk 1010 show audience.
Brother Doug disagreed.
First, he called the mayor a “leftie” – possibly one of the biggest insults in the Ford family – for prognosticating an Obama victory. Then, he predicted (wrongly as it turns out now) a “landslide for Romney.”
Now with an Obama win, it sounds like Councillor Ford will have to shell out for that nice Italian dinner the mayor put on the line. Mayor Ford specifically wanted that dinner to include veal parmesan, Caesar salad and bruschetta – good thing they still aren’t on that weight-loss campaign.
“I’m going to soak you alive (for that dinner),” the mayor crowed.
It probably probably won’t help Doug’s wallet that he joked: “OK, what’s on the line, what are we betting? Two buckets or three buckets of KFC?” during the election bet discussion on Sunday.
Can’t wait to see that receipt.
Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee dove into a debate on public consultation for taxes and tolls to pay for transit Tuesday (story here). Not surprisingly, there were several quotable moments from Ford and councillors during the debate.
Here are some of the highlights:
“I’ve always said to build transit in the city we have to get all three levels (of government) involved and the private sector. Until the federal and provincial government gets on board and we get the private sector on board I’m not going to sit around and just put a tax or a user fee on the backs of hardworking Torontonians.”
- Mayor Rob Ford
“That’s like asking which poison would you like to drink? Would you like the hemlock? Would you like the rat poison? … We should be asking them, would you like to take that poison?”
- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on transit funding consultation.
“If all we come back with is that we think the province should have a regional sales tax, then I think we’ve been doing our residents a disservice.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz
“It will help Torontonians in every corner of this city. It is long past due that we’ve needed it. We are a generation behind.”
- Councillor Josh Matlow on the Downtown Relief Line.
“My community does not want to pay for somebody else’s thoughts and hopes.”
- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti on transit taxes and tolls.
“This deal is like throwing a load of human feces on somebody’s lawn and then sending them a bill for the transportation costs in delivering it to their property.”
- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti still livid an LRT is being planned for Finch Ave. W. in his ward.
“We haven’t approached them. We haven’t opened the doors. We haven’t welcomed (public-private partnerships).”
- Councillor Doug Ford lamenting the proposed taxes and tolls to fund transit.
“Public-private partnerships do not pay for transit. They finance transit and we need to pay it back.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz
Councillor Doug Ford (Toronto Sun files)
“I think his brother thinks he’s doing good and I think his brother thinks he’s clarifying matters but sometimes it just adds mud to the water and perhaps he might be advised not to speak as often.”
- Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday on Mayor Rob Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, a day after this story happened
Councillor Doug Ford called reporters at City Hall a “bunch of pricks” Monday.
A few hours later, Ford apologized for the remark. Here’s a rundown of what he just told me on the phone:
“My comments were made in the heat of the moment and out of frustration.
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone.”
“Instead of constantly focusing on stories that do nothing to advance the interest of Toronto residents, I just wish that in the future City Hall media would concentrate on some of the many positive accomplishments with respect to economic development, city building, the city’s budget and labour that are happening at City Hall every day.”