John Tory hasn’t had a run-in with a raccoon lately.
Toronto politicians have been recounting their face-offs with the masked critters all week after the licensing committee voted to have staff report back on ways the city could deal with its raccoon population.
The report request came from Councillor David Shiner who argued the city’s raccoon population was “exploding” and becoming more troublesome.
Since then both Mayor Rob Ford and mayoral candidate Olivia Chow have admitted they’ve had their battles with raccoons. Ford had reporters cracking up with stories of his “standoffs” with fearless raccoons outside his Etobicoke home.
On Wednesday, Tory said he hasn’t had to stare down a raccoon lately.
“I live in a condo so I don’t have any standoffs with raccoons that I can recite to you,” Tory said. “I think we should try and deal with them humanely.”
The mayoral candidate said he did have one encounter with a raccoon in the past.
“I once had a raccoon in my house many years ago, we had somebody come and they trapped it and took it away and released it somewhere,” he said.
But Tory argued the raccoon headlines are one of the many “distractions” from the real issues facing the city.
“It is an issue for people and I don’t diminish that but I think we’ve got a lot of things we should be discussing and getting some action on in terms of getting this city back together and getting it back on track,” he said.
“That’s what I’m going to be doing when I get to be the mayor.”
Mayor Ford joked about the ongoing raccoon discussion Wednesday.
“No raccoon questions,” Ford quipped before taking questions from reporters.