Don Peat - March 7th, 2013
“I am considering it.”
- Olivia Chow on running for mayor of Toronto in 2014. Chow made the comment on CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on Wednesday (clip here).
It’s like a slow march to a campaign announcement but it is a step towards the epic political showdown between Chow and Mayor Rob Ford. The NDP MP has moved from saying she’s “listening” to residents telling her to run for mayor of Toronto (story here) to she’s “considering” running for the city’s highest office – that’s a little closer to the buzz we’re hearing at City Hall.
Don Peat - February 16th, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford sits in a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe at the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow on Friday, February 15, 2013 (Photo by DON PEAT/TORONTO SUN)
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear?
Mayor Rob Ford jumped in the driver’s seat of a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe during a tour of the 2013 Canadian International AutoShow on Friday.
Ford called the Rolls – worth $571,226 - his “favourite” car of the show.
“That was beautiful but I’ve got to come up with $575-grand — that’s the problem,” he said.
Given the mayor’s penny-pinching ways it’s doubtful he’ll be trading in the Cadillac Escalade anytime soon but he was also impressed by the trunk space in the Rolls.
“I’d like to take that to a tailgate party,” he said.
Don Peat - February 12th, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford isn’t kidding when he says he calls everyone back.
I left a message on Ford’s phone before Christmas trying to get an interview with him for a year-end story I was working on.
Over a January weekend (a Saturday night around 7 p.m. just before city council’s budget vote) he returned the call.
The message gave me some insight into how the mayor of Canada’s largest city handles his callbacks.
“It’s Rob Ford mayor of Toronto just returning your call, 7:15 on Saturday night,” he said.
He went on to leave his office phone number and encouraged me to give him a call back.
I don’t think the mayor realized he was returning a media call. I got the feeling he was just running down a list of phone numbers to call back.
Checking with his office staff, I’m told that’s exactly what he does – just keeps dialing down a long list of phone numbers, no names, no specified issues.
I remember during the election campaign when Ford promised he’d still return every call he gets. People laughed and few believed he’d be able to do it but here he is more than two years later still returning calls.
You can argue whether or not this is a good use of time for the mayor of Canada’s largest city and it isn’t clear whether the calls actually lead to problems being solved and residents being satisfied. But it still remains one of the more interesting quirks in a quirky mayoralty.
Don Peat - February 7th, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford went to the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show Thursday and tried out the air gun range (Photo by Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun).
Don Peat - September 19th, 2012
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson (Don Peat/Toronto Sun)
Mayor Rob Ford didn’t make any gaffes during the second day of his Chicago trip – but he did joke about almost making one.
After a speech to the Team Toronto luncheon hosted by BMO Financial Group Wednesday by U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, Ford presented him with a CFL football and invited him to come to Toronto for the 100th Grey Cup game in November.
“Next to politics, my next love (pause) besides my kids and my wife. I caught that don’t worry. That was almost a fumble but we recovered,” Ford told the crowd as they laughed and applauded. “(My qualified next love) is this great game called football. Folks, it is phenomenal, I love coaching the kids and you’re doing a phenomenal job. And I want thank everybody for being here and hope to see you back in Toronto very, very soon.”
The mayor’s trip to Chicago hasn’t been without gaffes.
On Tuesday, Ford toured Chicago’s Millennium Park to kickoff the start of his two-day Team Toronto Business Mission but ended up shouting down questions about taxpayer-funds being used to help the high school football team he coaches.
And during a friendly chat with Chicago residents, he ended up mistakenly saying Manitoba was across from Detroit — rather than Windsor.
Don Peat - August 27th, 2012
Mayor Rob Ford has a lot riding on Monday night’s CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos.
What’s on the line? Civic pride and each mayor’s Facebook and Twitter account.
Ford – a big fan of the Boatmen – has made a friendly wager with Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel about the game.
Mandel tweeted the “friendly wager” this morning with this tweet:
Mayor Ford’s Twitter account was quick to accept the wager with a tweet back to Mandel:
The two mayors attended an Eskimos’ game together during Ford’s family vacation out west earlier this month.
It isn’t clear how long the mayor whose city loses tonight’s game will have to support the rival team but given Ford’s competitive streak when it comes to football, here’s betting if the Double Blue loses he won’t want to cheer for Edmonton online any longer than he has to.
Don Peat - August 23rd, 2012
Fresh from his summer vacation out west Mayor Rob Ford penned an open letter to the residents of Alberta thanking them for their hospitality and inviting them to Toronto City Hall the next time they’re passing through Hogtown.
Here’s the letter:
Don Peat - May 31st, 2012
Cam Weldon, City of Toronto Chief Financial Officer (Toronto Sun files)
The city’s top finance bureaucrat is retiring.
Cam Weldon, the City of Toronto’s chief financial officer and deputy city manager, is calling it quits.
Sources tell the Sun a formal announcement about Weldon’s coming retirement will go out Friday.
Weldon was appointed to his current position back in February 2009 after serving as acting deputy city manager and chief financial officer from October 2008.
He’s been working for the city since 2003. Weldon started as the director of accounting services and became city treasurer in 2005.
When he was appointed to CFO in 2009, then-mayor David Miller described Weldon as an “experienced City of Toronto financial manager.”
Mayor Rob Ford has also been complimentary of Weldon’s performance through the last two city budgets.
Before he arrived at the City of Toronto, Weldon spent 20 years at the Regional Municipality of Halton.
Don Peat - May 29th, 2012
Councillor Paula Fletcher tied Mayor Rob Ford’s weight-loss campaign starting/failing/quitting/non-quitting/fizzling fit into a larger pattern emerging during his time in office where “sometimes he just can’t get the job done.”
“There a number of things he has not been able to do and this is another one,” Fletcher said Monday as confusion reigned over whether Ford had officially quit his diet (see story here). “He has to give up on this (weight-loss campaign), it has proven to be too much for him. He couldn’t manage it. He made a big promise and he can’t manage it.”
Ford vowed back in January to lose 50 pounds by June, a goal that Fletcher said was unrealistic.
“I’m just worried we kind of lurch from thing to thing and he lurched on this one and it just didn’t work out,” she said.
While she stopped short of saying the mayor’s failed Cut the Waist campaign was a metaphor for Ford’s mayoralty, Fletcher said sometimes she wonders “if the whole thing is a little too much” for Ford.
“Being the mayor is not an easy job, you can’t make simple promises about anything,” she said. “You need to be measured and thoughtful and I think on this one he just got over his head.”
Don Peat - May 23rd, 2012
Councillor Shelley Carroll and Mayor Rob Ford earlier this year (Toronto Sun files)
Does the thought of Councillor Shelley Carroll running for mayor worry the Fords?
Carroll has said she’s still mulling a run for mayor. She came out Tuesday criticizing Mayor Rob Ford for “not doing his job” (story here).
Councillor Doug Ford said Wednesday he’s not worried about Carroll as a possible political foe to Mayor Ford in the 2014 election. But Councillor Ford quickly added he’ll never underestimate anyone’s odds at the ballot box.
“I never underestimate anyone and as far as I’m concerned anyone and everyone are going to beat us so we’re going to work hard,” Ford told reporters. “Because the biggest mistake that all the councillors did was underestimate Rob last time and we’ll never underestimate anyone.
“At any day in politics you could be beaten, no matter who you are.”