Doug Ford says that a 'lefty mayor' could destroy Toronto if John Tory leaves
It looks like Ontario Premier Doug Ford is among the political allies of embattled Toronto Mayor John Tory who would really rather not see any shakeups in leadership at City Hall right now.
"There's your private family, and then there's business, and I can tell you, Mayor Tory has been a phenomenal partner, he's been a really good mayor for the City of Toronto," said Ford when speaking to reporters following an unrelated business announcement in Brampton on Wednesday.
"And just, in my opinion, it's not time to change."
Ford was asked to clarify whether this comment mean he was urging Tory to reconsider his resignation, which had yet to be formally tendered as of Wednesday, despite the mayor announcing on Friday night that he would step down from his post in light of news breaking that he'd had an affair with one of his former staffers.
"That's up to the mayor. This is very personal, and it's very private, I'm not going to comment on this private issue with his family at all, I'm just looking on a perspective of the largest city in [Ontario], the incredible relationship we've had with Toronto," said the premier, citing the many projects he's worked on with Tory.
"I think everyone has seen the good job that Mayor Tory has done. The guy is a relentless worker… I don't think he sleeps. He's up at five, he's out there, and the guy doesn't stop till midnight."
"So, is he the best thing that we have in Toronto? Yes, he is the best thing," Ford continued. "Let's not upset the apple cart for a personal issue he’s dealing with. He's a really, really good mayor and let's move forward."
Ford says John Tory is the “best thing that we have in Toronto.”— Colin D'Mello | Global News (@ColinDMello) February 15, 2023
“Let’s not upset the apple cart,” Ford says.
The Premier adds the city is “toast” if a left-wing mayor is elected, but says he would not rescind strong mayor powers. #onpoli
Ford expressed his support for Tory staying on to push through the city's 2023 budget – a process that could take weeks.
Then, when asked about if the special "strong mayor" powers he'd recently granted Tory (as well as Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe) would extend to a new mayor — potentially a left-leaning mayor — Ford got a bit spicy.
"Well if a lefty mayor gets in there, God help the people of Toronto," said the premier, stopping short of tossing out the word pinko.
"We saw it before when Rob was there, taxes going through the roof, you know, out of control spending... worrying about lining the pockets of City Hall's coffers," he said, referring to his late brother, former Mayor of Toronto Tob Ford.
"We have a different philosophy. Our philosophy is to put money back into the taxpayers' pockets, reinvest into companies, and that's how you have a thriving economy."
Before clarifying that he would not be rescinding any strong powers, regardless of who takes office after Tory (if Tory actually resigns), Ford issued one final warning about the dangers of electing a "lefty" as mayor.
"Folks, I'll tell you, if a left-wing mayor gets in there, we're toast. I'll tell you, it'd be a disaster in my opinion."
Doug Ford on the future of Toronto: “If a lefty mayor gets in there, God help the people of Toronto…If a left wing mayor gets in there, we’re toast.” pic.twitter.com/Q4OwNu2yuB— Harrison Faulkner (@Harry__Faulkner) February 15, 2023
Toronto residents have been weighing in with their thoughts on the premier's comments, highlighting a few new Fordisms that Wednesday's press conference brought into the public domain.
"Let's not upset the apple cart" solicited many replies about "rotten apples" in Canadian politics.
Ford's use of the term "tickety-boo" (which is defined as "fine" or "okay") also got people talking, especially given the context in which he used it.
"Everything was going tickety-boo in Toronto," said Ford when talking about the Tory cheating scandal. "What happens in their private life is strictly up to the mayor and their family."
Many might argue that things are not really all that fine in Toronto, which has for years now been plagued by violence, disruptive construction, an unmaintained public realm, a severe lack of affordable housing, rampant homelessness and a growing need for mental health services, among other issues.
"I'll work with any mayor," said Ford regarding whatever happens next.
"I think I've shown people, I don't care who's mayor, but I really respect and appreciate the work that [Tory and I] have done together. The mayor and I, we get things done. We work collaboratively and cooperatively together."
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