Holyday says he’s disappointed in Ford, worried reforms could be undone
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:11PM EST
Former deputy mayor Doug Holyday says he’s disappointed in the revelations about Mayor Rob Ford’s behaviour over the last few months and he worries that some of the reforms he helped usher in at city hall could be undone as a result.
“I thought that our agenda was good, we worked hard. Mike Del Grande and some of the others along with myself tried to make things happen there in a positive way and I think we were successful to some extent,” Holyday told CP24’s Stephen LeDrew in a sit-down interview Thursday. “My concern now is that Rob’s antics with his personal life are going to upset the apple cart and let somebody come in who might undo all these things.”
Prior to stepping down from council to run for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in August, Holyday served as deputy mayor and was a close ally of Ford’s.
A long-time city councillor, Holyday helped implement lower taxes and privatization of garbage collection during Ford’s term. He was also frequently called on to speak about the mayor’s agenda when Ford himself was unavailable.
In August, Holyday defended Ford, saying he had never personally seen him have a drink.
Since then, the mayor has continued to be dogged by a crack video scandal, as well as further videos that have emerged online showing the mayor intoxicated in public, even after he vowed never to touch drugs or alcohol again.
Chow rumoured to be entering race soon
Holyday’s concern about someone undoing recent reforms at city hall could well be a nod to NDP MP Olivia Chow, who is widely expected to enter the mayoral race. Politically left-leaning, a number of polls have shown that Chow could pose a serious challenge to Ford in the election.
While a recent report in the Toronto Star said Chow will declare her candidacy within the next few weeks, Chow herself has shrugged off the report, saying only that she is seriously considering a run.
Ford himself spent much of Thursday touring an apartment complex in Rexdale where residents had complained of poor living conditions. While the complex is not owned by the city, the move is emblematic of the sorts of gestures that have made those in the so-called ‘Ford Nation’ fiercely loyal to the mayor.
Asked about the report that Chow might run, Ford said he’s unconcerned.
“The more the merrier. Bring them all on. I just want to start debating,” Ford told CTV News.
Asked whether he thinks Ford can regain public trust, Holyday said it’s unclear.
“I don’t know that. (The election) is a long ways away yet. Stranger things have happened. He certainly isn’t going anywhere.”
Holyday also weighed in on Coun. Doug Ford’s recent announcement that he will not be a candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election.
“I know all along he really missed running the business and I think he really has a niche for that business and he likes doing that business and I guess in the end that’s what’s won him over,” Holyday said.
Saying that he couldn’t ‘wear two hats at once,’ Coun. Ford said he needed to focus on managing his brother’s re-election campaign and wouldn’t have time to be a candidate.
However lukewarm responses by PC Leader Tim Hudak to the question of whether he’d like the older Ford brother as a candidate led to speculation that the party might want to keep him out because of the antics surrounding the Ford family.
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