Doug Ford plans to announce political future at Ford Fest
Doug Ford speaks with CP24 on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, August 29, 2017 11:45AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 29, 2017 5:41PM EDT
Doug Ford will announce whether he will run for mayor or as an MPP next week following months of speculation regarding his political future, most of which fueled by Ford himself.
Ford has been teasing a return to politics for about a year, telling CP24 last August that he would either run for mayor of Toronto or as an MPP under the banner of the Progressive Conservative party.
The former city councillor, however, has not publicly said which office he will seek and when questioned over the last several months he has indicated that he hasn’t made up his mind.
In an interview with CP24 on Tuesday, Ford said that he has since come to a decision and will announce his intentions at Ford Fest on Sept. 8. Ford Fest is an annual community barbecue held at Ford's mother's house.
“On Sept. 8 I am going to tell you how I am going to save you money whether it is the province or the city,” he said. “Show up on Sept. 8 and I will tell you.”
Back in June, Ford revealed that he had assembled an “exploratory team” to look into a potential mayoral bid but cautioned that his return to civic politics was “not 100 per cent yet.”
Speaking with CP24 on Tuesday, Ford refused to provide any concrete indication of his intentions but did say that he believes the time is right for him to return to politics.
Ford spent one term as city councillor for Ward 2 – Etobicoke North and unsuccessfully ran against Tory in the 2014 mayoral race after the late Rob Ford had to withdraw from the race amid a battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
“There is a groundswell of support right now,” Ford said on Tuesday. “We are going to put together the best team ever for the taxpayers.”
It remains to be seen how well Ford would fare against Tory in a mayoral race but a Forum Research poll conducted in June did suggest that the two rivals were “virtually tied” with 40 per cent of those decided or leaning saying that they would support Tory compared to 38 per cent for Ford.
Asked to comment on Ford’s potential candidacy on Tuesday, Tory said that the former councillor “has a lot of questions to answer” about “dramatic cuts made to the TTC under his watch” but refused to comment further.
“I am not going to concern myself with it until the campaign comes. In the meantime I have a job to do,” he said.
Ford slammed both Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne while speaking with CP24 on Tuesday.
He said that Tory has failed to fulfill a promise to keep taxes low and “would tax everything he could touch” if he could.
That said, it should be noted that Toronto’s tax increases have been kept roughly in line with the rate of inflation during Tory’s first three budgets, something his budget chief pointed out in a statement released later on Tuesday afternoon.
“In any political debate, facts matter and I would encourage any individual attacking Toronto's finances to stick to the facts before firing off false and cavalier statements,” Gary Crawford wrote, in an apparent rebuke to Ford's comments.
The next municipal election in Toronto is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.