Ford says he's ready to 'sanitize Queen's Park' as he seeks leadership of Ont. PC Party
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:13PM EST
Doug Ford – the only person to officially announce a run for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party – said he is ready to “put that sanitizer right through that building at Queen’s Park.”
Ford announced he would be entering the race surrounded by family in his mother’s home in Etobicoke on Monday. He will be seeking the nomination in the riding of Etobicoke-North.
Speaking with CP24 on Wednesday, Ford said he believes he is the only possible candidate who could “clean things up” at Queen’s Park.
“First of all, I think the people need to have a voice and it’s all about the people, it always is about the people and sometimes you need someone from the outside to come in and straighten things out,” he said. “The people who don’t have a voice are going to have a voice now.”
“It’s about empowering the people as opposed to empowering the government. We need someone in there to make sure that the tax payers have some transparency and we haven’t seen any transparency down there (Queen’s Park).”
Up until last week, Ford was planning to run for Mayor of Toronto in October’s municipal election but that changed following Patrick Brown’s resignation as leader of the Ontario PC Party a week ago.
Brown stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations made against him, which he has thoroughly denied.
Ford said he will now be focusing on winning the leadership position.
“I’m going to focus on winning this because I can serve the people of Toronto and the rest of Ontario better as premier than I can as the mayor,” he said on Wednesday.
Ford added that his track record from his time in municipal politics will help lead him to victory. He served as a Toronto councillor for Ward 2 – Etobicoke-North at the same time his brother, the late Rob Ford, was mayor between 2010 and 2014. Doug Ford unsuccessfully ran against John Tory to become mayor in 2014 after his brother had to withdraw from re-election bid because of his battle with cancer.
“I have a proven track record over at City Hall making sure that we save and respect the tax payer and I’m going to do the same at Queen’s Park,” he said.
On Wednesday, Ford confirmed he will be seeking the nomination in Etobicoke-North – an area familiar to Ford Nation.
“I look forward to representing the people of Etobicoke-North as my father did, my brother did, my nephew did, and I did. I look forward to representing them on a provincial level,” Ford said.
Ford will be hosting a rally to support his nomination at Etobicoke’s Toronto Congress Centre, located at 650 Dixon Road, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
He added he will be travelling across the province to familiarize himself with other regions as well.
“I’m going to be travelling from one end of the province to the other, meeting the great people of the province and telling them that they are going to have a voice and I’ll be their voice,” he said.
While no one else has come forward to officially say they are seeking the leadership position of the Ontario PC Party, there has been speculation surrounding several people including Erin O’Toole and Caroline Mulroney.
“The more the merrier,” Ford said about his possible competition. “I’m going to run a positive campaign. I’m going to unite the party and go in as a united front against the Liberals and we’re going to win.”
“They are all good people (O’Toole and Mulroney). I think they would all be great in cabinet. I welcome them to my cabinet.”
Speculation regarding O’Toole and Mulroney running for the position comes after the newly appointed interim leader Vic Fedeli said he will not be looking to make his position permanent.
The Progressive Conservative party executive is scheduled to meet Wednesday night to decide the rules surrounding the leadership race in an effort to replace Brown. A March 24 deadline has been set by the party executive as the latest possible date to choose a new leader.