Fords play down split support in PC leadership race
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Saturday, February 7, 2015 3:32PM EST
Coun. Rob Ford and his brother, former councillor Doug Ford, say there’s no split between them politically, despite the fact the two are supporting separate candidates in the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership contest.
The two sat down for their first in-studio interview together since the election with CP24’s Travis Dhanraj Saturday.
“Nothing separates Rob and I,” Doug Ford said. “We look at it that we’re rebuilding the PC Party. Rob has the best political instincts of any person I’ve ever met… We have three great candidates and whoever wins – we’re all going to be standing on the stage together.”
After losing last year’s mayoral race, the former councillor had entertained the idea of running for the leadership of the PC Party himself. The spot has been occupied by interim leader Jim Wilson since Tim Hudak stepped aside following a sharp loss to the Liberals in the June election. However Doug Ford said in November that he wouldn’t run for the job due to his brother’s ailing health.
While Doug has since thrown his support behind the leadership bid of Christine Elliott, the widow of longtime family friend Jim Flaherty, his brother the former mayor has raised eyebrows by publicly supporting Monte McNaughton, a second-term MPP for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. Patrick Brown, a Conservative MP from Barrie, is also running.
Speaking to his decision Saturday, Rob Ford said he’s supporting McNaughton because he’s both fiscally and socially conservative.
“He told me he’s going to cut taxes and I believe him – smaller government and less politicians, that’s what I like to hear. He’s a social conservative – I call it a blue conservative – that’s what I like about him,” Ford said.
During Saturday’s interview, Coun. Ford also spoke about his health. Ford said his battle with cancer has taught him to “take nothing for granted.”
“No matter how bad your days are – we all have bad days – you just have to be grateful for every day that you’re alive because there were some days where I could barely get out of bed.
“You just wonder because it could happen to anyone. Cancer doesn’t discriminate.”
He said he’s still undergoing radiation treatment and hopes his tumor will eventually be operable.
“I’m feeling OK. We’re halfway through the radiation. We have another 15 rounds of radiation to go,” Coun. Ford said. “Right now we’re not quite sure where we’re at with the tumor. We’ll do an MRI after the radiation and hopefully it’s small enough that they can operate. But I’m going to work and carrying on and doing the best I can.”
The former mayor also used the opportunity to take a shot at current mayor John Tory, dismissing his high approval rating as nothing more than a “honeymoon phase,” and slamming him for raising TTC fares.
@Josh_F is on Twitter. Remember for instant breaking news follow @cp24 on Twitter.