Tory urges voters to think back to 'total dysfunction' as Ford enters mayoral race
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Saturday, September 9, 2017 9:51AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 9, 2017 2:12PM EDT
Mayor John Tory says voters should think back to the “total dysfunction” of the late Rob Ford’s mayoral tenure amid news that Doug Ford will challenge him in the 2018 election.
Tory made the comment to reporters at a charity run in Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after Ford brought an end to what he has called “the world’s worst kept secret” and formally announced that he will challenge Tory in a rematch of the 2014 municipal election.
“I ask people when they look at this to think back,” Tory said on Saturday. “Think back three short years to the total dysfunction of city council, the constant reports about conflict of interest and the total fighting with the other government instead of getting the billions of dollars to this city that I have been working hard to attract here to build transit and to build housing.”
In announcing his intention to run at his family’s annual barbecue on Friday night, Doug Ford said that Tory has “failed” in delivering the promises he made while campaigning in 2014 and now presides over a city where “transit is a mess” and the “taxes have never been higher.”
Ford then reiterated those remarks in an interview with CP24 on Saturday, slamming Tory as someone “who has done absolutely nothing.”
“Name one thing John Tory has done? John Tory has increased spending by a billion dollars a year, he said he was going to get traffic moving – it is total gridlock, he said SmartTrack was going to happen – SmartTrack is dead,” he said. “This is a mayor that has constantly broken promise after promise after promise. That is what gets people frustrated.”
It should be noted that Tory’s signature campaign promise, SmartTrack, remains alive despite Ford’s suggestion otherwise. The scale of the project, however has changed significantly and now only includes plans for six new stations compared to the 22 that Tory campaigned on.
Speaking with reporters earlier on Saturday, Tory defended his record and said he intends to continue pushing his legislative agenda before shifting his attention to the campaign when that time comes.
“I am trying to bring the city together every day whereas others try to divide the city and I am just going to try to keep working hard to build transit, to build housing, to keep taxes lows and to have people feel proud of their mayor and proud of their city which I think is certainly much more the case today than it might have been sometimes in the past,” he said.
Though Ford has announced that he will seek the mayor’s chair, he won’t actually be able to register for the race until May 1 under new campaign rules.
Previously, candidates could register as of Jan. 1.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.