FEATURE | MAYORAL DEBATE TORONTO

Another heated Toronto mayoral debate via Skedline

By Raven Benwait

The verbal cage match between mayoral candidates John Tory and Doug Ford continued on Friday night, as Ford accused Tory of attacking his sick brother.

“He called me trash, he called me a chicken, he called me a bully… he went after my brother lying in bed with cancer,” Doug Ford told the crowd.

This feisty mayoral debate took place at High Park’s Runnymede United Church on Oct. 3 and included Olivia Chow, Doug Ford and John Tory. The debate focused on how the candidates could work productively with city councillors.

Ford claimed that he has always had a good relationship will all members of the city council, but Tory differs as he pointed out that Ford called the counsellors “monkeys.”

“It’s about listening. It’s about perspective. The city counsellors have to respect each other,” Tory told the audience.

As the debate went on, the more fiery the room became, as the moderator asked Ford about his comments towards Tory’s “advantaged life.”

“In your speeches, you mentioned John Tory’s privileged life and everything being given to him on a silver platter. You also talk about his lack of experience about how city hall operates.”

In response to this, Ford said, “There is a difference between being successful and being entitled…I’m successful.”

The crowd was filled with mixed reactions some shouting and hissing; some clapping and some just jaw-dropped shocked.

“Some of these folks are pretty ignorant,” Rob Ford said which angered the audience.

Olivia Chow sat and listened as the other two argued.

“If you want four more years of what you just witnessed then be my guest,” said Chow.

In the polls, Olivia Chow is in third place, behind Ford and Tory.

Despite her lagging mayoral campaign, she does promise 30,000 more childcare spaces including 1,500 subsidized spots if she is elected mayor.

“We have to invest more so that we can bring people up. We have to build more affordable housing. We have to have more childcare. We have to have better bus services. We have to invest in young people, so they can get a job…so they’re not left behind,” says Olivia Chow.

John Tory is a strong believer that Toronto should be one city and should not be judged by downtown vs. the suburbs. He sternly says that it is time we begin to act like it.

“We need someone who is deeply committed to building better relationships – with city counsellors, with the other governments, with businesses, labor, non-profit sectors and community organizations, like this,” says Tory, “And to make sure that we carefully manage the city’s finances and carefully develop the city.”

Doug Ford on the other hand, has often been heard repeating past accomplishments. Throughout majority of the evening, he spoke about what the Ford’s have done for the city in the past.

Doug Ford said, “We’ve created 56,000 jobs. We’ve saved 750 million dollars on efficiencies. We had labour lease for the first time ever.  We made it fair to the front line payers and we also made it fair to the taxpayers.”

Not everyone in the crowd was impressed with Ford’s boasting.

“All Doug Ford said the entire time was how the Fords have helped the city in the past. What’s new? Tell us how you can make Toronto even better,” said Gabriel Gimenez, a Toronto teen who was in the audience.

The two hour-long heated debate had a focus on John Tory and Doug Ford, with their constant arguing.

Their dispute does not seem to be coming to an end any time soon, according to Olivia Chow.

“You’re going to destroy this city,” Doug Ford tells John Tory.

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