Toronto Mayor Dismisses Challenge From Heir To ‘Ford Nation’

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Doug Ford, the heir to the “Ford Nation” in Canada, said Friday he will run for mayor of Toronto. His brother, the late Rob Ford, was the popular and populist mayor of Canada’s largest city from 2010-2014 and was never far from controversy.

The current occupant of the office, Toronto Mayor John Tory, dismissed the challenge Saturday morning and reminded reporters of the “total dysfunction” that he says reigned supreme in Toronto City Hall when Rob Ford was mayor.

Though Tory is a former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, his politics are decidedly liberal in the “sanctuary” city, and the populist style of Ford remains popular with right-of-center voters in Toronto.

Ford officially announced is candidacy at the annual Fordfest barbecue — calling it “the world’s worst secret.” His brother made headlines across North America for his off-the-cuff leadership style and persistent substance abuse problems, but nonetheless retained a loyal following up to this death from cancer in 2016.

“Rob is looking down from heaven with a smile on his face,” Ford told supporters, adding that he will “stop the out of control spending at City Hall. He said Tory has spent the last three years undoing everything his brother did to reduce taxes in the city.

Ford was a Ward 2 councilor while his brother was mayor. Ford said that current mayor Tory had “failed” to deliver on his promises while seeing taxes increase and city transit become “a mess.”

“This mayor is all talk and broken promises and no action,” Ford said.

Doug Ford also ran against Tory in 2014. In that race he entered the race late, he still captured 34 percent of the vote.

For his part, Tory urged voters to “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.”

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