Rob Ford – Toronto’s most Controversial Mayoral Candidate? by Richard Komorowski – October 6, 2010

Cornwall ON – Etobicoke Councillor Rob North, who has been compared to Sarah Palin, is running hard for Toronto’s top job. Ever an enigma, Ford is anything but controversial. He strongly believes in traditional family values, agreeing that their loss will “dismantle… a healthy democratic civilization”.

Within the community, he is well known for donating $20,000 to equip a city high school’s football team, and has established a $100,000 trust to help other Toronto school football programs. He also takes his City Hall expense account seriously, paying for many legitimate expenses out of his own pocket. Ford’s total expenses were the lowest for any councillor, due to the fact he spent zero of his $53,100 maximum office expense budget.

His costs for support staff, salaries and benefits were also the lowest at $132,987. However, this too is controversial. The city’s integrity commissioner has frequently called him to task for this practice. City policy requires that such expenses come from the councillor’s official budget, not from his own pocket. He also printed flyers at his family’s printing business for distribution to his constituents, again at his own expense.

Transportation and commuting to work has always been a major problem for Torontonians. To speed traffic flow, Ford is proposing to eliminate many streetcar routes, especially downtown, replacing them with “clean” busses. He also proposes a $4 billion subway expansion plan, by reallocating a $3.7 billion grant from the province to enhance the streetcar network, with the balance coming from the sale of development rights along the subway right-of-way. $55m will also be spent on the development of 100 kilometres of off-road bike/pedestrian trails throughout the city. He will also spend up to $400m on road improvements to reduce traffic congestion.

To make it easier for residents to commute to work, sometimes on the other side of the city, he is also proposing to eliminate the $60/year municipal tax on vehicles. This saving alone would be almost a full tank of gas for the average SUV.

100 new police officers will be hired at no net cost to the taxpayer. 30 of these officers will patrol schools – the other 70 will target guns, gangs and violence in various communities. To fund this program, Mr. Ford will reduce Council representation by half, to 22, the same number of MPs and MPPs.

What do you think Toronto?  Is Rob your guy for Mayor?  You can post your comments below.

Bob Copeland Scott Beck Schnitzels


  1. I would imagine Toronto is fed up between Queens Park and City Hall, and a revolt is underway. Of course, Toronto probably has more programs than they really need, and immigration is choking the health care and education systems.

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