Mayor touts elimination of proposed fare increase in rare sit-down interview

Making professional media outlets (especially the Star) all kinds of jealous, Excalibur — York University’s student newspaper — has posted video of their exclusive sit-down interview with Mayor Ford.

via YouTube – Excalibur interviews Rob Ford.

There’s nothing surprising here, but I do always enjoy hearing from our mayor. He admits he doesn’t know a lot about the TTC but he sure knows people want subways. He goes on about how he ‘turned around’ the Rexdale neighbourhood in his Ward, and how he will do the same for the entire city. (Presumably through high school football.) He notes, as I did below, that student groups pressured him to eliminate the vehicle registration tax.

The most interesting bit was the couple of references he makes to the proposed TTC fare increase that was famously eliminated twenty-four hours after it was announced. It’s been clear for a while that they were hoping they could play that incident of an example of Ford standing up to a city bureaucracy that doesn’t care about people. The Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy, who has long acted as a de facto extension of Ford’s communication team, confirmed as much in her post-budget column, where she wrote, “I couldn’t believe TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster’s chutzpah in proposing a 10-cent fare hike while doing virtually nothing to improve customer service in the past year.”

It was a rare misstep from a communications team that has, on the whole, been pretty damn good. Nobody bought the story that staff proposed a surprise fare increase that was, incredibly, eliminated after less than a day of budget talks. But it’s interesting to see Ford still plying the narrative that he, against all odds, was the hero.

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