The mayor actually spoke to reporters on Friday. About issues beyond graffiti removal! He didn’t say much, but I thought his response on the federal election question was interesting:
He continued to stay away from the federal election. He is not endorsing any party, but will help out Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty, a long-time family friend. Asked what parties could do to woo Toronto voters, Mr. Ford was reticent. “I’m not going to pass the buck. I’m responsible for our city and I’m not going to blame the provincial or federal government. Whatever they can do, whatever they think is the appropriate measure, I appreciate it.”
He’s not going to blame the provincial government. But just over a month ago he did blame the provincial government. He asked them for more money for city programs. Then he threatened to unleash ‘Ford Nation’ if they didn’t give him what he wanted. Does he not remember that?
To be fair, he has been very consistent in giving the federal government a pass when it comes to city issues. He voted against condemning federal cuts to immigration services. He’s remained silent despite this current election atmosphere being a great time for municipal leaders to make their case for urban issues. And today he voted against receiving Adam Vaughan’s motion that the city ask the federal government to clarify compensation rules for shop owners who suffered damage during the G20 summit last summer.
While Ford isn’t getting actively involved in the election, his brother is. Both Nick Kouvalis and Rocco Rossi tweeted about Doug Ford canvassing for the Conservative Party in Toronto ridings this past weekend.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with councillors supporting and campaigning for federal and provincial candidates, but Doug Ford’s incredibly close relationship with the mayor’s office works to betray his younger brother’s attempt to remain neutral.