Watch the video above: Mayor Ford late for lunch after getting stuck in elevator. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford arrived more than an hour late for his speech at the Economic Club of Canada Thursday because, he says, he was stuck in an elevator.
He began his speech by joking about his tardiness and then quickly began touting his record as mayor and criticizing the former administration and current city councillors.
“This level of spending was simply unsustainable. My administration has reversed this trend and put an end to the out of control spending at city hall,” he said. “Folks, let’s face the facts. Toronto is booming liked it’s never boomed before.”
The mayor, who has slammed the 2014 budget staff proposed and executive committee approved, said he will be introducing motions at city hall next week to save “well over $50 million with little impact to services” but didn’t detail what that might be.
He also highlighted what he called four election issues: The future of the Gardiner expressway (he wants to keep it), contracting out garbage east of Yonge Street (he wants to do it), expanding service at Billy Bishop Airport (he wants to expand the runways) and building public transit (he wants subways).
“Do you want subways? Or do you want streetcars? Or, should I say, fancy streetcars – LRTs?” he said. “That’s for you to decide. I’ve been very clear in my position of building subways since day one.”
Watch: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford touted his economic record – and apologized for his tardiness – during a speech before the Economic Club of Canada on Thursday
But this was well after his tardiness led some guests to angrily storm out of the hall.
Individual tickets for the lunchtime speech sold for $89.50 plus HST, while a table of tickets cost $890 plus HST.
The mayor didn’t apologize to the guests whom were kept waiting for almost an hour, but instead joked:
“Thank you to the economic club of Canada for hosting me and getting me locked in an elevator for 45 minutes.”
The hotel and officials from the Economic Club of Canada confirmed the mayor had indeed been stuck in an elevator.
Ford made his speech amid unanswered questions around new videos of him released Tuesday. Ford – who said multiple times he swore off booze – admitted he was drinking. On Wednesday he called Monday’s incident a “minor setback” but said it was none of the public’s business.
The clip, posted to YouTube Tuesday, shows the mayor speaking in Jamaican patois and using various profanities, at one point aiming his vitriol at Toronto’s police Chief Bill Blair. Another video showed him at a table in the same Steak Queen restaurant with his friend Sandro Lisi. Lisi has been charged with extortion and is out on bail.
Ford refused to apologize Wednesday. Instead he said he is entitled to his personal life and that what he does on his own time doesn’t affect his work as mayor – or the work of his colleagues.
Ford snapped at a reporter last week who dared to ask if he’d been drinking when spotted at a dance club.
“This is completely a private matter,” he said on Wednesday. “There are some councillors who claim that my personal life is somehow impacting their work. Folks, that is absolute nonsense.”
WATCH: Etobicoke residents say what the Mayor does in his personal time is his business. Mark Carcasole reports.
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