WATCH ABOVE: Councillor Doug Ford and organizers of a mayoral debate in East York get into a heated exchange of words.
TORONTO – A mayoral debate that took place in East York became heated even before the event began Monday evening after members of Rob Ford’s campaign pushed their way into the event against the organizers’ rules.
The debate was hosted by the Parkview Hills Community Association at the Presteign-Woodbine United Church.
Five high-profile candidates took part in the debate, including Ford, Olivia Chow, John Tory, David Soknacki and Karen Stintz.
With limited space, anyone who wanted to watch the debate had to show proof of residency for the Parkhills area in East York. Candidates were also told by organizers they would only be allowed to bring in one campaign member.
As mayor Ford’s campaign approached the entrance to the debate, Coun. Doug Ford got into an argument insisting that he and Amin Massoudi, the mayor’s communications person, be allowed inside.
Video of the confrontation shows organizers telling Ford candidates are only allowed one additional campaign representative.
“No, he’s coming in,” Ford can be heard saying.
Ford also accused Justin Van Dette, President of the Parkview Hills Community Association, of being biased because he supports John Tory.
“You can have your biased debate. You’re part of the John Tory campaign,” said Ford.
Van Dette responded by saying the event was for the community, and pointed out a media panel was running the debate.
Toronto police were called to the event to intervene in the fracas.
The debate ended shortly after 9 p.m.
Below is a live blog of the event:
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