Rob Ford’s new campaign video appears to break election rules
Watch above: See a segment of the video above (Global News edited out the portion where phone numbers were visible)
TORONTO – Rob Ford’s new campaign video, shot inside his office at city hall, appears to violate the city’s campaign rules.
The video, released Wednesday on YouTube and the mayor’s campaign website is titled What Customer Service Excellence Means to Me. As the name suggests, it features the mayor, who’s running for re-election, touting his oft-repeated focus on calling back constituents and touring community housing.
“When they call me, there’s no such thing as busy or this and that – they’re the boss,” Ford said in the video. “They deserve the best service possible regardless of where they live, who they are, what nationality they are, whatever they may be, I don’t look at that.”
But the city has rules governing what candidates can do with city property during an election: You aren’t allowed to use city infrastructure for “any election purposes” or city resources in any “campaign materials.”
The mayor’s office and phone featured in the video could arguably count as city infrastructure and resources.
Use of the city logo is also prohibited; it isn’t clear whether the City of Toronto pin on Ford’s lapel in the video would count as a city logo.
“I don’t believe all of it was [filmed in the mayor’s office],” Doug Ford told reporters at city hall. “It shows what the mayor does day in and day out, returning calls, and I think it’s a good video.”
And Jeff Silverstein, a spokesperson for the Ford campaign said the video was filmed in the mayor’s office to show him doing what he “does best.”
“Really there was nothing inappropriate filming that video there,” Silverstein said.
The original video was pulled off the internet and edited to remove the phone numbers of constituents.
The video is not the first time this election the mayor has been accused of skirting election rules.
In May, mayoral candidate David Soknacki sought donations to help him file a Freedom of Information request for the emails from the mayor’s office that Soknacki’s campaign suggested would show the mayor “wasting city resources on his election campaign,” according to a report on Yahoo.
And last week the mayor’s annual Ford Fest, a massive, free barbecue held at a city-owned park in Scarborough, was characterized as being a campaign event in disguise.