September 2, 2014 12:58 pm

Mayor Rob Ford to skip out on two debates this week

TORONTO – Rob Ford should be canvassing Toronto neighbourhoods and not stuck in a basement with 20 people, Doug Ford said Tuesday while defending his brother for cancelling on two scheduled mayoral debates planned for this week.

The mayor’s director of communications, Jeff Silverstein, told the Toronto Star that Ford will skip out on Tuesday’s Greenwood Community Association debate and another one held by FilmOntario on Wednesday.

No specific reason was given except that “something else has come up.”

But his brother and campaign manager, Doug Ford, told reporters at city hall the mayor is better off not being “in a basement somewhere with twenty people.”

“They keep him from meeting the people,” Ford said. “For instance we’ve planned a canvass; we’re going to be hitting probably 1,000 homes as opposed to 20 people in a basement.”

He claimed the mayor would be taking part in at least six of the major debates before October 27 with some of Toronto’s television networks.

Oliva Chow, John Tory and David Soknacki have all committed to showing up.

Ford had said numerous times in the past that he is willing to debate any candidate, anywhere and at anytime.

The mayor skipped out on a debate held by Heritage Toronto two weeks ago for a $300 per person campaign fundraiser at his mother’s house in Etobicoke.

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