TORONTO – City Councillor Doug Ford says he will end the “gravy train” at Queen’s Park and is promising to run for the Progressive Conservatives if an election is called in May.
“I’m calling her out. Call an election Kathleen Wynne in May and I will run,” Ford said. “I will guarantee it and we will defeat you and we will make sure the fiscal ship of this province is going in the right direction.”
Ford originally made the comments on the John Oakley show on AM 640 adding that the province “right now is in deep trouble.”
Borrowing the mantra that brought his brother Rob to the mayor’s office, Ford is promising to “stop the gravy train for the people of Ontario.”
“The people of Ontario are fed up. They need a new government. I’m willing to go down there and do the same thing that we’ve done in Toronto,” Ford told Global News.
Ford added an apparent slight against the shortlist of revenue tools that could help pay for expanded transit that Metrolinx released on Tuesday.
“She can’t go out and put $50 billion of new taxes on top of taxes,” Ford said.
Despite Ford’s guarantee, he has yet to seek a nomination from the Progressive Conservative party but party officials tell Global News they are “very happy” Ford is considering becoming a candidate.
Ford is currently serving his first term as a city councillor for Ward 2, Etobicoke North.
He was elected by a large margin in the 2010 election that saw his brother Rob assume the mayoralty.
The mayor had nothing but positive things to say about his brother entering provincial politics.
“I think my brother would do very well,” Ford said. “He leans on me and I lean on him. We work as a team and like I said he would be a huge asset for the province.”
However, former PC leader John Tory says splitting up the two Fords could hurt their political machine.
“I think the biggest risk in the whole thing is that the Ford nation and its mechanics get divided,” Ford said. “They’re going to be busy trying to get Doug Ford elected in Etobicoke and meanwhile if Rob Ford stays true to his word and runs again it may be some trouble for them to try and be dealing with two games at once.”
Doug Ford doesn’t think he would be abandoning his constituents by a foray into provincial politics.
“Well what I’m doing for the constituents in Etobicoke, that my father served, that my brother served. I’m going to serve them,” Ford said. “I’m going to serve them at a higher level.”
This is not the first time Ford has hinted at entering provincial politics.
Last June he told the National Post that if McGuinty called an election in July he would run.
“He’s run the province into the ground and we have to stop it,” Ford said at the time.
However, no election was called in 2012.
City Councillor Adam Vaughan – a veteran political opponent of Ford – said if Ford is serious about running for provincial office, he should resign his seat at city hall.
“He should resign. I’ve always believed that city councillors who try to run up and use their office to run for a higher level of government are doing a disservice to their constituents but at the same time have an advantage over other candidates,” Vaughan said.
Ford has some familiarity with provincial politics. His father, Doug Ford Sr., was a Progressive Conservative MPP from 1995 to 1999 in the riding of Etobicoke-Humber.
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