WATCH: Rob Ford didn’t waste any time in signing up for this year’s mayoral race. Christina Stevens reports.
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford told the media he’s “the best mayor that the city has ever had” after he became the first candidate to file papers for re-election Thursday morning.
“My track record speaks for itself,” said Ford. “I’ll continue doing what I’ve been doing, is watching every dime that’s being spent.”
Ford appeared with his brother Doug at 8:30 a.m. to register for the nomination process at the city clerk’s office.
Potential mayoral and city council candidates can file their election papers from Jan. 2 to Sept. 12 with voters heading to the polls on Oct. 27.
VIDEO: Rob Ford registers for re-election at the city clerk’s office.
“Got the lowest taxes in any major city in North America. You look at what we’ve done, created jobs,” said Ford. “This city is absolutely booming, we’re building a subway. I’ve dealt with the issues that other mayors couldn’t deal with.”
Ford claimed Thursday that he had passed property tax increases of 1.75 per cent for four years. In fact, 2012’s increase was 2.5 per cent and 2013’s increase was 2 per cent.
Ford’s won a controversial vote in October to extend the Bloor-Danforth line into Scarborough, scrapping a fully-funded provincial plan to build light rail transit in the area. Instead, council voted for a multi-billion plan that leaves Torontonians paying $910 million which includes $165 million raised through increased development charges and $745 million through annual increases to property taxes – 0.5 per cent in each of 2014 and 2015, 0.6 per cent in 2016.
Doug Ford, who is not running for re-election, was alongside his brother to offer support and told the media he will be Rob’s campaign manager.
“There’s no doubt each and every one of you are going to be coming after us for 10 months, so we’re dealing with candidates, and then we’re dealing with the media party,” he said.
Rob Ford said in late October that he’s looking forward to the election race and expects a tough challenge.
“It’s going to be a bloodbath,” Ford said at city hall on Oct. 28. “They’re coming after me and I’m sure they’re going to bring up everything, so we’ll just bring up everything.”
Despite Ford’s ongoing crack cocaine scandal, a recent poll suggests 39 per cent of voters would still consider voting for the embattled mayor.
The mayor brushed off questions asked by members of the media if the public should ever trust him after lied about smoking the illegal drug.
“If you want to get personal, that’s fine. I’m sticking to my record, and talk is cheap,” he said. “You’re going to see action like you’ve never seen before.”
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Chair Karen Stintz announced in the fall that she will make a run for the mayor’s chair.
The Ward 16 councillor has positioned herself as a conservative alternative to the controversial mayor.
She has already issued a letter to the city clerk in December to step down her position at the TTC effective February 22.
It’s unclear at this point if and when rumoured mayoral hopefuls such as John Tory and Olivia Chow will enter the race and file their candidacy.
Both have remained tight-lipped about their intentions to run thus far.