ABOVE: Stintz and Tory openly challenge Rob Ford, while Premier Wynne ignores him entirely. Global’s Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – Talk-radio host and former leader of the PC Party of Ontario, John Tory, has officially entered the race to become mayor of Toronto.
The latest mayoral candidate filed his registration papers at city hall Monday morning.
He has been one of the favourites to run against troubled Mayor Rob Ford, but had kept his intentions quiet until now.
Tory had lost to David Miller in the 2003 mayoral election.
Read More: A profile of John Tory
Speaking on The Morning Show Monday, Tory said one of his top priorities will be to fix traffic congestion in the city and build a better transit system.
“The skills and experience I have, I think are right to bring the kind of leadership to the city now to get some things done, getting transit built and getting people working together,” he said.
WATCH: John Tory explains what priorities he will focus on in his bid to replace Rob Ford as mayor
His plans, if elected, also include keeping taxes low, especially property taxes, in order to make Toronto “more affordable” and bringing people together at city hall to make the city more “functional”.
“We need to build one strong city, get people to work together and get things done. I’ve learned how frustrated people are and how much they want to see a different style of government.”
Tory’s candidacy was quickly criticized by Mayor Ford’s campaign manager and brother Doug Ford who labelled him as part of “the establishment and the elites.”
“Rob Ford has a record of protecting the little guy, John Tory doesn’t have any record, outside when he was leader of the Conservative party, and the first thing he did when he went down there, is voted himself a big pay hike,” Ford told reporters at city hall on Monday.
Read More: A profile of Karen Stintz
“I think it’s going to be very clear to the people how this election is going to go. It’s the small, hard working blue collar folks, against the establishment and getting those folks to feather their nest.”
VIDEO: Doug Ford says John Tory is an “establishment” candidate who “doesn’t have a record”
Along with Ford, who is running for his second term, Tory will be going up against the likes of former Toronto city councillor David Soknacki, and former TTC Chair Karen Stintz, who also filed her registration papers Monday.
Stintz resigned her high profile position as TTC Chair last week to run for the mayor’s job.
“At the TTC we’ve done a lot of work, a lot of customer service focus, so the city hall that I’m a mayor of is going to be focus on customer service, it’s going to have a smart fiscal agenda, but I can also get things done,” she said.
Stintz says one of her main platforms for the upcoming election is to bring communities together.
“We know that living north of the 401 is a very different experience than living south of the 401 and if we are going to build a one united city, we need to make sure that everybody in the city has same access to transit, economic opportunities, and safe communities and green space.”
WATCH: Karen Stintz excited to run for mayor, says her track record “speaks for itself”
A Forum Research poll conducted in November showed that if Ford, Tory and Stintz were running against each other, Ford would get 29 per cent of the vote and Tory would garner 31 per cent of the vote, while Stintz would take less than a quarter of the vote with 22 per cent.
An Ipsos-Reid poll from December suggested 39 per cent of voters would still consider voting for Ford in the next election.
Unlike a federal or provincial election, Tory is allowed to keep his Newstalk 1010 radio show until two months before the election date, according to CRTC rules.
However, he told The Morning Show he has resigned his hosting duties, including working as co-host for Global Television’s Focus Ontario current affairs program.
“I can’t be having platforms to talk about, even if I’m trying as hard as I can to be objective,” Tory said. “I’ve done my last radio show, I presumed I’ve done my last television show.”
Torontonians vote October 27.