Toronto councillors call for an end to the quarrel between Ford and Blair

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto City Councillors are concerned about the ongoing war of words between the mayor and police chief. Jackson Proskow reports.  

TORONTO – The fallout from the war of words between Mayor Rob Ford and Police Chief Bill Blair continued at City Hall as several councillors called for an end to the dispute.

On Thursday Mayor Ford openly challenged Blair to arrest him and to publicly detail the cost of a police investigation into Ford’s activities since media reports surfaced of a video appearing to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

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Ford also refused to apologize for a video showing him hurling insults at Blair.

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On Friday city councillors and the deputy mayor called for a peaceful resolution to the public dispute before it begins to impact the city.

“As a city councillor I want my police service policing the city. And it would be a lot more helpful for the mayor to correct his behaviour,” Councillor Adam Vaughan told reporters at city hall. “If Rob Ford wasn’t taking a pee in a park, wasn’t smoking crack, wasn’t driving drunk, wasn’t misbehaving and lying all the time, I’m sure the police chief would have very little to say about him.”

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Vaughan also defended Blair who in an interview on Wednesday called the mayor’s remarks about him “disgusting.”

“At a certain point individuals are allowed to protect their reputations especially if they are public officials. I don’t think the chief went overboard. I think the mayor went overboard,” said Vaughan.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly told reporters the situation between Ford and Blair was regrettable, but said he was focused on city business.

“I hope a resolution between the two will be in the near future. But I’m glad it’s not having an impact on the business of Toronto. My focus is on the business of the city of Toronto and the citizens of Toronto,” said Kelly.

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“I think it is a problem when the mayor of the City of Toronto cannot get along with the chief of police,” Public Works Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong told reporters. “Crime and safety are an important issue to many Torontonians and the fact that there is open conflict between the mayor and the chief of police does not serve the residents well.”

Councillor and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board Michael Thompson said the actions of the mayor and police chief could “have a negative impact on the overall psyche of the city.”

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Thompson also weighed in on the complaint made by Councillor Doug Ford about what he called a conflict of interest between Blair, and police services board member Andy Pringle.

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“I think members ought to use appropriate discretion in order to avoid any perception of conflict,” said Thompson.

On Thursday Councillor Doug Ford also made allegations of a broad conspiracy between Blair, Pringle and election rival John Tory against the Ford family. He accused Blair of attacking the mayor in an effort to negatively affect him politically.

*With files from Jackson Proskow

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