TORONTO – If Councillor Doug Ford makes the jump to Queen’s Park, he may still have influence over municipal affairs if he gets his way, pledging to legislate changes to the size of council and the powers of the mayor.
On Wednesday, Ford promised to run as a Progressive Conservative if a provincial election is called in May.
In an interview on Focus Ontario he said he wants to affect change at city council through Queen’s Park.
The full interview with Doug Ford will air on Sunday’s episode of Focus Ontario.
“A lot of these councillors down here, it’s like asking the turkeys to vote for thanksgiving – it’s not going to happen,” Ford said. “It has to be legislated by the province. We have 22 MPs, we have 22 MPPs, we need to have 22 councillors.”
Rob Ford originally floated the idea of halving the size of council during his mayoralty campaign. He suggested at the time that there was no need to have more city councillors in Toronto than provincial or federal politicians.
Doug Ford echoed his brother saying council would be more efficient with 22 councillors rather than the 44 currently sitting at city hall.
Ford also wants Queen’s Park to legislate more power to the sitting mayor.
“I believe, and I’ve said numerous times, I said it under David Miller, you want proper structure, you need a strong mayor system,” Ford said. “It doesn’t matter if Rob’s mayor, or the next ten mayors, you need a strong mayor system like that they have in Chicago, New York and L.A.”
Co-host of Focus Ontario and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party John Tory says that Ford’s popularity could secure him a seat in the Ontario legislature but questions if the first-term councillor can handle party discipline.
“Is he ready for party discipline? Because that’s something that he hasn’t experienced at city hall,” Tory said.
Ford is well known for being one of the more outspoken and boisterous members on council but says he craves and can adhere to the structure of Queen’s Park.
“Doug Ford comes from a life of structure. Through our business structure, team work, down here there is no secret it’s dysfunctional,” Ford said.