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‘An unmitigated disaster’: Doug Ford weighs in on Toronto mayoral frontrunner

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford says he will vote for Mark Saunders, takes shots at frontrunner Olivia Chow as Toronto election nears'
Doug Ford says he will vote for Mark Saunders, takes shots at frontrunner Olivia Chow as Toronto election nears
WATCH: Doug Ford says he will vote for Mark Saunders, takes shots at frontrunner Olivia Chow as Toronto election nears – Jun 22, 2023

With days left until Torontonians go to vote in Monday’s mayoral byelection, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has weighed in with a blistering assessment of the race’s leading candidate.

Speaking to reporters in Burlington on Wednesday, Ford blasted Olivia Chow, saying “workers should be terrified” of the prospect she could lead the city.

“You want my opinion? If Olivia Chow gets in, it will be an unmitigated disaster,” Ford said.

“Taxes are going to go up 25 to 30 per cent, when people can’t afford the rent, can’t afford mortgages now. Business are going to be fleeing Toronto, as far as I’m concerned.”

The premier, who had previously said he wasn’t getting involved in the race to replace John Tory, recently confirmed he would be voting for former police chief Mark Saunders. He said he believed Saunders would be the best choice to lead city hall, and the fiscal conservative Ford said Toronto should elect.

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Recent polling complete by Ipsos exclusively for Global News and the Toronto Star found Chow leading the race to be mayor with 38 per cent of the popular vote. Saunders polled at 14 per cent and Ana Bailao, who has the endorsement of former mayor John Tory, at 12 per cent.

“In this election, John Tory and Doug Ford are two votes. They don’t get to decide the next mayor of our city, the people do,” Chow said in a statement.

There are several high-profile candidates running in the mayoral byelection. Global News

Speaking to Global News previously, Global CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs Darrell Bricker said the race was Chow’s to lose.

“In the time I’ve been doing this type of work, over the last 35 years, I don’t think I’ve seen anybody with such a lock on an election as I see with Olivia Chow in this particular election,” he said.

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Ford said he doesn’t “dictate to people who to vote for” after claiming companies would leave the city if Chow became mayor and citing rumors he said he had heard that staff at city hall were worried.

“People are terrified. Businesses are terrified. Therefore, the workers should be terrified,” he said. Later, he added: “Folks, remember this, God forbid Olivia Chow gets elected, your taxes are going up at an unprecedented rate.”

In response to Ford’s comments, Chow said life was currently not affordable for a lot of Toronto residents.

“That is why my message of building a more affordable, caring and safe city is being welcomed by so many Torontonians,” she said. “Together, let’s make that change happen on Monday.”

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