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Rob Ford: What Torontonians Care Most About is Police, Smooth Roads, and Clean Streets

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Rob Ford during his inaugural meeting as mayor. Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.


In a live interview with Stephen LeDrew on CP24 at noon today—one of the very few of his mayoralty—Rob Ford addressed some of the issues that have been making headlines recently. Some highlights from their conversation—
On the ongoing budget review:
“It’s not a matter of cuts. KPMG has gone in, is finding the duplication, finding the waste. [...] It’s finding efficiencies, it’s saving the taxpayers money… There’s three essential, essential things that the taxpayers want: police services…roads that are clean, don’t have potholes in them, and the third thing is the garbage—they want the garbage picked up, they want a clean city, they don’t want graffiti.”
On whether we should reduce the number of police officers in Toronto:
“My personal opinion? No.”
On KPMG’s list of potential cuts to community grants:
“I can’t sit here and justify handing out $50 million in grants,” Ford said, while the government tries to balance it’s budget. The City, he continued, could not just hand out money to “every special interest group out there… Some, some of it might be legit. But when you’re $750 million in the hole you have to get the private sector involved.”
On a property tax increase:
“Very very hard to say” whether one would be included in next year’s budget. (An earlier report said that the City might be considering an increase of no more than 3 per cent this year.)
On buyouts and relationship with City staff:
“I’m prepared to go toe-to-toe with anyone… it’s not an anti-union thing, it’s about finding value for your dollar.” Later, he said that among City staff was some “deadwood, hiding behind a desk, not doing anything.”
On not attending the Pride parade:
“I don’t regret it… My family comes first.”
On his mayoralty so far:
“People that know me know I’m a man of integrity, I speak the truth, and I do what I say I’m going to do… I want to be in the business of cleaning the city up, making sure our roads are spic and span…all the other stuff to me is duplication.”
The footage of Mayor Ford’s interview is available on CP24.

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