It's official: Rob Ford has filed his papers to run for re-election.
“Would the first person in line like to come through?”
Rob Ford isn’t often seen at City Hall at 8:30 in the morning, but he made a point of arriving outside the City of Toronto’s elections office early today. He was the first person in line, and the first candidate to register to run for office in the 2014 municipal election: the unofficial campaign he’s been running for the past two years is now an official one.
“I’ll go 105 debates. You know what? Let’s have 200 debates.” In a scrum as soon as the paperwork was filed, the mayor reverted to language from his first campaign—speaking as though he were an outsider rather than the holder of the highest office in the city. “I can’t wait to get my record on the floor, and let people decide for themselves… We’re going to get the city back on track on October 27.”
Who had gotten things off track, he didn’t specify.
Reporters, as expected, asked about drug use, criminal associations, and matters of trust in the wake of months of lying. Ford, as expected, tried to reframe that as an issue about the media rather than himself. “If you want to get personal—I’m sticking to my record. That’s all personal.”
“I’ve been the best mayor that this city’s ever had.”
Though he said nothing about his platform or what he’d be campaigning for over the next 10 months, Ford did list the accomplishments he thought most deserved attention: “Who got rid of the car registration tax? I did. Who came in with [a] lower tax increase than two per cent for four years? I have. Who’s got the best union deals with the unions? I have… Who’s been in the city the most? Who’s been dealing with the…unfortunately with the shooting at Eaton Centre, who was down there first? Who was leading the ice storm? I was. I was. No-one else was.”
For the record, the residential property tax increases since Ford was elected mayor: 2011 budget—zero per cent; 2012 budget—2.5 per cent; 2013 budget—two per cent.
Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) stuck around for a few minutes after his brother left—he confirmed that he will be serving as campaign manager for Rob. Like the mayor, he worked the outsider angle: “Finally, finally the people get to speak up. Not the media, not the councillors that voted against everything the people voted Rob in for. Now it’s the people. The people have the choice.”
That they certainly do.