Soknacki's team suspects Ford has used his office for campaign purposes.
For only five dollars, any Torontonian can go up to the 13th floor of City Hall’s east tower, fill out a form, and request the mayor’s office records. On Tuesday morning, Brian Kelcey did just that, except he’s not just any Torontonian—he’s mayoral candidate David Soknacki’s campaign manager.
The Soknacki campaign filed a freedom of information request for the mayor’s office communications from January on because it suspects that, in Kelcey’s words, “the mayor and his brother are effectively using their office as a campaign resource and headquarters,” which would violate elections law. The FOI filing appears to be part of a larger Soknacki campaign strategy to “drop the gloves” on issue-based concerns, and hold the mayor accountable for his conduct.
The mayor, as you may have heard, does not have a reputation for following or caring about rules. In an interview with Torontoist, Kelcey made reference to the time the mayor’s spokesperson, Amin Massoudi, used an office e-mail address to promote the Ford Nation YouTube show while simultaneously claiming only volunteer time and resources went into its production. “We believe there is a high probability the mayor’s office is not following the rules,” Kelcey said.
Of course, there is a political element to the complaint. The Soknacki team has made transparency and accountability a significant part of its platform, and Kelcey added that it’s important for the campaign to highlight the contrast between its candidate and the mayor, who has drawn criticism for a highly secretive and opaque administration.
Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), Rob Ford’s campaign manager, said that the FOI request shows that “David Soknacki’s getting a little nervous.”
Asked to respond to Doug Ford’s comment, Kelcey had this to say to the rival campaign manager: “The only thing that makes the Soknacki campaign nervous is that this city will be governed for the next few months by Rob and Doug Ford.”