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Liveblog: Fact-Checking the First Televised Mayoral Debate

Follow along as we fact-check the claims made during the mayoral debate, and determine which ones hold up, and which ones don't pass the smell test.


For months, Rob Ford has insisted he wants to debate all comers in Toronto’s mayoral race. This evening, the mayor will get his wish, as the five leading candidates for mayor participate in their first debate from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Citytv and online. Mayoral contenders Ford, Olivia Chow, John Tory, Karen Stintz, and David Soknacki will each get a chance to discuss the three major subjects of the debate: taxes, transit, and leadership.

For candidates like Stintz and Soknacki, the debate will be an opportunity to raise their name recognition and be put on the same platform as the three other candidates, who poll at much more competitive levels. But it won’t be easy to gain a lot of traction in just one debate. Ford has consistently exceeded expectations at these events—he participated in over 100 debates in the 2010 campaign—as he tends to stick to his talking points and deliver them with conviction, which comes across well in the format. Tory will likely warn against an Olivia Chow or a Rob Ford mayoralty and say “livable, affordable, functional” a lot. And Chow will likely argue against choosing any of the “Ford lite” options, and claim that adopting his policies without his behaviour would still be a recipe for failure.

As we follow the debate, the Torontoist Truth Squad will be on-the-fly fact-checking the statements and claims made by the candidates in order to provide more context and establish what holds up. Statements that we judge to be outright wrong will get a FALSE rating, while half-truths and exaggerations will get a QUESTIONABLE rating.

Desmond Cole will be fact-checking Olivia Chow and David Soknacki, David Hains will be fact-checking John Tory and Karen Stintz, and Christopher Bird will be fact-checking Rob Ford.

Let the Hunger Games debate begin!

Before we begin the first televised debate of Campaign 2014, we can take a trip down memory lane to the debate on March 30, 2010. George Smitherman was the front-runner, and longshot candidate Rob Ford took credit for “cleaning up Rexdale” and wanted to bring back Julian Fantino. The more things change.

5:04: Chow claims that building an LRT to replace the Scarborough RT will save a billion dollars. Even in the most generous interpretation, this figure is overblown by about $100 million, as Daniel Dale pointed out in his March 17 fact-check of the claim. QUESTIONABLE

5:06: Stintz says she has a plan to fund the Downtown Relief Line, but it’s a stretch. Her plan to sell half of Toronto Hydro would raise only about $400 million and would also require a 0.87-per cent property tax revenue increase. The Downtown Relief Line would cost $7.4 billion. QUESTIONABLE

5:08: Ford has not saved the City a billion dollars. He has not built a subway. City council has not approved a subway for Finch. Ford does not have a proven track record of building subways. And the St. Clair streetcar line is not an LRT. Right out of the gate, Ford has blatantly lied five times in less than a minute. FALSE

5:12 Citytv is asking viewers to text in the name of the candidate they would most trust to run transit in the city, which will just end up being a competition for which campaign can stuff the ballot box most. Go, democracy, go!

5:20: Chow asks Ford about what he would say to people who rely on TTC services that have been cut. Ford immediately lies and says he hasn’t cut TTC service, which he voted for and got passed in 2011 when he cut numerous route services down. He claims he has “not cut one red cent” on transit, skipping the fact that the TTC budget allocation has not been raised along with the rate of inflation, which is effectively a cut. He also claims that a further transit fare hike will “not be necessary,” which is extremely unlikely, but everything else he said was FALSE.

5:21: Emma Teitel of Maclean’s magazine asks Tory a specific question about what he would do to improve bus service. He does not answer directly, saying that a plan will come later. He argues that we need to focus on all road congestion, and focus on traffic signalling and co-ordinating road construction. These efforts are already in the works at City Hall. QUESTIONABLE

5:24 Tory: “Mr. Ford is actually right that the funding of the TTC has gone up, not down.” Tory is right that gross TTC funding has increased, but on a per-rider basis, funding has gone down. In 2010, the ridership subsidy, which is the lowest in North America, was $0.92 per trip. It is now $0.79. QUESTIONABLE

So, the poll on Citytv says viewers rated Chow highest during the transit segment. It’s worth noting that Chow’s campaign team has also organized a debate-watching party.

5:31 Ford claims he has “cleaned up” Soknacki’s “mess,” which isn’t even remotely true considering the massive budget shortfall that’s in Toronto’s immediate future. Then he claims again that he’s found “efficiencies” and oh, lord, he’s just not going to stop, is he. FALSE

5:35: Stintz takes credit for the new streetcars and subways that the TTC has rolled out. But these were purchased under the previous administration, which she has also criticized for being fiscally irresponsible. QUESTIONABLE

5:36: Jimmy Kimmel provides some feedback about Citytv moderator Gord Martineau’s performance:

5:40: Soknacki keeps calling the tax increase council approved to fund the Bloor-Danforth subway extension “the biggest tax increase in the City’s history.” The transit portion of the tax increase amounted to 0.5 per cent this year, 0.5 per cent next year, and 0.6 per cent in 2016, for a total of 1.6 per cent. After property taxes were frozen for years under Mel Lastman, they rose between 3 to 5 per cent a year under David Miller. Now, Soknacki may be referring to the 30-year time period during which the transit tax will be collected. He is correct that the debt levied to pay for the Bloor-Danforth extension will limit the City’s debt ceiling, and thus, limit borrowing opportunities. But it’s a big stretch to call it the “biggest tax increase in the City’s history.” FALSE

5:41 In response to Soknacki’s question about money-saving votes that Ford failed to show up for, Ford again claims he has saved the taxpayers a billion dollars and that Joe Pennachetti says that’s correct—neither of which is true—and then he conflates cutting taxes with cutting spending again, because he’s Mister FALSE.

5:41 Jimmy Kimmel has more to say about Toronto’s mayoral debate.

5:42: Stintz defends the changes in her position when it comes to the island airport and Scarborough transit expansion. Stintz claims that her position on the airport is based on three principles, but it’s a deflection; she doesn’t explain why she was against jets then and is for them now. QUESTIONABLE

5:48 It’s worth mentioning that this entire debate format, which simply encourages candidates to shout at one another, is completely useless, and Citytv should feel embarrassed.

5:50: Tory repeats his line that he’s the only candidate who will take the city “not left, not right, but forwards,” because he is apparently either Kang or Kodos.

5:51 Ford lies again about the billion dollars and sheer fatigue is starting to set in, but this time he says he did what David Miller could not do; namely, save money through budget efficiencies. However, David Miller’s administration saved an amount of money in budget efficiencies comparable to what Ford’s has. FALSE

5:51 Rob Ford blah blah gravy train blah blah then claims he’s created 57,000 jobs in the last three years—(a) he doesn’t really create jobs directly as mayor, and (b) the unemployment rate has risen during his tenure as mayor. FALSE

5:55: Chow claims that water rates have gone up during Ford’s administration. While this is true (rates went up 9% this year, for example), water rates have been going up at an identical rate for years as part of the City’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan. QUESTIONABLE

5:55: Ford, after attacking Tory for losing the provincial election for some reason, says he is a “businessman.” Ford, by his own admission, worked a very minimal number of hours at Deco Labels while he was a city councillor; if he ever was actively involved in Deco’s management on a day-to-day basis, he has not been so for over a decade now. FALSE

5:56: Ford claims that “we haven’t had one union strike.” Well, except for that librarian strike in 2012. FALSE

5:56: In case you’re wondering why this debate is at the weird 5–7 p.m. time slot, one Citytv source tells Torontoist it’s because of U.S. syndication—they won’t pre-empt shows like Cougar Town. Busy Phillips has those kinds of powers.

6:09: Ford’s question for Soknacki references him “increasing spending more than any other budget chief ever has,” which isn’t true, because Ford is referring to the gross budget, which includes the provincial and federal funding David Miller excelled at getting. FALSE

6:11: Answering a question on budgets from Ford, Soknacki does a decent job explaining to viewers where the budget has grown in recent years. He does glare somewhat alarmingly at his adversaries on stage when he gets fired up. Wonder how that is playing with the viewers.

6:11: Ford claims that garbage collection is saving “$80 million per year.” It’s saving $80 million over the life of the contract. FALSE

6:11: Stintz claims that she has always been clear about where she stands on revenue tools for transit, but this is not the case. As Tory points out, she supported selling 10 per cent of Hydro before modifying that to 50 per cent this past Monday. QUESTIONABLE

6:14: Ford, finally being asked about all that crack he smoked, goes back to his track record, says “I saved a billion dollars” YET AGAIN, then invites people to his campaign kickoff party. FALSE

6:19: Ford’s closing statement: proven track record of success, billion dollars, efficiencies, the CFO says a billion dollars, et cetera. FALSE Congratulations to Citytv for inventing a debate format so completely useless that it enables Ford to quite literally repeat the same three lies for a solid hour.

6:25: Citytv’s post-debate analysis is nothing short of awful. The first commentator makes the argument that Ford won the debate because he was a good communicator, essentially saying that the mayor’s overwhelming intransigence was really great. The second analyst adds that it was impressive how on top of the City’s files Ford was, like which transit lines were getting built. This is what happens when you get analysts who don’t follow City Hall.

6:40: In a post-debate scrum, Stintz is asked how she will deal with losing part of the dividend from selling half of Hydro. She claims that they might get a greater dividend with efficiencies from the private sector. The idea that efficiencies in a utility company could double net income to make up for selling half of the company is either disingenuous or ignorant. FALSE


  • OgtheDim

    Can we put an orange box around your pic at the top of this?

    That pic from the twitter feed of Stintz….that’s not Soknacki. That’s taken from the night of the draw for this debate, when Soknacki went to a policy discussion instead.

    U might want to change that, if for nothing else editorial fairness.

  • Don Rhodes

    Who wants to start a drinking game? Take a shot every time Ford says “A billion dollars”.

    • Paul Kishimoto

      But if he admits that he cost Torontonians “a billion dollars” to pay for his ill-conceived subway, drain your bottle and then club yourself over the head with it.

      • Don Rhodes


  • estta

    Yikes, where is the moderation? This is terrible.

    • Sonny Yeung


  • David Toronto

    The whole debate is nothing but shameless pandering
    on the part of CITY TV and the candidates speaking over
    one another.

    Small wonder CITY TV has been in decline since it was
    taken over by Rogers and the Rogers’ self-promotion
    throughout has been quite embarrassing.

    Shame on CITY and Rogers for this abomination of
    a telecast.

    Viewers deserve better.

    • rich1299

      It was taken over by Bell actually, along with CTV. But I agree the decline of CITY TV and CP24 has been rather drastic.

      • Sonny Yeung

        CITY is Rogers. CP24/CTV is Bell which owns Newstalk1010 the Conservative Talk radio Tory commented. Chow should be wary of going on their products.
        P.S. 680 News is Rogers as is MacLean’s; where those commentators picked Ford for shooting from the hip despite all the lies…

        • rich1299

          Thanks, I didn’t know they had been split up.

    • ArnieGeddon

      Complete waste of time – it was like Wayne’s World (or Sunmedia News, or whatever in hell it is called) brought us a political debate. Pointless, pointless, pointless ….

  • ghawk99

    Who decided to start a debate at 5:00 when most of the voters are either still at work or on the way home? No wonder the voting is skewed for Ford in these online votes, he’s probably got his family and staff voting for him over and over.

    • ghawk99

      “In case you’re wondering why this debate is at the weird 5:00-7:00 time slot, one CityTV source tells Torontoist it’s because of US syndication”

      And with that one comment, CityTV shoots its credibility to hell when it comes to responsible journalism and informing the public. What’s going to come out of this for most people will be a bunch of out of context sound bites which won’t be fact-checked and footage of adults yelling at each other to be heard.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        This is really astonishing…..Who gives a crap about US syndication!?It’s a Toronto election. If Americans want to watch because they want to laugh at the Crack Smoking Mayor let’em watch a re-run.

        • DMG

          Ever since the crack scandal, Toronto politics are no longer a civic duty. They’re now an international entertainment product, and are being exploited accordingly.

    • OgtheDim

      Modern Family

    • switcherdawna

      … or all the unemployed people of Ford Nation.

  • OgtheDim

    Seems the other candidates were not ready for the usual stuff RoFo says.

    Glad I didn’t watch this mess.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      I’m sure they’ll get better at handling Ford. I think most people are astonished at how much Ford lies or fudges the facts and that includes Chow, Stintz and Soks, all of whom have worked with the guy. Blunting his false claims is going to be important if the city is to get rid of this awful man.

      • OgtheDim

        Yeah, I was gonna say, although I did not watch this, it sounds like they are making the same mistake Smitherman made and try to stay above the fray. Can’t do that with Ford. Gotta take his lies on fully.

        I’m going to avoid the political pundits who think somebody won stuff – there is a LONG way to go yet and most people will not have watched that.

        Reading through the various tweets, it seems Soknacki tried to get at Ford on the billion dollar lie.

        Tory started to go after him before a commerial break.

        And Chow is acting disappointed.

        Need to pick up your game people.

        • Paul Kishimoto

          How, though? “You LIE, sir!” He thrives on confrontation.

          I didn’t watch, but I would also choose to act disappointed. “In contrast to the lie my opponent has sadly chosen to tell the undeserving people of Toronto, I would…”

          • torontothegreat

            “He thrives on confrontation”


        • ghawk99

          Ford is so tightly focused on his talking points that going after his lies doesn’t register with him. It’s like this talking head just said “He knows his facts, even if they aren’t true”.

          • OgtheDim

            What people are forgetting about is the point in debates is NOT always to make the other person flustered.

            Look him straight in the eye and say, “Why should a mother of a person killed by the drug dealing gang you smoked up with trust you to take care of anything?’

            Who cares what he says to that.

          • torontothegreat

            But would it really matter? “He saved a billion dollars, proven track record, blah blah blah”

          • OgtheDim

            That’s not the talking point that is going to get people away from voting for him or considering him.

            You have to pry him away from their personal moral base. Its quite easy, actually, if attempted.

            Heck, if you read the majority of discussion over the years, there is a LOT of moral outrage at Ford, on everything he does.

            Time to start acting like Sean Connery suggests in the Untouchables.

          • torontothegreat

            I’m of the opinion that if he’s not willing to have anything resembling a meaningful conversation about something, than there is no need to ask him anything meaningful.

          • OgtheDim

            Yeah, and that worked SO well 4 years ago.

            The man needs to have the willingness of people to vote for him to be destroyed.

            End of story.

            Any attempt to be nice about his behaviour enables him.

          • torontothegreat

            4 years ago, things have changed, the candidates are different, the citizens are more awake… etc etc.

            The problem with Ford being even ALLOWED to talk, answer questions or interact with the other candidates is that he sticks to his messaging. He’s not any different than a PR sock, troll or twitter egg, and should be treated as such.

            The candidates can attack his lies and claims without interacting with him.

          • OgtheDim

            Things have changed?

            Look at the media today. its all about how the guy with low expectations survived because the high expectations that people had of the other 4 to ask the tough questions were not fullfilled. Sounds a lot like 4 years ago to me.

            The object of this exercise is to ensure you win the election, which means ensuring this guy doesn’t.

            You want to make sure he doesn’t? Hit him hard with the relationship to drug gangs. Who care if it bounces off of him. The point is it WON’T bounce off of people who hear this stuff.

            And ultimately, this is about them, not making Ford be flustered.

          • torontothegreat

            ” the tough questions were not fullfilled. Sounds a lot like 4 years ago to me.”

            4 years ago the media hadn’t yet reported on Rob Ford smoking crack with drug dealers and gun smugglers. 4 years ago we still had Transit City. 4 years ago the TTC metropass was 60 less. 4 years ago we had a fund for a tree canopy that does things like prevent people being with no power for weeks at a time. ETC< ETC< ETC.

            The ultimate issue I have with your point is, the more Rob Ford talks, the more soundbites he generates, the more "reasons" he can give, and when reported on (out of full context of the entire conversation), it allows people (who aren't glued to muni poli – EI the majority of Torontonians) to read a Metro first thing in the morning and think: "Haha, that Ford, he got them good". "Saved me a billion", "allegations", "subway", "jobs", "cranes", etc, etc.

            His tactic isn't exactly new, it's a favourite amongst dictators and fascists around the world, through the annuls of history. Detracting that kind of person comes from changing the conversation, not sticking within a narrow from constructed by your opponent.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            “”Why should a mother of a person killed by the drug dealing gang you smoked up with trust you to take care of anything?’

            Gawd, I really hope one of the other candidates ask this. I really do.

          • OgtheDim

            I’m half hoping that a certain CBC morning radio guy has the guts to do that on Friday…..

          • torontothegreat

            I do too. I hope the media take him to task on these issues during the election.

          • Testu

            Prepare to be disappointed.

            His system of avoiding all but known friendly journalists (Warmington, et al) isn’t about to stop working. If anyone presses him he just reverts to talking points and avoids them in future.

            These sideband fact checks don’t mean a damn thing because the only people that see them already know Ford’s history. It’s cathartic, but useless.

          • torontothegreat

            I’m already disappointed. I think you’re right, it’s rather cathartic for me, useless, but literally can get me through a day lolling.

          • TheSotSays

            $530,000 ?????

          • candolf

            oh god – YES!

          • dsmithhfx

            By CBC’s own account (which reads like a press release), he was provided a platform to declaim campaign slogans unchallenged. Thanks, Matt ‘Marshmallow’ Galloway!

          • CYW

            That’s an excellent approach, but all he would say in reply is, “I’m not perfect. Maybe YOU are … but I wasn’t elected to be perfect.” It’s what he does ALL THE TIME.

          • torontothegreat

            I really think they need to start talking about Ford like he’s not there and treat him like Stintz – a fringe candidate.

  • fordmoreyears

    Ford More Lying Years

    • Sonny Yeung

      Desmond, Olivia is right that the water rates have gone up 9% each year Ford’s Administration has been in power. The pipes exist so if people are charged more they will use less which means not having to put in a larger pipe. The trend line will be 8% increases moving forward…
      Dude, Ford More Years of Lying?

      • fordmoreyears

        Would you prefer Ford More Racist, Sexist or Homophobic Years? FORD MORE YEARS!

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          How about “wasted”. Which in Ford’s case can have many meanings.

          • fordmoreyears

            Listen, all that time I spent with Sandro Lisi was totally not wasted.

      • David Hains

        The point was that this was a plan council agreed to long before Ford became mayor, so blaming Ford for maintaining the plan to raise water rates isn’t fair.

        • Sonny Yeung

          The water/garbage rate went up 9%, 9%, 9% & 9% this year even though they are “saving?” money west of Yonge pickup we are paying more!(not passing on the saving)
          The choice of Minnan Wong for Works and the 5-10% reduction elsewhere like Forestry meant less tree trimming. Now more tree debris pickup post Ice Storm because they were “ready” for a snow storm.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          If Ford is taking credit for things started by a previous administration or council, it’s totally fair to blame him for things they did too.

          • Sonny Yeung

            Desmond, the cost of the BloorDanforth Subway extention vs LRT would go up $1.5 Billion!
            the City portion would be $910 million in property taxes and developement charges passed on to the property owner.
            There was a sunk cost of $85 million for the LRT EA and work done not to mention the change over of storing facilities though existing Subway trains could go the 3 stops.
            $660 million come from the Fed of which 8-10% comes from Toronto income tax payers/citizens

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            I’m not Desmond…

  • YungChris

    What about Olivia Chow? David Sodnacki? Why do you only attack the candidates, and quotations that advocate fiscal responsibility?

    This isn’t a fact check, it’s a unionist propaganda piece. You won’t get our money, parasites.

    • Paul Kishimoto

      Maybe you should call their campaigns and encourage them to lie more, so they can get on the board.

    • Gary McCollom

      Its utterly disgusting, even more so than the fact that Rob tried crack, calling him a liar is beyond any kind of logic I can come up with when ones looks at all these other lying politicians, who have lied incessantly with our money.

      • Testu

        The logic behind calling a candidate a liar, when they are lying, seems pretty straight forward actually.

        Note, when the other candidates lied, their statements were noted as being false as well.

        The fact that Ford told a lie almost every time he opened his mouth in the debate does not reflect bias on the part of the reporters.

      • Don Rhodes

        Coo coo for cocoa puffs!

      • dsmithhfx

        So you admit Rob is just another lying politician? Well, it’s a start.

        • John_Marmalade

          That’s not what he said and you know it.

          The NDP is noted for ridiculous, time wasting, childish quibbling like this and that’s why the ratepayers are coming in October to throw you out.

          • dsmithhfx

            He said: “all these other lying politicians”.

            (I’m not NDP, by the way. Also, I do not hold elected office. So…)

          • OgtheDim

            Renters voted for Rob in 2010 at higher rates then ratepayers.

    • torontothegreat

      Fill this out and give it to your employer. They’ll love you for it.

      • Gary McCollom

        Don’t forget that you can also spend the first hour of your work day at McDonalds, go to the one at Ellesmere and Victoria Park, any morning you like, there will be at least 5 City trucks, 4 or so Toronto Hydro trucks and a few others, that was just from the last time I was there.

        Or maybe you can think about those Hamilton city workers, who were supposed to be paving potholes and instead were paving friends driveways or just throwing out the asphalt.

        Guess what I did, got out, went in and bought my food, then I left, all the while the city vehicles were still sitting there.

        I could do this all day.

        • Testu

          You could do what? Come up with irrelevant anecdotes?

          Yes, you probably could, but I’m not sure why you would. Everyone needs a hobby I suppose.

        • OgtheDim

          Yup, the guy who complains about people telling him how to think is now doing unionist jokes and telling us stories of bad people.

          I got one question for you Gary about bad people..


          Cause if you support this guy, you support drug gangs.




          • OgtheDim

            Crickets chirp.

          • Gary McCollom

            Perfect display name, at least the last part anyways, these are facts, not jokes and yes its sad to say the least.

            Perhaps you are not aware, that son was also a criminal or does that not fit your narrative, when one runs in certain circles, like these, one of the obvious drawbacks would be death.

            I would be very careful with what you say, not a chance, even if I hated the man, would I be insinuating that he had something to do with that mans death, here is a thought though, try some thinking on your own, here we go.

            Are you aware of are you not aware that one of the somalis is charged with trying to extort the mayor, now you won’t find that on the news but it is out there, further to that, it is fairly evident that there was an internal fight over this tape that was made with the express purpose of blackmailing the mayor and it appears that this young fellow was the guy who lost the fight over the tape, or maybe he was going to rat out the others, who knows at this point.

            One thing is OBVIOUSLY certain, if Ford had anything to do with this the others would have ratted him out, never mind the fact that the police have been following the mayor for who knows how long already and they still have nothing on the man.

          • Testu

            You do realize that they were able to make the recording and attempt to extort the mayor because he put himself in a situation where he was smoking crack with gangsters, right?

            Does smoking crack with gangsters seem like a good judgement call to you? Do you trust the judgement of a man who would make a decision like that? Why?

            And especially, why when it has been shown that doing such a thing has negative effects on his ability to perform his job and leaves him open to things like extortion?

          • Ratel Dajer

            The military has very strict rules about using drugs and prostitutes etc, one reason is that if you do these things, and you get blackmailed, you put society at risk because you are in a position of power. Politicians are the same. Wether or not Ford is the victim in any way of these things, once we became someone who has a high risk of being blackmailed, it was incumbent on him to remove himself from a position of power, ie. resign.

          • herewardpooley

            As I said to one of your opponents, you can’t extort a mayor. You can only extort money from a mayor.

          • OgtheDim

            They extorted silence.

            And ANYBODY who supports this guy for mayor might as well get their debit card out and give a gangbanger a service charge on top of it for enabling his silence.

          • OgtheDim

            That gang has killed people for decades, and continues to hurt and destroy lives.

            ANY support for them is support for that gang.

            Buying stuff from them.

            Not telling the cops about ANY of them.

            ANY support.

            But, hey, all you care is that ur guys gets scott free.

          • OgtheDim

            Oh, yeah, you do know that drug gangs existed before RoFo, riiiiiiiiight?

            And that people have had their kids killed by that gang for years, riiiiiiiiiiiight?

            But, hey, lets support the guy who smoked up with them and call everybody else names and commies.

            I at least can look at myself in the mirror and say I do not support drug gangs.

            You….you can’t do that.


            Cause you support RoFo.

          • Gary McCollom

            Look friend, it really boils down to one simple freedom/right, innocent until proven guilty, Ford has been charged with nothing, discounting your accusations and all he has shown that is “bad” are some personal choice mistakes, even with all the opposition to the policies he was voted in to implement, he has still stayed the course on his promises to the voters.

          • dsmithhfx

            Raising taxes by a billion dollars? I don’t recall that promise.

          • Gary McCollom

            Infrastructure is not free, its an investment in the future, the Scarborough subway line should have been built 40 years ago, if it had of been Scarborough would have probably had a different dynamic with all the investment around the line and its stops.

          • dsmithhfx

            Raising taxes by a billion dollars? I don’t recall that promise.

          • meshuga

            If the line and the stops actually did lead to investments and changes in the neighbourhood dynamic around it, why have there been no major developments around the subways stops that already exist in Scarborough – specifically: Vic Park, Warden and Kennedy?

            This is not a question that is only applicable to those three stops, there are plenty of stops on both BD and YUS lines that have resulted in very little densification.

          • OgtheDim

            Never been to Glencairn Station, I see.

            Subways do not automatically bring investment.

            Sheppard condos are because of the access to the 404 and the 401 . One builder couldn’t give away, for free, TTC passes.

            You like to waste taxpayers money?

          • Don Rhodes

            The more I read from you, the dumber you sound.

          • Pseudanko

            We had this infrastructure debate already. It resulted in Transit City, a plan that made sense and that we could afford. Ford tore it up for no reason, drew a subway map in crayon, lied about private investment in it, and voila, we have a 1.5 billion subway to nowhere that we already decided we didn’t need and can’t afford to pay and pay and pay and pay and pay for for decades. Scarborough gets three subway stops, and toronto will be unable to pay for services in future thanks to ford’s inability to read a simple report or do basic math.

          • torontothegreat


          • Zach Stevenson

            Well said!

          • TheSotSays

            Congratulations Gary. You can know absolutely that you’re right when both the flakes are after you.

          • OgtheDim

            Drug gangs murder.

            They run prostitution.

            They run guns.

            They do extortion rackets.

            We have documented proof he smoked crack with gangbangers one day, and then on the next told the media it was tough combatting gangs because we don’t know who they are.

            Yup, that’s right.

            Your buddy knows gangbangers.

            That’s support.

            So, if you support Rob Ford, you support a guy who supports gang violence.

            Now, you got the freedom to think like you do.

            But we ALL got the freedom to call you what you are:

            a supporter of gangs.

            Suck it up buttercup.

          • vampchick21

            How exactly has he stayed on course when, as Tory put it, he can’t get council to agree to the day of the week?

          • TheSotSays

            It’s a dysfunctional NDP driven council, they can’t agree on anything. That’s why we’re going to vote them into the trash can. Finally!

          • Pseudanko

            Ford bought and smoked crack from gangsters. That was his personal choice mistake.He has not apologized, he has not made amends, in fact he hasn’t even helped police investigate those criminals he hung out with. And you are willing to vote for him for mayor. that’s what it boils down to. Friend.

          • TheSotSays

            “Chow even tried Ronald Reagan’s debate trick against Jimmy Carter. “Mr. Ford, there you go again,” she said, several times. Well, it worked for Reagan.”

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Ford bought drugs from guys who are running guns into our city. The man has no moral compass. These gangs have been responsible for the deaths of innocent people (Dnazig St.,Jane Creba shooting and more) and there’s the Chief Magistrate hanging out with them at a crack house. The man is a liar and a hypocrite – he doesn’t deserve to be Mayor any longer.

          • Gary McCollom

            So let us think for a second about just how many regular folks in our society do drugs, quite a few, never mind the rich and famous that we idolize as well, guess where they get it from, a dealer, what are dealers involved in, I can’t even take people like you seriously when you make such hypocritical comments, yet many do, how sad.

          • vampchick21

            so what you are saying is….Ford does drugs, Ford is a regular guy, so therefore everyone does drugs! DRUGS FOR ALL!!! YAYS!!!!!!

            Seriously you idiot, I don’t give a flying F**K what type of mental acrobatics you put your poor smoking little brain through to justify the mayor of the 4th largest city in North America doing drugs with gang members. It. Is. Wrong. And. Illegal. Period. End of f**king story. No matter WHO you are.

          • Pseudanko

            Everybody hangs out in crack houses smoking crack with gangsters, what’s the big deal? That’s your platform now? And you want to be taken seriously?

          • Gary McCollom


            What did I just say in the post above, put your god damn biases aside for just once and use some logic and common sense.

          • herewardpooley

            You can’t extort a mayor. You can only extort money from a mayor.

          • vampchick21

            A bit more articulate than the usual, but…Ford Nation Spotted. Stupid alert! Stupid alert!

            Seriously, stop trying to bring hard core Ford Nation to reality peeps, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are all far, far to stupid to grasp basic concepts that don’t come in the form of Tea Party type soundbites.

          • Don Rhodes

            Keep drinking that Kool-Aid

          • Ratel Dajer

            That question should be the universal response to everything now.

        • torontothegreat

          Feel free to fill out the above form and submit to your employer. But you won’t, cause you’re a boorish cretin who doesn’t understand anything except some personally created fake outrage.

        • dsmithhfx

          Why would you “spend the first hour of your work day at McDonalds”, unless you happened to, you know, work there?

          • Gary McCollom

            Nice try friend, these comments are based on 20 years of delivering in the area.

            I run in and grab my food then get back to what I am being paid to do, have I myself taken advantage, absolutely but its not part of my daily routine.

          • dsmithhfx

            So what, you sit in the parking lot? Circle the block for an hour? It sounds like you’re accusing others (with no proof, just a jealousy-fuelled suspicion) of doing what you admit to doing yourself. Amiright?

          • torontothegreat

            You don’t happen to work for a chain competitor of McDonald’s do you? Maybe a Pizza Place? It’s Pizza Hut isn’t it?

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            So you’re being paid to drive a truck and deliver its contents, but you fuck off to McDonald’s to get breakfast instead and claim moral superiority to all unionized labour because some of them – whose work schedules you have no way of knowing – might be doing the same thing?

            You sir are a hypocrite, so I am not at all surprised to see you here shilling for Ford.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          One time this guy with a non-unionized job killed another guy! Non-union workers are murderers! My story proves it!

        • torontothegreat

          So you won’t hand in the card to your employer? That makes you a coward and a gossip. Either shit or get off the pot, otherwise go away with your brainwashed self.

      • YungChris

        Do I get my stolen tax money returned to me as well?

        • OgtheDim

          As soon as ur local government gets it share back from Wall Street, sure……

        • dsmithhfx

          Submit a claim to Decco Label.

    • Jack Benimble

      Unionist propaganda? Oh man this election is really going to bring out the stupid in people…

    • OgtheDim

      Yes, because, you know the guy who DOESN’T want to WASTE A BILLION $ for a subway to a Canadian Tire is obviously a commie unionist.

      • torontothegreat

        What’s really funny about this is that normally it’s the opposite. People complain it’s the union driving some sort of infrastructure expansion as “lining their union buddy’s pockets”.
        We live in Bizarro Toronto right now.

  • Gary McCollom

    May as well be in Russia or China considering the OBVIOUS bias of these writers, unbelievable.

    • OgtheDim

      Yeah, because , you know, if you are against Ford, you are obviously a commie.

      Geez… stated MANY times, some of us are right of centre and despise the man.

      • Gary McCollom

        Its not about being a commie genius, its about telling people what they should be thinking and who they should be voting for.

        • Testu

          Are you saying the analysis is incorrect or untruthful in some way? Or is this a case of reality having an anti-Ford bias?

          • Gary McCollom

            The reality is Ford won this debate, rather handily as well, all this consternation by the likes of this site and you posters is because you are obviously disappointed,lol, quite funny really.

          • Testu

            Consistent messaging and debating are two completely different things.

            Ford stayed on message, though, 100%.

            He would have been slaughtered if he had actually answered any of the questions truthfully. If the debate had any kind of actual moderation that might have happened too, but it didn’t, and he got to repeat his messaging regardless of the question.

            He won alright.

            P.S.: Nice deflection, but it’s okay, you can admit you’re wrong and there’s no factual basis for complaining about the debate analysis.

          • Pseudanko

            That’s your reality. That’s actually not a fact. What are you, some sorta communist propaganda monger?

        • MER1978

          Yeah let’s hear where the analysis was incorrect.

        • OgtheDim

          So, you complain about people telling you how to think … telling them how to think.

          You need to get out of the bubble a bit more.

        • MeetintheMiddle

          If it’s not about being a commie genius, is it about being a commie crackhead?

  • Jon Lim

    “5:50: John Tory repeats his line that he’s the only candidate who will take the city “Not left, not right, but forwards,” because he is apparently either Kang or Kodos.”

    Bless you for that wonderful reference. John Tory will always be twirling, twirling towards freedom!

    • mytwocentsworth

      Just wondering. If John Tory is neither left, nor right, why did he attack Olivia Chow for being an NDPer?

      You can’t have it both ways, John.

      • torontothegreat

        When they interviewed him after he said “I’m a Progressive Conservative”. This is why John Tory can’t have nice things.

        • evanwaters

          I’ll give him credit, that’s one I haven’t heard before.

  • johndot

    I’m hoping for a Ford win, quickly followed by OPP arrest for conspiracy.

  • MeetintheMiddle

    Ford more hits! Or is it bumps? I dunno, I don’t smoke crack.

  • dannyR

    Please do not mix fact-checking with blogger-level prattle. Any blogger-level prattle whatsoever.

    Fact-checking has replaced what used to be part of responsible journalism’s domain: a dry checking of facts and their exposition. It is not exciting, it does not get a lot of readership, circulation-boosting, web-hits.

    It is almost peer-review level material for the average joe.

    • dsmithhfx

      Who died and made you God of Fact Checking?

  • dannyR

    This is prattle:

    “… [Ford] tends to stick to his talking points and deliver them with conviction, which comes across well in the format. John Tory will likely warn against both an Olivia Chow or a Rob Ford mayoralty and say “livable, affordable, functional” a lot. And Chow will likely argue against…”

    Check the facts, or else prattle. Not both.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Start your own blog and dictate the terms there.

  • Ofi

    I could not care less what Jimmy Kimmel has to say. In fact, I think my amount of caring is in the negatives. It makes me sad that you included it.

    • dsmithhfx

      Jimmy has become an integral part of the media circus that Rob craves and invites into his office at City Hall, all the while pretending he is a victim of it. So yeah, Jimmy’s views are very relevant to the discussion, and will probably influence some voters’ decisions at the ballot box.

  • iSkyscraper

    What a disaster. Why the other candidates allowed Ford to come across as remotely normal is beyond me.

  • Geoffrey Skelding

    glad I missed this crapshoot.

  • Guest

    I’m in

  • MatterEater

    Did CityTV and/or John Tory disclose that John Tory sits on the board of Rogers, which owns CityTV. It explains why the camera focuses on him and he gets the floor space he does.

    • ghawk99

      They made a statement at the beginning about being owned by Rogers and having editorial independence. Sadly they didn’t disclose that they had no idea what they were doing beyond being “interactive”.

      • Don Rhodes

        No, they made a statement specifically about John Tory being on the Rogers BOD and that they are neutral in terms of support for the candidates. Not that it matters anyway, this format was atrocious and accomplished nothing. CityTV should be be embarrassed.

    • Don Rhodes

      Yes they did.

  • MatterEater

    Is it me, or is Karen Stintz the only one who seems to be smiling and realizing what a farce this framework was?

    • ghawk99

      It was more like nervous laughter as she realizes that her vanity campaign is crashing like the Hindenburg.

  • Naseem

    Having Christopher Bird ‘fact-check’ is a complete joke, and everyone can check out his ignorance and lies back on January 26, 2014 – Rob Ford at the Economic Club.
    It’s funny how he has now decided to incorporate inflation to try to help Chow – while ignoring it when it helps Ford. He even hilariously claimed that the inflation deflator is monetary inflation. And he again here confuses job creation and the unemployment rate (check out how he lied about StatsCan’s unemployment methodology back then). What do you expect from a purported small time family lawyer with no economics background.

  • Lars Blitzer

    Holy shit. There are politicians who STILL beat the drum for privatization being more efficient or effective at saving money? And I’m really surprised the other candidates haven’t hammered Ford on crack smoking, drunken stupors, his general buffoonery, not to mention how the rest of the world sees Toronto, and Canada.

  • candolf

    Hey guys — love that you did this — but where you just provided a “false” or “questionable” response – without the actual correct answer to the statement made by the candidate — could you fill in the blanks?

  • Ryan

    Why are LRTs better for scarborough Olivia ? If they were then she wouldn’t have voted YES in 2005 to the 2.4 billion $ spadina York university extension currently being built .. WHICH cost tax payers between 600-800 million . Metrolinx at the time had a plan in place with the existing Yonge Richmond hill train and planned to increase service to every 15 mins . No cost to tax payers .. So why attack ford for pushing scarborough subway ?

    Her attack on Fords attendance . Read daniel dale editorial Ford kills all of them .. Chow had worse record for attendance for transportation committee last year .

    Her only valid attack was ford scandals which right after the viewer polls 2 and 3 selected Ford over Chow . She was terrible in the debate

    • OgtheDim

      Ummm……so what you are saying is LRT is bad for Scarborough because they built a subway somewhere else?

      Not valid logic.

    • IvanC

      Why do people bring up the attendance record? Just because he shows up, doesn’t mean he reads the documents or prepares for anything. Just because you show up to school everyday doesn’t mean you’ll pass if you don’t do the homework.

      If you go to any city council meeting, he’s either never read the documents that they’re working on, or he’s ranting on and wasting tax payer’s money.

      • dsmithhfx

        The ongoing police investigation has statements from former staffers who witnessed him drinking and bringing drugs into the office, both during and after work hours.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        The man is often uninformed about any of the important issues facing this city. The thing is, most of his supporters don’t care.

    • dwelwood

      f you ask any transportation planning expert they will tell you that a subway makes sense in some locations and not others. Granted there are parts of the extended Spadina line that would have been more cost-effectively constructed above-ground. That said, not a single transportation planning expert agrees with Ford’s subways to Scarborough plan, and that is for good economic reasons. The thing is Ford doesn’t trust experts, they’re ‘elitist’, Ford thinks he’s qualified to do his own thing, and that’s going to cost Toronto if he continues to screw the pooch on transit.

  • Steve Fleck

    “The second analyst adds that it was impressive how on top of the City’s files Ford was”

    Good heavens! This is the same Rob Ford who still does not understand the difference between an LRT and a streetcar? The same Rob Ford who under oath admitted that he had been incompetent and derelict in his job? The same Rob Ford, who seems to work on average about 20 hours a week.

    So most of what Rob Ford said was not the truth. The rest was misleading or he just made it up. Yet, he “won” the debate. Toronto is in trouble!

  • OpportKnocks

    …. In our best Stephen Page voice:

    “If I had a billion dollars,
    I’d buy you a brand new subway,
    Not an above ground LRT, that’s cruel.”

    “If I saved a billion dollars.
    I’d buy your vote.”

  • Dinah Might

    Statements that we judge to be outright wrong will get a FALSE rating, while half-truths and exaggerations will get a QUESTIONABLE rating.

    But what rating will you give to wholly true statem…. oh, right.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Ford always shows up for council meetings — at least to vote anyway. He’s usually ill-informed on any of the issues and prefers to be the lone wolf rather than work with others. Ford merely showing up doesn’t mean he is doing his job.

  • usa i love

    This blog is unbiased…..FALSE

    • dsmithhfx

      You are biased… TRUE

    • OgtheDim

      Anything is unbiased……….FALSE.

      • dsmithhfx

        Ahem. The Onion?

        • Dinah Might

          The other guard would say the tiger is behind the left door….. TRUE

  • dsmithhfx

    Careful you don’t undo all Rob’s hard work hand-delivering fridge magnets to TCHC…

  • Dinah Might

    Please provide one example of this “obvious” bias you refer to. None of the candidates scored a single “TRUE”, for instance.

  • OgtheDim

    He cut TTC spending.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      More than once!

  • OgtheDim

    Yup, Miller was away a lot.

    Does it excuse the rest of Ford?


    • Punned_It

      Miller was away a lot. Meeting with federal and provincial representatives (getting that money), visiting other cities to discuss and learn about their approaches, attending provincial and national meetings of mayors so he could learn something.

      Miller was also in his office far more than Ford has ever been. Miller never worked 11am to 3pm, and didn’t just disappear to leave his staff looking for him. we know this because he published his calendar, as did all other mayors except Ford.

  • dsmithhfx

    With most employers, drinking and doing drugs on the job are grounds for forced medical leave if the employee enters treatment (rehab), the alternative being dismissal with cause.

    Bullying, assault and drug trafficking are grounds for dismissal.

  • dsmithhfx

    9 years. Slap!

  • dsmithhfx

    Remember that across-the-board budget cut he enforced on every city department except the police? Of course you don’t.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Ford wanted 5% cut in 2011:
    TTC, Police Resist Rob Ford’s Request For Budget Cuts: “Despite Rob Ford’s request for departments to cut five per cent from their budgets, some are pushing back.” – June 2011

    Ford wanted $15 million to be cut in 2012:
    TTC Will Be Less Frequent, More Crowded In 2012: “The TTC says it will reduce its 2012 budget by $15 million, as requested by the mayor” – November 2011

    Ford had 10% cut in 2012:
    Stintz refuses further TTC fare hike, lobbies for more funding: “Ms. Stintz said growing ridership means the TTC cannot hold the line on
    spending for another year as the city has requested – noting that it
    made a 10-per-cent budget cut in 2012, as directed.” – October 2013

    TTC subsidy frozen for 3 years despite 14% growth; effectively a budget cut:
    ‘Not cleaner, not faster, not cheaper’: Doug Ford rips TTC budget: ‘We’ve actually outsourced more at the TTC than the city has with garbage collection and bus maintenance,’ Stintz said. ‘Our subsidy has been frozen for three years and we have increased ridership of 14% and our customers are telling us that we need to put more service on the road and buses do not drive themselves.’ – November 2013

  • OgtheDim

    Oh, lookie lookie…… the debate tonight (which Chow did not enter because she didn’t like the guy running it), the gang stuff got asked, and Ford couldn’t run away.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    He already admitted he does the same thing, going to McDonald’s for breakfast when he should be working.

  • torontothegreat

    a) a debate is a discussion. Don’t try to re-imagine words and their meanings…

    b) Giving him time in front of a mic is the WORST possible strategy I have heard yet. The other candidates will just come off as petty and lewd, while Ford, he holds his own. He said at the debate last night about hecklers “I’m used to this, 14 years on council and it’s always like this for me”.

    The media, the investigation, etc, will be “hard enough” on Ford. A potential candidate isn’t going to win my vote by stooping to Ford’s level of bullshit drivel. I want to hear about the vision of this candidate has and how they’ll solve my problems. Pointing out that “water is wet” isn’t useful to me and it only allows Ford to refute the claim with *insert soundbite for news here*.

  • Filthy Liar

    Objectivity is a shibboleth of people who are constantly getting called out for lies. If Alex Jones catches you in a lie, it’s still a lie, no matter how terrible Alex Jones is.

  • mb133

    Whether or not you support Chow, your first fact check is wrong. 745 million in tax hikes, plus 165 million in development charges = 910 million in cost. This is 91% of a billion dollars. The difference is not material in terms of magnitude. If the amount were “1.1 billion” it would be equally fair if a candidate used the term “billion” in a sound-bite.

    • mb133

      And to be clear, let’s not argue about “development charges.” These are taxes. If they were not dedicated to the subway, they would be applied to an alternate transit plan.

  • torontothegreat

    “asked Chow why not tough on Ford and she said she was.”

    Because most people aren’t assholes. She really did believe she was being tough on him and herein lies the problem.

    Unless you have someone who is exactly like Ford (a bully, petulant manchild and hyper-sense of entitlement) you won’t out-Ford, Ford.

    Obviously the other candidates aren’t assholes, so why build a strategy around out-assholeing the biggest asshole of them all?

  • Will Partridge

    I’d say they did a great job of being unbiased. Ford demonstrably lied, repeatedly. This is a matter of fact, not opinion. If the facts bother you, I’d say it’s your problem, not anyone else’s.