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politics

Duly Quoted: Rob Ford, on Why Nobody Should Worry That He Was Lobbying on Behalf of a Client

The mayor's family company has so many clients, it seems, that declaring conflicts of interest would just be impracticable.

“We have done business with every single company almost in Ontario. We are right around the world.”

-Rob Ford, responding to claims that a company he assisted in lobbying for a City contract was, in fact, a client of his family business, Deco Labels and Tags. RR Donnelley and Sons, a Chicago-based printing company, unsuccessfully lobbied for a project involving the City’s in-house printing division, and both the mayor and his brother and campaign manager Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) assisted it by making phone calls and setting up meetings. The Globe and Mail recently acquired an internal Deco client list that suggests the two firms had a business relationship—Doug has since charged that the paper is in possession of “stolen material” and threatened legal action. Rob, for his part, feels the matter is of little consequence: “I can’t recall if they’re one of our customers or not—irrelevant. It doesn’t matter.” And if it does happen to be a client, well, as the mayor says—it’s just one of many. Apparently when a politician is associated with a successful firm that has countless clients, he can’t really be expected to declare conflicts of interest each and every time the matter arises.

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