Doug Ford will take another run for mayor of Toronto in 2018.
The former one-term city councillor announced his intention to enter the mayoral race during his family’s annual Ford Fest barbecue in Etobicoke on Friday.
“I’m here to continue on Rob’s legacy … and I just have to say Robbie, this one’s for you,” Ford told the crowd.
His campaign-style speech touched on many of the issues which first galvanized Ford Nation and helped propel Rob Ford into the mayor’s chair almost a decade ago.
“Together we will stop the out of control spending at City Hall and invest in priorities that matter to you,” said Doug Ford. “For four years, we have watched all the hard work that we did at City Hall slowly come undone.”
Ford took aim at mayor John Tory over a long list of what he called broken promises and out of control spending.
“John Tory has had an easy ride until now. But believe me, this is about to change,” he said.
“Mr. Tory has failed to deliver on promises he made during the last election. He promised to keep taxes low; taxes have skyrocketed. Businesses are being forced to close their doors and people are being pushed out of their communities because they can’t afford it.
“He promised to build SmartTrack, he promised 22 new transit stations in seven years. SmartTrack is still on the back of the napkin that he started three years ago. Nothing has been done. SmartTrack is dead.”
Tory addressed the news while taking part in the OneWalk To Conquer Cancer on Saturday.
“I’m not going to worry about it,” said Tory, who avoided any mention of Ford by name but referred to the “total dysfunction” of City Hall before he won the mayoral race three years ago.
“I’m applying myself and doing my best working with the council. I’m trying to bring the city together every day whereas others try to divide the city. I’m just going to keep working hard to build transit, to build housing, to keep taxes low and to have people feel proud of their mayor and proud of their city which I think they are much more so today than might have been the case at times in the past.”
Ford’s last run for mayor came in September 2014 after his brother Rob Ford, was forced to withdraw after being diagnosed with a tumour in his abdomen. Rob Ford died in March 2016.
Despite his late entry into the field, Ford did better than most expected, garnering 33 per cent of the vote, while winner John Tory took just over 40 per cent.
His only other experience in municipal politics came in 2010, when Ford was elected to replace his brother as city councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North, when Rob was elected mayor.
The next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.
Below are some key moments and controversies in the political career of Doug Ford.
Sept. 12, 2014: Doug Ford enters the mayoral race in Toronto.
Sept. 10, 2014: A visibly distraught Ford holds a news conference along with the Humber River Hospital CEO Dr. Rueben Devlin to provide an update on his brother’s condition. Ahead of the update, a news release is sent out announcing that Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a tumour in his abdomen. Doug Ford says his brother is in “good spirits.”
Aug. 28, 2014: Ford attends his last council meeting as councillor.
Aug. 14, 2014: Ford issues a written apology to Toronto police Chief Bill Blair after accusing him of leaking information about a police investigation involving the mayor. Blair accepts the apology and drops the defamation suit.
Aug. 1, 2014: Ford publicly accuses Blair of leaking information about an investigation involving the mayor.
July 4, 2014: Ford apologizes for using the word “jihadist” when referring to CityNews journalist Cynthia Mulligan and another journalist.
May 17, 2014: Ford expresses his desire to relocate the Griffin Centre, a group home for developmentally disabled youth, away from his ward.
Feb. 20, 2014: Ford announces he won’t be running in the Ontario election and that he won’t be seeking re-election as a city councillor.
Feb. 6, 2014: Ford defends his brother’s decision not to attend the Pride Parade, saying he did not want to see “buck-naked” men.
Nov. 5, 2013: Ford says police Chief Blair should step aside over what he says is a conflict of interest. He also says that he and his brother have been “uninvited” from an upcoming police gala.
May 25, 2013: Ford denies a report in The Globe and Mail that accuses him of being a hash dealer in the 1980s. He says it is “100 per cent false.”
May 22, 2013: Ford says drug allegations against his brother are “untrue.” Speaking at city hall, he says, “Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him.”
Jan. 16, 2012: Doug and Rob Ford kick off a public weight-loss campaign.
July 26, 2011: Ford says there are more libraries than Tim Hortons in his North Etobicoke ward.
July 4, 2011: Ford defends his decision to skip the annual Pride Parade in Toronto and instead go up north with Rob Ford and their families.
Feb, 10, 2011: Ford tells an Ontario Coalition Against Poverty protester to “get a job,” after being confronted during an anti-poverty demonstration at city hall.
Oct. 25, 2010: Ford is elected as councillor for Ward 2, Etobicoke North, a seat previously held by Rob Ford.
With files from The Canadian Press