Toronto city councillor Doug Ford is facing off against famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood over her efforts to defend the city’s public libraries.
“I say good luck to Margaret Atwood. I don’t even know if she’s a resident of Toronto. If she is, she has her input,” Ford told CityNews on Tuesday at City Hall.
“If she really wants to get involved, I encourage her to run as a city councillor. Get involved.”
Atwood recently joined the campaign to protest potential library cuts proposed by the city’s consultant KPMG. An online petition now has more than 25,000 signatures and received a serious boost when Atwood started tweeting the link to it. Click here for the petition.
“Good for [the people who sign the petition]. To be honest with you, I don’t know what the petition’s all about. I’ve never seen it. It was just brought to my attention,” Ford said.
Ford made headlines earlier this month when he said there were more libraries in his Etobicoke North ward than Tim Hortons. The rookie councillor still contends Toronto still has more libraries than it needs.
“We’re looking at a 10 per cent efficiency and I don’t think that’s going to destroy the libraries. Not to mention we have more libraries per person than anyone in North America…They have over 1700 people and do 177 million dollars in revenue. It doesn’t add up in my mind and they’re looking at efficiencies.
Toronto is facing a projected $774 million budget deficit. On Thursday, the executive committee will meet to consider all cost-cutting recommendations.