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Olivia Chow 'frustrated' by Rob Ford scandal

Olivia Chow (centre right) looks on as Sarah Layton and her daughter Beatrice sit on a bronze statue of Jack Layton, the former NDP leader, after it's unveiled at Toronto's ferry terminal on Aug. 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

New Democrat MP Olivia Chow — touted as a possible contender in the Toronto mayoral race — said Rob Ford is embarrassing the city in her first remarks on the ever-evolving controversy.

The Toronto NDP MP spoke about the scandal Monday following her return to Canada after a parliamentary trade mission in China.

“I’m really frustrated because of Rob Ford’s scandal. We’re embarrassed because of his lies.”

Listen to raw audio of her remarks

She says her home city is the butt of jokes worldwide and Toronto residents are suffering.

“Things are not being done. Critical issues are not being addressed as people are so absorbed into Ford’s personal struggles and scandals,” she said.

Chow says she is pleased with a series of motions by city council to strip Ford of mayoral powers.

“We really deserve a lot better and I’m very glad that Toronto city council is taking corrective action so that they could soon go back to the issues that matter to ordinary Torontonians and Canadians.”

But Chow — considered a potential mayoral candidate — did not say whether she would run for the top job.

“October 2014 is very far away. I’ll make a decision later on.”

Meanwhile, city council has voted overwhelmingly to slash Ford’s budget and have many of his duties moved to the control of the deputy mayor.

The vote followed a boisterous debate on whether council had the legal authority to do so.

Ford denounced the measure as a “coup d’etat.”