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Brad Duguid endorses John Tory for mayor

Liberal cabinet minister Brad Duguid (Scarborough-Centre MPP) and Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory speaking at a news conference on Sept. 2, 2014. 680NEWS/Mark Douglas

Ontario cabinet minister and Liberal MPP Brad Duguid has formally endorsed Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory.

Duguid, the minister of Ontario Economic Development and Infrastructure, and Tory spoke at a news conference on Tuesday morning outside the Kennedy subway station.

“Delighted to have his support for mayor in this election,” Tory said.

Tory also said “it is going to be essential for the next mayor of Toronto” to work with all levels of government with respect to transit.

Duguid also praised Tory as a champion of the Scarborough subway extension.

“The biggest challenge we had was a city that kept changing its position all the way along. A mayor in a council that simply could not get their act together and could not get along. With John Tory, we will not have that problem,” Duguid said.

The MPP also spoke to the current political climate at city hall, saying that the “province needs a strong municipal partner” and a “stable mayor.”

“We need a strong Toronto, we need a stable council, we need a stable mayor, [and] we need a council and a mayor that works well together,” the cabinet minister said.

Duguid also said the city needs to move ahead to ensure a “bright” future.

“It’s not time for us as a city to move beyond the last four years, to move beyond some of the embarrassments we’ve seen in the last four years, move to some stable leadership, strong leadership that’s going to create jobs, that’s going to build the Scarborough subway, [and] going to help us ensure that we continue to invest in infrastructure to ensure that the future of this city, both economically and socially remains a very bright one.”

Duguid said the Liberal government is not endorsing any candidate as mayor, and that he is endorsing Tory for mayor as the MPP for Scarborough-Centre.

He admitted that several other Liberal MPPs are enthusiastic about Tory’s candidacy and may publicly throw their support to him, but that Premier Kathleen Wynne will not endorse a candidate.

When asked about what he’d do if Olivia Chow wins on a mandate to scrap the Scarborough subway extension, Duguid said he will “fight it to my dying day.”

Tory also discussed his SmartTrack plan, which he introduced in July. His plan calls for a 53-kilometre, 22-station line that would provide all-day express surface rail across the city, which would be built in seven years.

Click here for how the mayoral candidates’ transit plans stack up.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Chow announced she wants to increase the land-transfer tax by one per cent for homes and condominiums that are sold for over $2 million, saying that it will generate $20 million a year.

David Soknacki spoke out about policing, saying he remains committed to saving over $65 million annually from policing to be re-invested in transit, housing and other priorities.

A recent Forum Research poll has Ford in second place with 31 per cent of voter support behind front-runner Tory who received 34 per cent. Chow dropped to third with 23 per cent.

Torontonians head to the polls on Oct. 27.

With files from Mark Douglas and Cynthia Mulligan