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Doug Ford wants to use Build Toronto revenue to fund subways

Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford speaking to reporters outside of Build Toronto's office on Sept. 25, 2014. CITYNEWS/Cynthia Mulligan

Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford is proposing to use revenue from Build Toronto to help fund his transit plan of building subways.

Build Toronto is the city’s independent real estate and development corporation that generates money by selling off city real estate properties.

At a noon-hour news conference on Thursday outside of the city-owned agency, Ford said the corporation is projecting around $540 million in revenue in the coming years, and that he will take most that money to build 32 kilometres of new subway in Toronto.

“Right now on our books, it’s $540 million. We’ll take the vast majority of that and put it into building subways,” Ford told reporters at a noon-hour news conference on Thursday.

“As properties come up, they get transferred over to build, and sometimes it’s a lengthy process … sometimes it’s quicker. It’s ongoing.”

The mayoral candidate also brought up his experience as the vice-chair of the budget committee for four years, where he “watched every dollar on budget for four years.”

“What scares me the most is giving it to council and letting them spend the money. We have to put this into infrastructure and into building subways.”

Ford was asked to comment on rival John Tory’s stance on skipping certain debates where Ford and Olivia Chow are not present, but simply replied, “that’s up to John.”

However, Ford did respond to critics who argue that although he has accused Tory of being born will a silver spoon, that he has also come from wealth.

“It’s very simple, I built my own wealth. That’s the difference,” Ford said, adding that he worked at the back of factory of his father’s company Deco Labels and Tags.

He also said he knows every single factory worker at the company and has spoken to factory workers at other companies as well, and “that’s not the case with his competitors.”

“What I want to point out, folks, I have the experience, I’ve been here for four years, I’ve been vice-chair of budget for four years watching every penny. I’m vice-chair of Build. I’ve been on endless committees throughout the city, government management committee watching all the purchasing. I know how to protect the little guy.”