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Premier Ford won't march in Raptors parade: 'This is all about the Raptors'

Last Updated Jun 14, 2019 at 6:58 pm EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford addresses the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto, on Nov. 16 , 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Premier Doug Ford won’t be marching in Monday’s Raptors parade, saying he’s enjoyed watching how the team has brought people together and doesn’t want the divisiveness of politics to interfere with the celebrations.

“I’m gonna be down there celebrating, but I have a personal view of this … this isn’t the time for politicians to be in any parade or anything, this is about the Raptors,” he told CityNews in a phone interview Friday.

“It’s about the people and I’m going to be there with the people celebrating, but by no means do I believe any politician should be in any parade. This is all about the Raptors and the great people of our country.”

Despite that declaration, Ford tweeted out video of himself marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade last March.

The Premier’s press secretary later clarified that Ford “obviously … plans on marching in parades, but when it comes to parades commemorating a victory of a sports team he thinks it should be about team and the fans and not politicians.”

Ford said he watched the Raptors clinch the title at his home with friends.

“I had a few buddies over … we watched the game last night, everyone was jumping up and down. What an ending.”

When asked if he considered taking part in the street parties that raged into the early morning, the Premier quipped: “I thought that might be a little too dangerous.”

He also commented on some of the vandalism that saw police cruisers and TTC buses damaged, calling it “unacceptable” but adding that the “vast majority” of people were well-behaved.

He also got a kick out seeing Toronto Mayor John Tory hanging out with rapper and Raptors ambassador, Drake.

“Good for Drake for being a cheerleader and good for the mayor for cheering on the team and I think that’s fabulous, everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun last night.”

“I just want to congratulate the Raptors and all the organization,” he concluded. “No matter where you come from, no matter what province or what political stripe, everyone was cheering for the Raptors last night.

“The Raptors are Canada’s team.”

Listen to the full interview between Richard Southern and Ontario Premier Doug Ford