Ford endorses Saunders ahead of Toronto byelection: ‘He’d be the best mayor’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will vote for Mark Saunders in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral byelection but maintains he is staying out of the race.

Ford’s endorsement of the former police chief comes after a Mark Saunders sign was captured on the Premier’s front lawn this week.

“I’ve always said I’m staying out of the race. I have the right, like anyone else, to put a sign on my lawn,” Ford said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“I tell everyone, I’ll be voting for Mark, but vote [for] whoever you want to vote for. That’s your choice. That’s not up to me or anyone else to tell you who to vote for.

“That’s just my opinion. He’d be the best mayor,” Ford added.

In a statement from the Premier’s office, a spokesperson said on Monday that Ford would “work with anyone, and that’s what he intends to do.”

Mark Saunders

Toronto mayoral candidate Mark Saunders is photographed after a mayoral debate in Toronto on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young.

Polls suggest Olivia Chow has a commanding lead in the race, with election day set for Monday. For his part, Saunders addressed Ford’s endorsement.

“I’m glad to have [Ford’s] vote. I encourage everyone in Toronto who doesn’t want Olivia Chow to be the mayor to vote for me. United, we can stop Olivia Chow,” Saunders said.


Violence on the TTC is the first thing Saunders points to where more can be done to protect customers. The former police chief wants to add 200 special constables to the system and integrate them into the Toronto Police Service.

He would add more security cameras and special “assist” buttons for help. Saunders has no plans to reduce the police budget from that $1.16 billion that was approved for 2023.

The Premier previously warned the city would be in trouble if a “lefty” won and says he hopes the next mayor will not raise taxes.

“When we go through the democratic process and [Chow] gets elected, I’ll work with her, and we’ll sit down and come up with common ground,” Ford said.

“I want to do what’s best for the people, and hopefully, the mayor will do what’s best for the people and not raise taxes and attract businesses.”

With files from Liam Casey of The Canadian Press

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today