Mar 28, 2014

By Jane Brown

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Rob Ford was booed last night at Ryerson University where the second Toronto mayoral debate of this campaign was held.  Moderator Ralph Lean, who teaches a class at Ryerson and is a prominent conservative fundraiser, went after Ford for his personal issues saying the mayor appears to hang out with drug dealers.  Ford then responded by saying, I don’t condone drug dealers or crack cocaine, but I do condone being the best mayor the city ever had.”  That’s when a chorus of boos erupted from the audience.  Later, the mayor’s biggest supporter and brother, Councillor Doug Ford, called the debate a joke.  “They’re a bunch of lefties that’s (sic) come downtown, that heckled and Ralph Lean couldn’t keep them in control.  I’ve never been to a debate that (sic) they get to heckle and yell out,” Doug Ford complained after the debate.

Candidate John Tory says Rob Ford is giving mixed messages, and voters aren’t buying it.  “I think the man is showing great disrespect for the office he holds, and I think that’s not acceptable,” Tory explained, “And I think we heard tonight him say, that he wants mothers to go to sleep and put their head down on their pillow at night and feel good about their kids.  Well, one of the reasons they don’t is because they’ve got a mayor that’s hanging around with very bad people that he’s sworn to get off the streets.”

Porter Airlines expansion, BMO Field, Toronto Hydro, transit and the economy all got time during the hour and a half long debate, but the most dramatic exchanges centred on Ford’s personal troubles.  Candidates Karen Stintz and David Soknacki also took part.  Olivia Chow was not on the panel, due to a scheduling conflict.

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