Oct 06, 2014
By Jane Brown
With three weeks to go until Ontario’s municipal elections, a new poll says John Tory still has the lead for Toronto’s mayor with 42 percent voter support. The Mainstreet Technologies survey gives Doug Ford 28 percent support, followed by Olivia Chow at 19 percent with 11 percent undecided.
Last night, the 3 main contenders, along with fringe candidate Ari Goldkind, debated the issues at an event hosted by the United Jewish Appeal and Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
Olivia Chow picked away at John Tory’s plan to build a 22-stop $8-billion mostly above rail line. She asked him how much tunneling would cost, but Tory gave a non specific answer. After the debate, Tory said everything is in place for the 8 billion dollar project “which was based on the comparable projects going on in London, England and Washington, to pick the two most relevant examples. In London there’s a lot more tunneling that will happen with SmartTrack. We’ll actually have relatively little tunneling, and the $8-billion price tag is there. The city’s share will be paid for with tax increment financing.”
But Chow said she’s already shown that the west end of Tory’s Smart Track plan won’t work, “how the Mount Dennis Residents Association and people living there are very upset, and that he wasn’t able to answer how many kilometres of tunneling, how much would it cost, he couldn’t answer.”
The debate got uncomfortable when fringe candidate Ari Goldkind questioned Doug Ford about a racist comment made about Jewish people earlier this year by his brother Mayor Rob Ford. Doug Ford’s response received boos, shouts and laughter from the crowd of more than 300. “My Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish accountant…our family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community.”
When pressed, Doug Ford did admit that he told his brother the Mayor, that his comments were unacceptable. Rob Ford was in attendance at last night’s debate. He begins his second round of chemo for a rare type of cancer tomorrow.