NEWS

Rob Ford robocall triggers social media backlash

10/12/2013 10:55 EDT | Updated 12/12/2013 05:12 EST
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's robocalls to a Scarborough councillor's constituent Friday night unleashed a slew of responses from other city councillors on social media.

Residents of Scarborough, in Toronto's east end, received robocalls from the mayor criticizing city councillor Paul Ainslie for his position on public transit.

“This is harassment. These intimidation tactics should not be tolerated,” Coun. Jaye Robinson said on Twitter.

Robinson also questioned the funding of the robocalls.

“In all my years, I've never known a Mayor to RoboCall smear a councillor,” tweeted Coun. Shelley Carroll.

Ford pointed out in the call that nine out of 10 Scarborough councillors support the Scarborough subway extension.

"It was extremely, extremely unfortunate that your councillor, Paul Ainslie, was the only Scarborough councillor who did not listen to his constituents and voted against the Scarborough subway," Ford said in the call.

He also left his phone number and office address.

The wave of robocalls came a few hours after Ainslie stepped down from the mayor's executive committee.

Ainslie, councillor for Ward 43 and a former Ford ally, said Friday afternoon that, after three years of service on the committee, he has doubts about the city's direction under Ford.

Ainslie and Ford's differences become more obvious during the debate of the Scarborough subway extension. Ford supports an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy Station to Sheppard Avenue, while Ainslie is in favour of building light-rail transit.

In a 24 to 20 vote earlier this week, council passed the motion to use a tax hike to fund the extension.

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