POLITICS

Rob Ford Says Shark Is His Favourite Fish, But Voted Against Shark Fin Ban

10/17/2013 11:40 EDT | Updated 10/17/2013 11:48 EDT

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford didn't hesitate when asked by a reporter on Wednesday to name his favourite fish.

"Great white shark," he said with a smile at the official opening of Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

When asked why, Ford said he liked how sharks have big mouths and sharp teeth.

"Anything that gets in its way, it takes care of him pretty quick," he said.

The answer is a funny one for the controversial mayor who was recently accused of "political thuggery" after unleashing robocalls against former ally, Councillor Paul Ainslie.

But Ford's shark tale is even stranger when you consider that back in 2011, he was one of just four members of Toronto city council to vote against a bylaw banning the sale, possession and consumption of shark fins in the city. Thirty-eight other councillors voted in favour.

It is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed each year for their valuable fins.

Ford said at the time that he did not believe the city should be prohibiting the sale of the fins, sometimes served in soups at Chinese weddings and banquets.

Kristyn Wong-Tam, one of the councillors who brought forward the motion, argued at the time that the controversial practice of catching a shark, cutting off the fin and "throwing the rest of it back" to die in the ocean is simply unethical.

Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said he thought a ban in the city may help end what he called a "cruel, wasteful, barbaric, evil and inhumane practice."

Before voting, Ford reportedly met with 100 anti-shark fin ban protesters gathered outside City Hall. He maintained it wasn't under the city's purview to ban the product.

"It has been going on for so long I don't know why all of a sudden they are making it an issue," he told The Toronto Sun.

An Ontario judge ultimately ruled the ban invalid last year, saying the city doesn't have the power to enforce it.

In March, Tory MPs defeated a proposal from NDP MP Fin Donnelly to ban shark fin imports by a vote of 143 to 138.

"We are facing the likely extinction of shark species around the globe, largely due to the demand for their highly valued fins," Donnelly said last winter. "Canada must stop indiscriminately importing fins from endangered and threatened sharks. We must put an end to our role in the illegal global shark fin trade."

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Sharks!