POLITICS

Adam Vaughan, Rob Ford's Former Foe, Pays Tribute To Him In House Of Commons

03/22/2016 03:39 EDT | Updated 03/23/2016 07:59 EDT

Liberal MP Adam Vaughan had a front-row seat to the rise of Rob Ford and was perhaps the former Toronto mayor's most vocal critic.

He served with Ford on city council from 2006 to 2014, clashing frequently on matters of both policy and personality, before Vaughan made the jump to federal politics.

On his final day at Toronto City Hall, Vaughan pulled no punches. He called Ford the "worst mayor this city has ever had."

adam vaughan

Liberal MP Adam Vaughan speaks in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday, June 8, 2015. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

On Tuesday, Ford died of cancer at the age of 46.

And Vaughan rose in the House of Commons to pay tribute to his old foe — a man he lauded as a "force to be reckoned with."

While conceding Ford could be remembered many ways, Vaughan said there is a "singular image" that stays with him and any else who worked at City Hall.

"It's the image of Rob with a clutch of pink phone messages, calling back his constituents," he said.

"As a public servant, he took this responsibility seriously and approached it with a passion and dedication that few have equaled. Serving the public defined Rob. So did coaching football. It's how I'll remember him today and forever more."

"Serving the public defined Rob. So did coaching football. It's how I'll remember him today and forever more."

Conservative MP Erin O'Toole also lauded Ford in the House and shared condolences for his family. O'Toole's father served with Doug Ford Sr., the patriarch of the family, as members of provincial parliament at Queen's Park in the 1990s.

"Today the Ford family lost a father, a husband, a brother, and a son to cancer. And the city lost a passionate servant," O'Toole said.

O'Toole said Ford carried on his father's dedication to the people of Etobicoke and Toronto.

"While his term as mayor was often a difficult time, nobody could dispute Rob Ford's passion for the city and what he thought was best for it," he said, adding that he was "legendary" for phoning people to discuss issues or visiting constituents to see their problems first-hand.

The city of Toronto, O'Toole said, has lost a "passionate booster."

"He will be dearly missed," he said.

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