Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thinks everything is going just fine at City Hall these days.
And, in case there were any doubts, he can’t wait to run again in 2014.
Ford addressed the media Thursday afternoon after the resignations of both his policy advisor Brian Johnston and executive assistant Kia Nejatian. Five staffers have left Ford's office in the last two weeks.
“I’ve always said to my staff that if a new opportunity arises, take it,” he said.
Ford thanked both men for their service and told reporters work is still being done, emails responded to, and phone calls returned.
“I was elected to keep taxes low and to reduce the size and cost of government and that’s exactly what I’m doing every single day,” he said.
Predictably, reporters asked Ford about allegations he was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine and later told senior aides he knew where to find the video.
“Anything else?” the mayor asked at least five times, refusing to take the bait.
Ford did respond to comments made by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who suggested on Thursday she may need to get involved if the situation in Toronto gets worse.
Under provincial law, municipalities are creatures of the province and have broad jurisdiction over them.
“I think the premier should take care of the problems she has at Queen's Park right now,” Ford said.
The mayor, who has said he does not use crack cocaine and that the alleged video does not exist, vowed he won’t be stepping aside.
“I’m running in the next election and if the great people of this city want to go in a different direction that’s what their prerogative is,” he said. “But I guarantee my name will be on the ballot.”
Ford also said he wasn’t worried about what the scandal is doing to Toronto’s reputation.
“Everything is going fine. I’m keeping taxes low. I’ve saved a billion dollars,” he said. “We’re getting things done.”
After his statement, the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, took to the microphones to slam Wynne for what he sees as “hypocrisy” in her criticism of the mayor.
“You don’t see the mayor leaving. You don’t see the mayor proroguing city hall like the former premier did,” he said. “Get your house in order before you have the nerve to say anything about the mayor.”
Doug Ford has said he would like to run for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election, but Tim Hudak’s Tories may already be distancing themselves from the controversial politician.
“He is not our candidate,” Tory House Leader Jim Wilson told reporters on Thursday, later adding that he doesn’t even “know the guy.”
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