A handful of Toronto city councillors say the escalating war of words between the Ford brothers and police Chief Bill Blair does not bode well for the smooth operation of the city.
"It's a problem when the mayor can't get along with the chief of police," said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong Friday. "The fact that there is open conflict does not serve the residents of Toronto."
A feud simmering between the Ford brothers and the city's top cop boiled over yesterday in a series of rants both Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Coun. Doug Ford made to reporters.
Rob Ford accused Blair of wasting taxpayers' money with an ongoing police investigation into his activities and dared Blair to arrest him. Doug Ford suggested Blair was in a conflict of interest by going on a fishing trip with police services board member Andy Pringle.
Both Fords were angry that that Blair had expressed frustration by remarks Ford made about him in a bizarre video that was posted online last month and showed Rob Ford speaking in a Jamaican patois.
Doug Ford also said Blair has gone "rogue" by commenting on the mayor while he is under investigation.
Coun. John Filion said the dispute makes him "cringe."
"It's extremely important for people … to have a sense of security that their city is running well," said Filion Friday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "I can't see what good will come out of it for anybody."
Filion, a former member of the police services board, said a city's mayor and its police chief should try avoid public disputes.
"It's all very unseemly," he said. "It's just wrong for the Ford brothers to be trying to pull the chief into the mud wrestling pit. There are certain positions in the city that you sort of leave alone in terms of going after them politically and the chief of police is one of those. He's got a very difficult job to do."
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said the dispute is "regrettable" and said he hopes the Fords and Blair can reach some kind of resolution in the dispute.