If you call Rob Ford on the number he provides on his "Rob Ford Mayor" magnets, he will call you back.
That's the campaign promise the embattled Toronto mayor highlights in his latest re-election video, released through his YouTube channel on Wednesday afternoon. Titled, "What Customer Service Excellence Means To Me," Ford's video profiles his communication skills and community housing initiatives. On two occasions, the 45-year-old also says "the customer is always right."
"When they call me, there's no such thing as, "Oh I'm busy, I'm this and that," Ford says. "They're the boss. They deserve the best service possible, regardless. ... I just need to know where you live, guarantee, I will take care of the problem."
Except, perhaps inadvertently, Ford's latest video is creating more problems than he expected. At the 28-second mark, the mayor flashes his callback list clipboard, revealing the phone numbers, but not names, of over 50 possible voters. However, the National Post reports several other area codes are on the list, beyond the 416 to the 647, including Newfoundland and Labrador (907), Michigan (734), and from non-Toronto sections of Ontario.
A second version of the video has since been uploaded, with blurred numbers to protect the constituents' privacy.
“Very few mayors that I know actually call their constituents back,” said the mayor, in the video.
But Ford's foibles could continue in the form of a rule violation. The two-minute campaign ad is shot, in part, in a location that resembles his City Hall office. According to the city's policy, using City Hall resources during campaigning is explicitly prohibited.
QUOTE — “City facilities or city infrastructure cannot be used for any election-related purposes by [a] candidate."
At a Brookdale Park ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Ford confirmed he did shoot the new video in his office at City Hall.
"That's Rob Ford working, like I've done for 14 years as a councillor, as a mayor," said Ford, in a new interview with CP24. "That's up to them, that's what I do. I did it as a councillor. ... That's just a portion of what I do."
"That's my job."
Ford's brother, city councillor and campaign manager Doug Ford was also quick to dismiss the controversy.
“I don’t believe all of it was [filmed in the mayor’s office],” said the councillort o reporters shortly after the video was published. “It shows what the mayor does day in and day out, returning calls, and I think it’s a good video.”
Global Toronto's Jackson Proskow reports the city's Integrity Commissioner will investigate whether this new video goes against the city's rules.
"It's political, you guys know it's political," said Ford to CP24's Cristina Tenaglia, in response to these claims. "I'm going to keep going on saving taxpayers' money."
Looking to lighten the mood after the press scrum, Tenaglia asked the mayor if he would be watching 'Sharknado 2: The Second One,' which is set to premiere tonight on Space.
"No, I'm not," said Ford. "I'm not. No, no."
The mayor, who recently finished a two-month stint at a rehab facility, will have his likeness parodied in the film.
Do you think Ford's latest video is a violation of campaign rules?