Toronto Mayor Rob Ford accused Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne of playing politics in her refusal to meet with him to discuss ice-storm funding.
And the mayor, who has admitted to using crack cocaine and driving after drinking, said he can’t wait for this fall’s municipal election, calling it “the day of redemption.”
In an interview Thursday with a Washington, D.C.-based radio show called ‘The Sports Junkies,’ Mr. Ford said he believes Ms. Wynne has chosen to work with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly because he is also a Liberal.
“She’s a Liberal and I’m a Conservative and that’s what it comes down to. She can spin it any way she wants, but she wants to deal with the Deputy Mayor,” he said. “So the Deputy Mayor she meets with and he’s a Liberal. So it’s just politics and she thinks she’s offending me; she’s not. The taxpayers are the ones that are getting hurt.”
Mr. Ford said he doesn’t need much of Ms. Wynne’s time, and would settle for a text message or signal sent through the media. “It takes two seconds. All I want to know is: are we getting money and how much money are we getting?” he told the station.
Earlier this week, Mr. Ford sought a meeting with Ms. Wynne over the $114-million the city is seeking from the provincial and federal governments after the December ice storm and July floods.
At the height of the storm, Ms. Wynne worked directly with Mr. Kelly, who had many of the mayor’s powers transferred to him late last year after Mr. Ford’s admissions about his drug and alcohol use. This week, Ms. Wynne said she would continue working only with Mr. Kelly, who once served as a Liberal MP under former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Mr. Ford said he would attend a meeting on Friday with city leaders from across the Greater Toronto Area and Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey to discuss the disaster funding. “The province isn’t playing ball, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Asked why he bothers with the hassle of politics, the mayor said he loves his job and is eagerly looking forward to this fall’s municipal election. “I just can’t wait until Oct. 27. That’s the day of redemption, as they would say.”
Much of Mr. Ford’s regular interviews with the radio show are focused on sports. In a tangent related to one of the hosts’ questions about where he watches football games, Mr. Ford revealed his family owns some six condominiums in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
“They’re little condos, just a little place to get away,” he said. “We have like, I think, six of them down there.”
With files from Adrian Morrow and Ann Hui