Mayor Rob Ford was ready to take on all comers Friday, blasting proposals to lower city speed limits or impose road tolls and vowing to keep fighting for subways.
Standing on a windy corner in north Etobicoke, Mr. Ford responded to reporter questions with a series of quips before putting on work gloves to fill in a pothole on a busy Highway 27. The event, to promote a new app to report potholes, had drivers stuck in the traffic jam – as they rubber-necked to see what was going on.
Mr. Ford, who earlier in the week was reported ill, showed no lingering effects of his illness. Asked about his health, he repeated a familiar self-description, calling himself “300 pounds of fun.”
Asked about a proposal on next week's board of health agenda to lower speed limits on city streets, the mayor had this to say, “No, nuts, nuts, nuts, nuts. Absolutely ridiculous.”
A proposal by rookie councillor Josh Matlow to set up a working group to study road tolls and a regional sales tax also met with the mayor's disapproval.
“I am totally, 100 per cent opposed to toll roads. If they want to float it, I am going to try to sink it,” he said.
The mayor also had fighting works for the city's light rail plan, approved by council over his protests and blessed by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency this week.
Mr. Ford said he agrees with his brother Doug Ford's characterization of the plan as a war on the car. “I am not going to stop fighting for subways,” he said.
Asked how he plans to keep battling for an extension of the Sheppard line over council's objections he said he will take his appeal to the provincial level.
“I am going to keep going to Queen's Park to fight for them,” he said, before heading out into the road to shovel asphalt.