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Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford leans back in his seat during the budget debate at City Hall in Toronto on January 17, 2012 (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford leans back in his seat during the budget debate at City Hall in Toronto on January 17, 2012 (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Rob Ford says five councillors are 'left of Joe Stalin' Add to ...

Mayor Rob Ford has joined ally Giorgio Mammoliti in painting council red.

Speaking on AM640 this morning, the mayor labelled five councillors at city hall as “two steps left of Joe Stalin.”

Specifically, he was referring to councillors Josh Matlow, Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan, Paula Fletcher and Janet Davis.

The mayor was responding to a question from host John Oakley on whether he had lost the support of Mr. Matlow and other self-identifying middle councillors based on a budget vote last week that saw $19-million worth of cuts pulled out of the mayor's budget. The unravelling of portions of Mr. Ford's budget was hailed as a victory for a group of councillors identifying neither with the right- or left-wing factions at council.

“I don't think Josh Matlow has voted with me, he might have voted with me 10 per cent of the time if I'm lucky,” said Mr. Ford. “I consider him a left-wing NDPer.”

The mayor added that he believes there is no room for middle ground in city politics.

“I don't think there is such a thing as a mushy middle down at city hall,” he said. “It's either you vote one way or the other down there. You're either on the right side with the Conservatives and the Liberals or you're on the left with the NDP.”

Mr. Matlow didn't take the gibe lightly. “It's very disappointing,” he said. “I hope the mayor takes a moment to read a history book and understands what he has said.”

Historians believe millions of Russians were executed or starved to death under the Russian dictator's rule.

Last year, Giorgio Mammoliti earned the wrath of several councillors when he spoke of a communist influence both at council and on the comment board of a Facebook page he set up to support the Ford agenda.

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