After a few stalled starts, Doug Ford is set to officially begin campaigning this weekend, saying he plans on spending Saturday canvassing Etobicoke, and making his debate debut next week.
In contrast to his dramatic entry into the race, Mr. Ford's activity on the hustings has been quiet so far. After registering at the last minute last week in place of ailing brother Mayor Rob Ford, he told reporters he would launch his campaign within a day or two. Later, he pushed that back to the end of the week.
Each time, Doug told reporters he was busy focusing on brother Rob, who withdrew his own mayoral bid to undergo treatment for a rare form of cancer.
But on Friday, he said he was ready to begin campaigning. On his way into Mount Sinai Hospital, he told CP24 that he would begin door-knocking on Saturday.
"We're going to be out in Ward 2, starting off in our home turf and working across the city," Mr. Ford said. Ward 2 in Etobicoke is the area that Mr. Ford currently represents – and the ward in which Mayor Ford is now running for council.
Mr. Ford vowed to keep his platform similar to Rob's – who just a day earlier offered his endorsement for Doug from hospital. "Considering I was part of putting Rob's platform together – part of the team for four years – we're going to keep it pretty well the same," he said.
Jeff Silverstein, Mr. Ford's campaign spokesman, also confirmed that Mr. Ford will appear at a debate hosted by the Weston-Mount Dennis Residents Association on Tuesday.
Laura Alderson, a spokeswoman for the Weston-Mount Dennis Residents Association, described Doug's attendance Tuesday as his "official 'coming-out' party."
Asked whether he's ready for the debate, Mr. Ford said: "I've been debating for four years down at City Hall with a lot tougher people."