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Gone fishin’: Ford and Harper’s Harrington Lake trip

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford chatted about his fishing trip to Harrington Lake in an interview on NEWSTALK1010 Tuesday afternoon, noting that he and Stephen Harper have been going on fishing trips together for the past few years.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the Prime Minister took some time out of their schedules to net "a few nice bass" this week, and talk about the possibility of new electoral ridings for Toronto.

Mr. Ford chatted about his fishing trip to Harrington Lake in an interview on NEWSTALK1010 Tuesday afternoon, noting that he and Stephen Harper have been going on fishing trips together for the past few years.

Mr. Ford said he flew to Ottawa Monday morning and travelled half-an-hour by van to the official country estate of the Prime Minister in Quebec.

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"You should see the bass we were pulling in. I would say, and I'm not exaggerating when I say, a four or five-pound bass. Oh, it's beautiful. It's great."

A self-professed workaholic who recently came under fire for reading a document while driving on the Gardiner Expressway, Mr. Ford said he didn't check his BlackBerry during his trip. "I stand up in the boat all the time and he [Stephen Harper] says 'Sit down.' I say, 'No, no.' I stand up, I cast, I get right into it. It's a lot of fun. And when you hook into a nice bass, you can feel it – they give you a good fight."

But his passion for fish doesn't extend to the consumption of it. During his lakeside sojourn with the Prime Minister, Mr. Ford said neither of them kept the fish they caught. "I don't eat fish … besides cans of tuna or cans of salmon. I like that. But I don't like fish for some reason," he said.

Out on the lake, the fishing partners also discussed the proposed new federal election ridings, which would include two more seats for the City of Toronto. The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario released its proposals that include increasing the number of seats in the GTA from 47 to 58.

Mr. Ford has pledged to reduce the number of city councillors by half, a promise he made on the campaign trail in 2010.

"He [Mr. Harper] was asking me, 'You want to reduce council from 44 [members] to 22?' – which we're planning to do," said Mr. Ford, adding that he would now have to consider how to accommodate the extra federal ridings. "We were just talking about how we're rejigging it and talking about the next election."

Mr. Ford has said he wouldn't try to pass his plan through council until his last year in office.

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The motion is unlikely to pass because it would require councillors to vote to get rid of their own jobs.

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