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Transcript: Rob Ford's comments about school bus controversy

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford coaching the Don Bosco High School Eagles in Toronto on Sept. 11, 2012

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spoke to reporters briefly Monday about why two TTC buses were pulled out of service to ferry Mr. Ford's football team back to their home school from a game last Thursday. Here is what he said.

Mayor Rob Ford: I did absolutely nothing wrong. What bothers me the most is when you find out that people were told to get off the bus. I'm all about service. That drives me nuts. But I can't tell Mr. Byford what to do and how to run the TTC. I can't tell the police what to do, nor would I. I had nothing to do with this. Just because I'm the coach of the team, the problem started with their head coach going after a referee. I controlled my team. If the police decide there's a situation that seems to be serious, that's their call. They decide to make the call. That has nothing to do with me. I was the one who got my team into the corner and made sure everything was prepared, like, taken care of, so the problem

… (reporters, in the background, ask the mayor why he called TTC CEO Andy Byford) …  The police called the TTC. The police called the TTC. Okay? I don't know how much more clear I can be. That's all, that's all your story's about. Just because my team's there you're trying to make it my story. It has nothing to do with me.

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Q: But you called Andy Byford, didn't you?

Ford: The police called at the very beginning and there was a 20-minute delay. Obviously there's a situation. I was assisting the police. It's very simple. If you talk to the police, it's the exact same story. It has nothing to do with me. Because I control my team, I get penalized? You guys should go to the root of the problem and talk to their head coach why he went after the referee. Talk to the principal maybe. It had nothing to do with Don Bosco. Don Bosco's a great school. I'm not saying anything bad about the other team but they were the one, that's the root of the problem. You guys are not getting to the root of the problem. If the root of the problem is their coach, if their coach never went on the field to chase a referee, we wouldn't be in this situation right now. It's terrible that these people got kicked off a bus. That's not my call, okay? So I don't know how much more clear I can be, but I've said this over and over and over and over again. I don't know, you guys are trying to, you know, go after me on something, there's nothing here. It's absolutely, I'm as clean as the days are long.

Q: Do they need to re-evaluate how they decide to send buses …

Ford: That's up to the TTC. That's not up to me. I don't run the TTC.

Q: Why did your players need the bus?

Ford: That's up to the police. That has nothing to do with me, once again. I coach the team, we're going to a championship game.

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Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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