Rob Ford calls BMX track 'a scam' in ride with Deadmau5
Toronto mayor talks campaign issues, Pan Am Games in online video
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appeared in an online video with electronic musician Deadmau5 on Wednesday, discussing campaign issues including the construction of a BMX bike track for the Pan Am Games.
Ford told the Toronto-based musician, whose real name is Joel Thomas Zimmerman, that the track is forecast to cost $4.5 million. He said the original budget was $1.5 million and characterized the increase as "a scam."
The BMX track is over budget by at least $2.6 million, though some estimates put the figure as high as $3 million. Organizers say it is the lone venue that is over budget.
Here is a partial transcript of the conversation:
Ford: "There are some things that are just ridiculous. Like they're building a BMX track."
Deadmau5: "I saw that."
Ford: "$4.5 million … They're saying a professional BMX track, they got a quote, listen to this, for a million and a half bucks. A f--king track!"
Deadmau5: "I'll do it for $500."
Ford: "That's what everyone's saying. And I've got more calls coming in, and they said, 'Hold on a second, no, the real cost is going to be $4.5 million.' And I said, 'Whoa partner.' I said, 'How can you get a quote for $1.5 million and then all of a sudden it triples in price?' There's a scam going on if you asked me. It's ridiculous."
The video was part of a series called Coffee Run, in which Deadmau5 drives people for coffee in his luxury sports cars.
Deadmau5 is one of several celebrities to appear with the mayor in recent months. The Toronto reggae musician Snow stopped by the mayor's office to declare his support, and former sprinter Ben Johnson has appeared with the mayor as well.
The mayor, speaking to reporters at an event later in the day, said the celebrities are like volunteers in a campaign, and he accepts anyone who wants to help.
"Volunteers come out, they want to help," he said. "Everyone's done something they shouldn't have done in life."
Warning: the full video, embedded below, contains graphic language.
With files from the CBC's Michelle Cheung