Rob Ford 'negatively' affecting Canada, Thomas Mulcair says
NDP Leader calls on Harper, Flaherty to 'stop making excuses' for embattled Toronto mayor
Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was at Toronto's City Hall Friday to discuss urban issues in Canada, but the conversation quickly turned to the behaviour of Mayor Rob Ford.
"There will be an election in Toronto this year and that will be up to the people of Toronto," said Mulcair.
It's a shame that Toronto is known mostly around the world for videos of its mayor.- Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
"Toronto is by far Canada's most important city, and it's a shame that Toronto is known mostly around the world for videos of its mayor."
Mulcair has already called on Ford to step down as a mayor to deal with personal problems. The mayor admitted to smoking crack while mayor in October of 2013.
"It's unfortunately affecting Toronto negatively, but it's also affecting all of Canada negatively," he went on.
Mulcair was one of many federal politicians to say Ford should go. However, one notable federal politician not to call for Ford to remove himself from office was Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who is a friend of the Ford family.
Mulcair seized on that relationship, and also tied in Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Those that are close to [Ford], like Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper, should stop making excuses for him," he said.
Mulcair was also asked about Ford's refusal to attend Pride events in the city this summer. The Quebec MP said he goes to Pride in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and that celebration of diversity is one of the strengths of the country. He said it would be up to Ford to explain why he feels differently.
Flaherty was also in town on Friday — buying his budget day shoes ahead of the federal budget delivery on Tuesday, a finance minister tradition — at a Toronto shoe factory. He again spoke up on Ford's behalf.
"I think he's been a good mayor," Flaherty told reporters. "I think he's tried to get the financial house in order in Toronto which hasn't been done in a long time. So I give him credit for that and hope he gets back on track."