Rob Ford ready to debate mayoral contenders 'any time'
A jovial Mayor Rob Ford held court with reporters Thursday, talking about his feelings on taking political donations from non-Toronto residents, his willingness to debate his opponents at a moment’s notice and his oft-stated desire to get rid of streetcars in the long term.
"I’ll go debate right now, any time, any place. I’ll be ready in five minutes, all they have to do is tell me a date and a place," Ford said, after learning that a community radio station planned to invite the "top four" candidates to a debate on Monday.
Ford also took questions about his feelings on holding political fundraisers outside of Toronto.
"We’re having some outside [Toronto] and some inside because there’s a lot of support outside. A lot of people live in the city, own businesses outside the 905 and vice versa — a lot of people, they live in the 905 and work in the city," he said.
The mayor said he wasn’t worried about what other candidates were doing or not doing with their own fundraisers.
Ford said he will be "successful" on Oct. 27, the date of the upcoming election.
More than 40 other candidates are seeking his job this fall.
Ford also talked about his support to have more sports facilities available for residents to use, whether they are young or old.
Asked how he would make that happen, Ford pointed to the fields already in existence.
"Obviously, there’s fields available and we’ve got to keep the fields up to par," he said.
The mayor also took a question about his goal of getting rid of Toronto’s streetcars one day.
"If you want to get rid of gridlock in the city, streetcars are causing a lot of it," he said, a day after making similar remarks.
Ford said he was without his chief of staff this week, joking that he and his driver, Jerry Agyemang, were having to pick up the slack as a result.
"Jerry and I, we’re doing good, we’re returning calls," he said.
The mayor then said he had to leave for an event at a Rona store.