Rob Ford wants one-on-one meeting with Kathleen Wynne
Mayor looks for face-to-face with premier over ice storm help
Rob Ford said "the ball is now in the province's court" on whether or not Toronto will be able to cover its costs in storm funding.
A special city council session officially requested relief money — $114 million in total — to help cover the cleanup costs of last month's ice storm and a rain storm that struck the city in July from both the federal and provincial levels of government.
"I want to sit down and ask [Premier Kathleen Wynne] face to face if she can help us out with the funding and hopefully she will say yes," he said, stating that the premier should only meet with him as he is the elected head of council. This comes after a heated exchange at council on Monday about who was in charge during the ice storm, and who was speaking to the province for the city.
Ford said he put out an email and a phone call to Wynne's office.
"Hopefully she will respond and we will get a date and time as soon as possible," he said. "I will meet this afternoon or tomorrow if she wants."
The premier followed Ford's request with a press release not committing to a meeting but not turning one down either — only stating that the minister of municipal affairs and housing, Linda Jeffrey, is keeping communication lines open.
But Ford's press conference on the storm cleanup quickly turned into a state-of-the-union type of address, as the mayor took questions on referendums, the Olympics and the city's status in the world.
As the mayor looked increasingly in election-mode, he rattled off his economic triumphs. "We have experienced three consecutive years of positive growth," he said. "There are more than 58,000 residents employed this year than last year."
He concluded that: "Toronto is booming today. We're a global powerhouse."
He then spoke about transit in Scarborough. Earlier in the day, mayoral candidate David Soknacki said he would cancel Ford's planned Scarborough subway in favour of the original plan to install light rail transit.
"I listen to the people of Scarborough, the people of Scarborough have spoken loud and clear: they want a subway" he said. Though the mayor then said he would support putting the question of subways versus LRTs on a referendum.
Ford then fielded questions about a rumoured Olympic bid in 2024. He said he would see how the Pan Am Games went next year before deciding to bid. "Right now, I would say no," he said.