Video

Finance minister tight-lipped on friendship with Rob Ford

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty underscored his personal friendship with embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a Monday night interview on Power & Politics with Evan Solomon — brief comments that sparked a longer debate among a panel of political observers.

'I've spoken with the mayor and I’ve spoken with members of his family," says Jim Flaherty

The Power & Politics panel discusses Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's remarks about his close friendship with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford amid drug allegations 9:48

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty underscored his personal friendship with embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a Monday night interview on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon

"I’ve spoken with the mayor and I’ve spoken with members of his family. I’m very close to the family, and I won’t comment further on that," Flaherty told Solomon. 

When pushed, the minister added, "my discussions with him have been personal, they haven’t been about infrastructure or anything like that." 

The comments, however brief, were enough to electrify political commentators on the show's Power Panel, with some arguing that the minister’s matter-of-fact statements lend credibility to Ford, who is embroiled in a scandal over alleged drug use, while others posit that the mayor's personal woes are distracting from official business.

Watch political commentators Alise Mills, Rob Silver, Brad Lavigne and Greg Weston debate the larger message of Flaherty’s brief comments.