Mayor Ford says he saw McGuinty resignation coming

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says it's time for an Ontario election now that Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced his resignation.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he sort of saw the premier's resignation coming. (CBC)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says it’s time for an Ontario election now that Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced his resignation.

"I sort of saw this coming," Ford told AM640 on Monday evening after McGuinty called an emergency caucus meeting where he revealed he would quit as premier pending a leadership convention.

McGuinty also said he has asked the lieutenant governor to prorogue the legislature to give his minority Liberal government the opportunity to work on reaching wage-freeze agreements with public-sector workers.

"The Liberal government’s up to their eyeballs in scandals right now," said Ford.

"And I think he’s doing the right thing. He's skipper of the ship and, you know, when the ship is sinking, he's got to tell the crew: ‘That's it. We've got to move on.'"

Ford said he respects McGuinty as a person, he appreciates their friendship and he had a good working relationship with him, even if he didn't always see eye to eye with the premier. He said he's "not sure" how his resignation affects the city, but does think it's time for a provincial election.

"I think it's time to go to the polls. I think it’s time [to] have an election," he said.

"We can't have one of the most powerful provinces/states in the world at a standstill right now. It's just going to hurt the economy if we don't get moving in the right direction," said Ford.

"So I think we should go to the polls, have an election and let people decide on what they want to do."

Ford didn’t specify how soon he thought an election call should come. McGuinty told reporters at evening news conference he thinks his successor should be the one who decides when parliament should return after prorogation.

Toronto's conservative mayor and the provincial Liberal government have butted heads on some high-profile issues, notably transit and public housing.

Ford's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, has mused openly about running for the provincial Progressive Conservatives, and is a among a group of four right-leaning councillors who will join PC Leader Tim Hudak at a city hall news conference on Tuesday regarding transit.

McGuinty, 57, has served as Ontario premier since 2003 and has led the Liberals since 1996, six years after being first elected as an MPP in the Ottawa South riding.