Toronto

Olivia Chow grills John Tory on funding promises at lunchtime debate

Olivia Chow continued to hammer John Tory on how he plans to fund his platform, and predicted that Tory would have to make cuts in services to pay for his promises.

'No goals, no timetables and no ideas how to pay for promises,' argues Chow

It's unclear how Doug Ford's move to take his brother's place changes the dynamic of the Toronto mayoralty race. Prior to Rob Ford's decision to drop out, polls pegged John Tory, right, as leading the race while Olivia Chow was running third. (CBC)

Olivia Chow continued to hammer John Tory on how he plans to fund his platform, and predicted that Tory would have to make cuts in services to pay for his promises.

That came at a lunchtime debate on Tuesday at the Canadian Club — a one-on-one debate between the two front runners since the third leading candidate, Doug Ford, said he had another engagement and did not attend.

Most questions asked of both candidates were turned into attacks on Tory's platform from Chow. She used his ideas on bike lanes, tree planting, youth unemployment and most of all transit to highlight what she characterized was a lack of details in his promises.

"If you make a vague promise ... how are you going to be held accountable?" said Chow when asked about accountability.

She said not costing out his plan would result in service cuts.

"He'll cut vital services because he hasn't costed out his plans," said Chow bluntly.

Tory responded by promising not to cut any services.

It was the first of two debates on Tuesday.

Prior to the debate, organizers asked the public to submit questions for the candidates. Much of the focus was on the Toronto Foundation's Vital Signs report.

Ford has been somewhat of a rare presence at mayoral debates.

"I think it's a missed opportunity to not have everyone there," said Tory about Ford's absence on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Ford announced he received an endorsement. It turned out that endorsement was a quote from Tory in 2010, praising Ford for his business-like approach to governance.

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