Protesters oppose Toronto mayor

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Toronto on Saturday to protest the policies of Mayor Rob Ford.
Mayor Rob Ford, seen at a public event on Friday, was the target of a large protest. (CBC )

Hundreds of people marched to city hall Saturday to protest the policies of Mayor Rob Ford.

Many of the protesters said they were concerned about cuts to public services and also attacked plans to privatize community housing.

"I'm really scared for the future of Toronto. I don't think contracting out services is going to be beneficial for the city," said Adam Graves, 25.

"I think to have a healthy city you need to have healthy programs for the people most in need," he added.

Transit union boss Bob Kinnear told the crowd he was there to oppose what he called Ford's two-fold attack on transit.

Ford recently cancelled a transit plan that would build light rail transit lines, opting to invest the money to expand the subway system.

He also prompted the legislature to pass a bill declaring the TTC an essential service, which effectively bans Toronto's transit workers from going on strike.

Luca Defranco, 29, said he is displeased about the direction the city is heading.

"Part of the mayor's approach has been to really not take citizens' considerations into account when it comes to our transit needs," said Defranco.

"People in this city want better transit, and they want better transit now, not 20 years from now or whenever that subway possibly gets built."

Other union leaders also criticized the mayor.

"Mayor Ford may have been elected, but he isn't a czar," said Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan in a statement. 

"When you ignore the interests of the people who live and work in this city and start axing services and slashing jobs, you are thumbing your nose at democracy and the electorate. People from all over the city are angry and they are demanding respect," said Sid Ryan..