Toronto

Renata Ford will be a candidate for Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada

Renata Ford, the wife of late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and sister-in-law of Ontario premier Doug Ford, is running as a candidate for Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada in the October federal election, CBC News has confirmed.

Wife of controversial late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford will seek election in Etobicoke, Ont.

Renata Ford is one of the 39 candidates the People's Party will put forward to voters in the Greater Toronto Area. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

Renata Ford, the wife of late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and sister-in-law of Ontario premier Doug Ford, is running as a candidate for Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada in the October federal election, CBC News has confirmed.

Ford officially announced she is the PPC candidate for Etobicoke North on Friday at a party event in downtown Toronto.

"After a period of trials and tribulations, I'm healthier, and I'm more ready than ever," she told a crowd gathered at the Royal Canadian Military Institute. "The time is right for me now to run to be a member of Parliament."

She was introduced as one of 39 candidates the party will put forward to voters in the Greater Toronto Area in the fall campaign, and was the only party member granted time at the podium after Bernier and the event's MC.

Speaking to reporters, Bernier said Ford approached his team and decided to run. 

PPC leader Maxime Bernier says Renata Ford will bring her "common sense" to the party. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

She would bring "common sense," and her ability to work with people to the party,  Bernier said.

Alongside her support for Bernier's push to lower taxes, Ford explained the personal reason behind her decision: "I found that Bernier is passionate, just as much as my husband was, on the real issues that concern Canadians, and he's not afraid to stand up."

A candidate biography provided by the party described Ford as a "primary contributor" to Rob Ford's time at city hall, from handing out fridge magnets with their home phone number and fielding calls, to helping organize the popular Ford Fest events.

Indeed, from 2010 to 2014, Ford stood by her late husband throughout his tumultuous term as mayor, but kept a low profile as he gained international notoriety for substance abuse, including his stunning 2013 admission that he had smoked crack cocaine.

In recent years, she also made headlines of her own.

Sentenced for impaired driving

After pleading guilty to impaired driving in 2018, Ford was sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service — and also issued a two-year driving ban and a $1,100 fine — for a 2016 incident.  

She also launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit last year against her brothers-in-law Doug and Randy Ford and their family businesses, claiming she and her children were bilked out of millions of dollars.  

Ford said her run isn't about needing money, but confirmed to CBC News that the lawsuit was still making its way through the court system.

When it was first filed, the Ontario premier, who was then just PC leader, told reporters he was "shocked" by the allegations, which came out shortly before the June provincial election.

"Our family has always stood behind the kids, always stood behind Renata, we never wavered," he said.

As CBC News reported last July, court documents revealed her growing cash crunch while pursuing the lawsuit. 

Sworn financial statements filed in family court as part of an estate proceeding said Ford had to take out a nearly $200,000 second mortgage at a steep interest rate of 12.5 per cent.

When asked for comment on Friday, a spokesperson for Premier Ford's office said: "The premier wishes every candidate good luck in the upcoming federal election."

Renata Ford is also the aunt of Toronto councillor Michael Ford, who issued a similar comment about the election not including his aunt's name.

"I will not be supporting any one individual's candidacy in Etobicoke North," he said. "I do, however, look forward to working with whoever is elected on Oct. 21."

About the Author

Lauren Pelley

City Hall reporter

Lauren Pelley is a CBC reporter in Toronto covering city hall and municipal affairs. Contact her at: lauren.pelley@cbc.ca

With files from CBC News

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