Toronto

Tory win could translate provincially: Doug Ford

Toronto Coun. Doug Ford says the federal election sends a "clear message" the city is open to voting in Progressive Conservatives in this fall's provincial election.

Conservative government will help fund Sheppard subway, says councillor

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appeared with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper at a campaign rally in Brampton on Friday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Toronto Coun. Doug Ford says the federal election sends a "clear message" the city is open to voting in Progressive Conservatives in this fall's provincial election.

Toronto, traditionally a Liberal bastion in federal and provincial politics, rejected the status quo in Monday's election. The Liberals lost 14 seats in Toronto, with eight of those going to the Conservatives and six to the NDP.

Ford, the brother of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, takes that as a sign the city's political landscape has changed. That's good news for Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak ahead of the Oct. 6 provincial election, said Ford, who earlier this year turned down an offer to run for the provincial Tories in Etobicoke North.

"It's going to be very interesting. When Rob was doing cartwheels down the street, I saw Tim Hudak doing cartwheels right beside him," he said on Tuesday.

"But it just sends a clear message to the other parties that Toronto's in play for any Conservative party, be it a Conservative-minded mayor, a conservative party of Ontario or federally."

The provincial Liberals currently hold 18 seats in Toronto, with the NDP accounting for four. The Progressive Conservatives don't have any seats in the city.

Ford campaigned for Conservatives

The mayor played an active role in contributing to the Conservative wins in Toronto, endorsing Conservative Leader Stephen Harper at a Friday event in Brampton.

Over the weekend, he placed automated calls to residents in four ridings: Etobicoke North, Etobicoke centre, Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Don Valley West.

All but Etobicoke North dumped Liberal incumbents in favour of Conservative candidates.

The election result in Etobicoke-Lakeshore was particularly sweet for the Conservatives, as their candidate Bernard Trottier toppled now-departed Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

'We're going to build the Sheppard subway line with P3s'

Coun. Ford also said that it will be easier to pay for the mayor's Sheppard subway plan with the federal Conservatives in power.

The mayor hopes to secure cash for the $4.2-billion subway by applying to the federal P3 Canada fund, which doles out $1.2 billion annually across the country to public-private partnership projects.

"The Conservative government was the only government that supported P3s, the public-private partnerships," he said "We're going to build the Sheppard subway line with P3s."

Coun. Adam Vaughan, a Ford opponent, agreed that the Conservative win might actually mean a subway will be built.

"If Harper is going to consolidate the Tory holdings in Toronto, he's going to have play to the ridings that bounce between Eglinton and Sheppard," he said. "Where does the mayor want to build a subway? This might be the best news that Rob Ford has ever received."

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