Ainslie refuses to be ‘bullied’ by the mayor

Ward 43 councillor fights back after voting for the Scarborough LRT

Scarborough's lone LRT supporter fights back when the mayor robo calls Ward 43.
Paul Ainslie, Scarborough’s lone LRT supporter among city councillors, fought back when the mayor robo-called Ward 43. (Photo from Toronto City Hall)

Coun. Paul Ainslie’s ongoing differences with Mayor Rob Ford blew wide open during the Oct. 9 city council vote on the Scarborough subway, but the councillor says he will not be “bullied” by the mayor.

“I have never tolerated bullies and I have always taught my three children to do the same,” Ainslie said.

The councillor said he will not support a subway plan that would cost Toronto taxpayers $910 million and take a 1.6 per cent tax hike to pay the bill.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly sees the actions of the former executive committee member, Ainslie, very differently.

“You can’t not support one of the mayor’s core policies and expect to sit on the executive,” Kelly said.

Ainslie said he thought the best thing to do for Scarborough and the city was to support a motion to reintroduce the original LRT plan with fuller provincial funding.

The mayor’s actions after the vote angered the councillor.

“He robo-called my ward on Friday and he used his radio show as a bully pulpit,” Ainslie said.

Ainslie resigned from the mayor’s executive on Oct. 11 and responded to the mayor’s actions on Oct. 15 when the councillor held a news conference at City Hall calling the mayor both a “bully and a liar.”

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly thinks Coun. Ainslie should have resigned before the vote.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said he thinks Coun. Ainslie should have resigned before the vote. (Photo from Toronto City Hall)

Ainslie said he tried to speak to the mayor prior to the vote without success.

Ainslie has made good on his press conference promise and wrote the CRTC on Oct. 18 to object to the mayor’s radio show comments about him.

He is also working on his complaint to the city’s integrity commissioner, Janet Leiper, and plans to hand it in this week.

The integrity commissioner said she could not discuss specific cases, but said if a complaint has “reasonable and probable grounds,” it takes her office approximately three months to make a report to council.

Ainslie said he looks forward to continuing to serve his constituents and will remain as chairman of both the library board and Scarborough community council.

As for the mayor, Ainslie said he “was getting tired of defending the guy with his constituents.”