Ford seeks apology from Tory

Mayoral candidates clash on "racist" comment after hate speech discussion at Centennial College debate

Doug Ford called for John Tory to apologize to him for a statement accusing him of being a racist.

The two mayoral candidates along with Olivia Chow participated in a debate at Centennial College’s Progress Campus in Scarborough on Monday.

Ford said he’s waiting for Tory to apologize for a press release from his campaing on Sunday that accused him of using “the classic refuge of racists, anti-Semites and homophobes.”

The press release was a response to Ford’s comments at a Sunday debate organized by the Jewish community where he gave a list of the Jewish people he knows. This was in response to criticism of anti-Semitic comments made by his brother, Rob.

“If I ever called anyone a racist, a homophobe, an anti-semitic, I wouldn’t probably be sitting here right now,” Ford said.”But he gets away with it.”

Ford accused Tory of calling him “trash” and said that the comments from Tory’s campaign could be seen as racist.

“Is that not a racist comment if you call someone trash?” Ford said. “Attacking someone personally, calling me a racist—is that not racism? I’m still waiting for Mr. Tory’s apology.”

Tory said he never called Ford a racist and that he should read the release. He fired back by saying that it’s Ford and not him who should apologize.

“You had two occasions to issue an apology yourself last night and didn’t do so,” Tory said. “The one was for Mayor Ford’s comments, which were unacceptable in the context of the Jewish faith, and secondly, for your own comments which in 2014 or any other time were clearly inappropriate, and you didn’t apologize for that last night.”

Hateful speech

Mayoral candidate Chow also talked about insults and racism. She had talked to reporters before the debate about the huge amount of racist and sexist comments she’s received from the public online.

Chow said she wished her opponents would speak up when these kinds of attacks happened.

“It is hateful. We should not tolerate it,” she said. “When we hear it, when we see it, we need to stop it and call it out immediately.”