The mayoral candidates met at Leaside Memorial Community Gardens on Tuesday night for another mayoral debate.
Not even the bad weather could stop a horde of people from packing into the room in which the debate was held in.
“It is amazing that in such pouring rain there are so many of you here,” opened Olivia Chow.
The candidates answered a variety of questions ranging from bike lanes and child care to preserving heritage buildings.
Doug Ford and John Tory concentrated on the issue of transit, with Tory promoting his SmartTrack plan. Chow concentrated on the issue of poverty and how to create better child care.
As soon as Ford could start his rebuttal, he started by calling Tory “same old story Mr. Tory.”
The crowd was full of dedicated fans who had to constantly be quieted due to their over-enthusiasm. At one point, Tory could not speak due to booing from fans of Ford who were yelling “Get real, Tory” and “Where’s your respect?”
The main havoc at the event started once a grade 6 student asked, “I see behaviour at city hall that wouldn’t be acceptable at my school…. What will change if my parents vote for you?”.
Chow began by criticizing Tory’s language towards Ford. “Mr. Tory, you need to stop calling Mr. Ford names…. Trash, chicken and then today it was turkey.”
Ford agreed. “Well, there’s so much hypocrisy sitting right beside me and being fake… Today, I guess I’m a turkey. Yesterday it was a chicken. The other day I was trash.
Tory’s fans however, became outraged. One Tory fan was threatened to be removed from the debate room after standing up and making inappropriate remarks towards Ford, “I can’t have respect for you!”.
The candidates may have realized they were not being good role models and kept themselves civil during answering a fifth grader’s question. However, the peace between candidates was short-lived.
In Ford’s closing statement, he decided to insult Tory one last time by criticizing Tory’s transit plans. The debate closed with chants of “Ford (four) more years!” from the crowd.
One of the debate’s spectators, Sadia Khan, was not impressed with the candidates’ answers and their bickering.
“I don’t think I’ll be voting and the debate really allowed me to solidify that view because neither John Tory or Doug Ford presented a very compelling case on why either of them should be mayor,” commented Khan.”Olivia Chow made a few good points..but all in all, I thought it was not a very simulating environment to be in. The substance wasn’t there. I think if people are fighting over something then there should be some reason for why they are fighting.”