Ford more years of this?

On Thursday, the world watched as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrived at City Hall first thing in the morning to file his campaign papers. That's right folks, Ford is seeking re-election in 2014.

He's even gotten himself a slogan: "Ford More Years."

The problem? Ford's record isn't what he claims. The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale counted five fibs on Day 1 of his re-election campaign.

Attendance record

Ford claimed he's got the best attendance record on council. His absenteeism rate of 17% means two-thirds of councillors have better a record than Ford.

Property taxes

Ford said annual property tax increases haven't exceeded 1.75% over the past four years. Property taxes went up 2.5% in 2012 and 2% in 2013, explains Dale.

Unemployment rate

Ford said Toronto's unemployment rate has dropped from 11% when he took office to 7% today, but Dale dug up a City of Toronto document showing the rate jumped from 9.4%to 9.8% as of October.

Spending like "drunken sailors" (not in a drunken stupor!)

Ford said the city went on a spending spree after City Council stripped him of his powers in November. The proposed city budget for 2014 remains unchanged.

Saving taxpayers $1 billion

Dale did the number-crunching, and discovered the claim "relies on dubious math, exaggerations and omissions."

Putting Ford's, er, misstruths, aside, older brother Doug Ford, acting as his campaign manager, wasn't interested in any fact-checking. He fielded questions from journalists by turning them into an attack from the "media party," saying people are tired of hearing about his brother's recent and very public troubles.

2014 is starting off with a remarkably 2013-ish bang.

We'll see if the inevitable circus around Ford's re-election campaign will actually bring any answers swirling around Ford's involvement with violent gangs and other shady business described by the Toronto Police in court documents.

Photo: doctorow. Used under a Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0 licence.

 

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