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article imageToronto Mayor Ford promises big change in speech, thanks voters Special

By Andrew Moran     Dec 7, 2010 in Politics
Toronto - After concluding his inauguration and formal procedures, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thanked his voters and took photos with many of his supporters. Ford later spoke briefly with members of the press.
The murmurs of “He will do a good job,” “He’ll certainly be better than [David] Miller” and “I’ve met his brother [Doug Ford] and he’s also quite nice” could be heard throughout city hall on Tuesday as Rob Ford voters gathered to welcome the new mayor and take photos with the 10-year Etobicoke councillor.
Earlier in the day, Ford held a face-to-face meeting with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to discuss the future of Toronto’s transit system. The meeting was followed by the new mayor’s officially swearing-in ceremony. Ford was introduced and welcomed by Canada’s favourite hockey legend – bearing a light pink jacket for the “left-wing pinko newspapers out there – Don Cherry.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford  and his wife  thanking a supporter.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, and his wife, thanking a supporter.
Cherry declared that Ford will be the “greatest mayor this city has ever seen” and the CBC hockey analyst added “put that in your pipe you left-wing kooks.”
Once the formal procedures concluded, the new mayor delivered a speech to city council – spawned with freshman councillors – where he laid out his “four core priorities.” Customer service, accountability and reduction in the size and cost of the municipal government were at the top of Ford’s agenda.
“Our fourth priority is a transportation city plan. Transportation is just not transit. We will expand our focus that will include people who use transit and also motorists, commercial vehicle operators, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Ford. “Much has changed and more will change.”
Media scrum for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Media scrum for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
At around 3:30 p.m., media, city personnel and supporters gathered around the main elevator doors only to realize that Ford and his team were going to walk down the stairs. Like a swarm of bees, dozens of people ran to the new mayor and, in instant, a large crowd was formed.
Ford and his wife, Renate, took photographs with many of his supporters and thanked them for voting for him: “This is overwhelming,” said Ford, “Thank you very much.” He later added in jest, “I feel and look a lot like Santa Claus right now.”
As the crowd calmed down, Ford then spoke to the press and said the day was “very productive.”
“It’s great; it’s exciting,” Ford told a group of reporters. “I’m going to get the city on its financial feet and we’re going to get rid of the $60 registration car tax. I’ve had a productive meeting with the Prime Minister and today I’ve had a productive meeting with the Premier. Things are going well and can’t wait to get to work next at the first council meeting.”
A sign near the Old City Hall Courthouse supporting Mayor Rob Ford.
A sign near the Old City Hall Courthouse supporting Mayor Rob Ford.
When asked how he felt about Cherry’s speech, Ford responded: “To each his own, right? Don is well-known and well-respected throughout Canada. What you see is what you get.”
The “Red Tory” also noted that he didn’t know Cherry would make the remarks that he did: “I talked to him and we’ve been a huge fan of Don Cherry and ‘Coach’s Corner’ like many Canadians. So we invite him and Don is exactly what you see is what you get.”
When asked about Transit City, Ford cut the media scrum short and said he had to head back to his office.
City council will reconvene on Wednesday.
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