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article imageToronto Mayor compares left-wing council rivals to Joseph Stalin

By Andrew Moran     Jan 25, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Are left-wing members of city council similar to former Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin? Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thinks so, according to a recent radio interview he participated in on Tuesday.
Torontonians may remember over the summer of Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, a stern Rob Ford ally, creating a Facebook page in order to support the Ford administration’s budget plans. He noted, though, “I will be monitoring their comments and if I get a smell of communism, they’re off the page.” Mammoliti explained that “only Mammoliti has that keen sense of smell.”
Well, the word communism has come back to the vocabulary of city hall.
During an interview with AM 640’s John Oakley Tuesday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford explained that some left-wing city council members are “two steps left of [Joseph] Stalin.” His remarks were directed toward City Councillors Janet Davis, Paula Fletcher, Josh Matlow, Gord Perks and Adam Vaughan.
“They don’t care about the taxpayers, but I know one person that does and that’s me,” said Ford. “I don't think Josh Matlow has voted with me, he might have voted with me 10 per cent of the time if I'm lucky. I consider [Matlow] a left-wing NDPer.”
Toronto St. Paul s City Councillor Josh Matlow speaking at a media event at city hall.
Toronto St. Paul's City Councillor Josh Matlow speaking at a media event at city hall.
Matlow has called himself a centrist, and many members of council see him as exactly that. However, the mayor believes there cannot be a middle ground down at city hall; either you’re a conservative, liberal or NDP.
“I don't think there is such a thing as a mushy middle down at city hall,” added Ford. “It's either you vote one way or the other down there. You're either on the right side with the Conservatives and the Liberals or you're on the left with the NDP.”
Matlow, councillor for St. Paul’s, told the Toronto Star that he went to the Mayor’s Office following the interview not to receive an apology, but to discuss his comments. Matlow asked for the drama to end and work on the important issues, such as transit and affordable housing.
City Councillor Adam Vaughan speaking at a media event to honour David Pecaut Square.
City Councillor Adam Vaughan speaking at a media event to honour David Pecaut Square.
Vaughan, a Trinity-Spadina councillor, who has been an ardent opponent of the mayor, told the Toronto Sun that Ford’s marks were “inappropriate” and that he has had a “frustrating week.”
“I don’t think anybody should be compared to Joseph Stalin, anybody on council.”
Joseph Stalin was a brutal dictator who murdered more people than German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. It is estimated that the Soviet Union dictator was responsible for more than 40 million deaths. He also ordered the killings of several million workers, while many were sent to the Gulags.
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