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article imageNo protesters at Ford BBQ as Toronto mayor hints at 2014 campaign

By Darren Weir     Sep 8, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Protesters stayed away from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's barbecue that supporters are hailing a success. And he used the occasion to unofficially kick-off his campaign for the next mayoral race.
CBC says the event was being called "Ford Fest," an annual barbecue Ford has hosted in his mother's backyard since the 1990's, and this year the whole city was invited. There's no estimate on how many attended but Ford had said earlier the backyard could hold about 5000 people and the CBC says it was standing-room only for most of the evening.
But despite some rumours of protests, and a group from the LGBT community that had hoped to talk to the Mayor about his absence from Toronto's Pride celebrations, it was a friendly atmosphere, with guests dining on hamburgers and hot dogs while a local classic-rock band supplied the music. The Globe and Mail says this year, the family had hired a private security firm, with the Mayor's brother, City Councillor Doug Ford, saying he was concerned that someone could try to disrupt the party.
The Globe and Mail quotes the mayor saying, “It’s going fantastic, going absolutely great.”
Despite the festive crowd, the party happened in the same week that Ford had to testify against allegations that he violated conflict of interest rules. He's accused of taking part in a debate and council vote to rescind an order that he pay back $3150 in donations that were given to his football foundation. If the judge in the case decides it was a conflict of interest, Ford could lose his job.
Nevertheless, he is quoted telling supporters that "we're already working on the next campaign." The Toronto Star reports Ford, who is midway through his first term, delivered a 10-minute speech stressing his record of cutting councillor's perks and said the campaign for the 2014 election has started, despite a group of "left-wing politicians" who are trying to get rid of him. Ford added,“The tax-and-spend people want to take it back (the mayor's office) and they're not getting it back.”
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