Mayor Rob Ford backs ''good budget''
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford likes what he sees in a draft version of the city budget.
Speaking with reporters after a campaign-style speech at an economic development event Thursday night, Ford deflected questions about his legal fight, but was anxious to talk about the spending plan.
He says it brings the changes that people want, underlining that Torontonians can't afford tax increases anymore.
The proposed budget hikes property taxes by close to 2%. Ford would love to keep taxes where they are, but says "right now, that's just not realistic".
Ford doesn't seem to think the political posturing that has followed Monday's ruling in his conflict of interest case will get in the way of the budget process. He says the city is "doing great, there's nothing wrong" & he's very proud of the city manager & budget chief.
The mayor also downplayed a looming stand off with the police over their spending plan. The city's budget hinges on Toronto Police freezing theirs. Chief Bill Blair says he can't do it without laying off cops.
Ford says he supports the Chief & police 100% & he's sure they'll find the efficiencies they need.
Blair will present a revised spending plan to the Police Services Board December 14th.