*EXCLUSIVE AUDIO* Rob Ford Defends Schedule
Rob Ford is again defending how much time he spends on his mayoral duties.
He tells Matt Gurney on the Live Drive, "When people say I don't work hard, I just laugh at it because I don't know any different".
The Globe & Mail has obtained the mayor's schedule from the last few months of 2012. It shows the mayor rarely did official city business after 3:30pm, it was blocked off as "private time". His evenings were full of making calls & attending unnamed events.
Ford tells Gurney he is in action "non-stop" from the "crack of dawn", answering as many as 70 calls a day from Torontonians. The mayor says he takes those calls about everything from snow removal to pot holes, at home & in the car. Ford says he'll return a call as late as midnight if that's what is convenient for the other person, he will meet them wherever they ask.
Ford says "I don't want to toot my own horn...but I have to defend myself sometimes."
The mayor insists there's nothing to hide about his scheduled "personal time". He says people know he's coaching football every afternoon through the fall months.
Ford isn't keen to release his detailed agendas to the public as some other big city mayors have done, pointing to "episodes" with "protestors". He says "the last thing I need is a fight to break out or someone to attack me in front of my kids and my wife. I don't need that hassle."
Rob Ford admits his political life has taken a toll on his home life &that he spends "very few hours" with his family. Ford says he's lucky if he can treat his wife to dinner on Saturday night or take his kids, aged 5 & 7, out.
(With files from Justine Lewkowicz)