No fireworks between councillor Ford and police chief at meeting

Police chief Bill Blair answered questions about next year's budget at a committee meeting

There were none of the expected fireworks at today's budget committee meeting as the police chief was questioned about next year's budget by councillors that included Doug Ford.

The two have had a tense relationship, with councillor Ford asking chief Bill Blair to take a leave and accusing him of being political.

During today's meeting, Ford and Blair were very civilized in asking and answering questions.

"Gotta kinda separate - business is business and personal is personal," councillor Ford later told CP24.

Chief Blair says he wasn't expecting it to be awkward between them.

"We all have a job to do," Blair told reporters.

The only time councillor Ford reminded the room of the tension between him and Blair is when he joked at the end of the debate, asking the chief one last question.

"Which way are you guys going because I'll go the opposite," councillor Ford joked. "Split the media because they're coming after us."

Some councillors have asked the Ford brothers to declare a conflict-of-interest on the police budget. After the meeting, Blair dismissed questions on whether he thinks the Fords should stay out of the debate.

"I, quite frankly, have a lot of confidence in the governance system for policing," Blair said. "I also have great confidence in council to make a determination... They'll do what they have to do to provide us with the resources we need."

Toronto police are asking for a 2014 budget of $957-million, which is a 3.1 per cent increase over the 2013 operating budget. About 84 per cent of the costs go towards salaries and benefits, and about 88 per cent of funding comes from property taxes.

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