Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is dismissing criticism from the head of the city's fire fighters' union over a prop at his campaign party.
One of the biggest features of Ford's kick-off at the Toronto Congress Centre Thursday night, was a de-commissioned Ford Motors fire truck, festooned with messages like "Saved the Taxpayers a Billion Dollars and "Saving the taxpayers from getting burned".
The truck was bought by the mayor's brother Randy Ford at auction.
Ed Kennedy, President of the Toronto Fire Fighters' Association called the moved "utterly tasteless" and
"a slap in the face" to Torontonians as four fire trucks are taken out of service on Monday. The trucks along with 84 front-line firefighters were trimmed in this year's budget. The spending plan added fire prevention officers.
But on Saturday, Rob Ford blew off any notion of controversy.
"I support the front-line fire fighters like no other mayor ever has", Ford told reporters at a recycling event for household electronics and and propane tanks. "We've done more for the fire fighters than any mayor ever has", pointing to the opening of new stations and the purchase of new suits.
Kennedy contends that pulling back the number of fire trucks on the road will mean longer response times.
Toronto's Fire Chief expect the impact to be minimal and has said the staffing shrinkage will be reached through attrition.