WATCH ABOVE: MPP Brad Duguid says Ontario Liberals ‘enthusiastic’ about John Tory. Mark McAllister reports.
TORONTO – Cabinet minister Brad Duguid says the Ontario Liberals have not officially endorsed John Tory as mayor of Toronto but his party caucus is “enthusiastic” about that potential.
“Many of us will be working directly on the campaign. Some won’t be directly involved, but there’s an incredible level of enthusiasm in the Liberal caucus for John Tory,” said Duguid while appearing side-by-side with Tory at the Kennedy Subway Station on Tuesday to endorse his candidacy.
Duguid, who represents the Liberals in the riding of Scarborough-Centre, touted Tory’s ability to bring stability to city council as a factor in his decision to back the former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
“John knows how to work with people. He knows how to work with council. We’ll have a stable partner,” said Duguid.
The Liberal government has promised to invest $1.4-billion into building the Scarborough subway extension and Duguid said the province “needs a strong municipal partner” to help push that plan through.
READ MORE: Subways or LRT: Comparing the transit plans of Ford, Chow and Tory
“The biggest impediment to the potential project is instability at the local level. To carry on $3-billion plus project we need a strong municipal partner, a stable municipal partner,” Duguid said.
Tory made mention of his close ties to Queen’s Park and his strong relationship with Duguid.
WATCH: Liberal MPP Brad Duguid joined John Tory to support his transit plan and blamed local government for delays in local infrastructure development.
“He’s someone that I respect because he’s someone that fights for the city and for Scarborough,” said Tory.
“It is going to be absolutely essential for the next mayor of Toronto to work very closely and well with the government of Ontario and the federal government in Ottawa.”
Rob Ford didn’t speak to reporters Tuesday morning but his brother and campaign manager Doug Ford dismissed Duguid’s endorsement of Tory saying they were trying to piggy-back on the mayor’s accomplishments by supporting the Scarborough subway.
“It’s a shame that he has the gall to come out and pretend he’s for subways, it’s a real shame in my opinion,” Ford said. “We wouldn’t take an endorsement from Brad Duguid.”
Fellow candidate Olivia Chow didn’t seem too worried about Tory’s latest endorsement when she was asked about it during a campaign announcement at her headquarters on Tuesday.
“It doesn’t really change anything for me,” said Chow. “We have to invest to improve services and I will continue to work with Kathleen Wynne’s team.”
Chow has been trailing third in the the latest poll numbers behind Tory and Rob Ford.