ICYMI: Doug Ford says he's working hard for the Ontario PCs

ICYMI: Doug Ford says he’s working hard for the Ontario PCs

Editor's note: QP Briefing interviewed Doug Ford about his involvement with the Ontario PC Party on Friday, August 18, 2017. Given the recent interest in Ford's political plans, we're republishing this story and lifting the paywall.  

Former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford says he's door-knocking for the PCs every night and attending fundraisers across the province — and he's holding open the possibility that he might just run for a PC nomination soon.

"I'm helping the PCs all over the province," Ford told QP Briefing Friday. "I just finished (PC Candidate for Newmarket-Aurora) Charity McGrath's event, I'm going to (Scarborough-Rouge River MPP) Raymond Cho's barbecue, I'm booked pretty solid there, making sure that I do whatever the party or the candidates need me for."

Ford has long said he'll be running for office again soon — to be mayor of Toronto or a PC MPP.

While the PCs have nominated most of their candidates already, Etobicoke North — the riding that aligns with Ford's former council ward in the days his brother Rob was mayor of Toronto — remains unclaimed with no nomination meeting scheduled.

But Ford isn't saying, yet, whether or not he's going to try for a PC nomination anywhere.

"Either way, I'm working hard," he said. "Literally, every single day, be it on the phones or going to events. We're going to do everything we can to defeat Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals."

Ford said he has no official role with the party.

"The only title I've got is Doug Ford," he quipped.

Ford's notability can be an asset for the PCs in fundraising. When the party is raising money at an event, MPPs can't be in attendance, according to the new election finance rules. So, the PCs have been having other political figures — including Ford and some former and current federal MPs — headline fundraising events to draw in a crowd.

For example, he will be at an upcoming fundraiser in Ottawa billed as "An evening with Doug Ford," for MPP Lisa MacLeod, but MacLeod won't be in attendance because of those new rules — which Ford, personally, isn't a fan of.

"First of all, I think that's the most ridiculous rule I've ever heard," he said. "That's just my opinion. If they worry about any MPPs, no matter what party it's from, being influenced for a $500 donation or a $1,000 donation, they shouldn't be an MPP, bottom line. But as everyone knows, no matter what party you are, you have to raise money for a campaign. We're abiding by the rules and everybody's pitching in where they can."

Ford said he will be hosting his annual Ford Fest at his family home in Etobicoke Sept. 8, but he's not 100-per-cent sure yet if he'll be making an announcement about his political future then.

 

Jessica Smith Cross

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