‘Bring it on’ says Doug Ford to Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie


Published May 24, 2023 at 11:24 am

Crombie and ford

Premier Doug Ford pulled no punches when asked about the prospect of facing off against Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie during a press conference on Wednesday (May 24).

Ford said he had two reactions to Crombie announcing her run for the Ontario Liberal leadership: “What took you so long?” and “Bring it on.”

“This is all about Bonnie Crombie’s political agenda. It’s not about the people of Mississauga,” he said, criticizing Crombie for splitting her efforts between running the city and making a bid for provincial leadership.

“I’m going to take care of the people of Mississauga, and Bonnie’s going to be running around the province not worrying about the people of Mississauga — in my opinion it’s a real slap in the face to the residents there.”

The premier also fired shots at housing developments in Mississauga, stating that the city so far has built very few homes despite its population of over 800,000 residents, something he called “unacceptable.”

As for the prospect of running against Crombie in the next election, Ford seemed very confident in his chances to win and maintain his role as Premier of Ontario.

“I think the best thing to do — she runs against me and we get a new mayor in Mississauga,” Ford concluded.

His jabs at Crombie were a noticeable tone shift from what seemed like a more cordial relationship between the two politicians after the province recently agreed to dissolve the Region of Peel and allow Mississauga to become independent, something Crombie had been fighting for for many years and said she was ecstatic to see finally happen.

Speculation began soon afterwards that Crombie would be running for Ontario Liberal leadership, with early sources confirming that she had already assembled a team to work out the logistics of a run and had launched a website to kick off her campaign.

“I want to be leader of a Liberal government that puts people first,” Crombie stated on BonnieForLeader.ca, where she wrote that she wanted to take down the current Ford government “that has made things worse through cutbacks and underfunding of key public services.”

“Ontario is at a tipping point,” she said on the website. “We cannot afford more of what this government has done over the past five years.”

In an interview on Tuesday, Crombie said Ford’s government is “too far to the right” while also stating that the Ontario Liberals should govern “from the right of centre.”

“I’m interested in bringing the province back to the center,” she said. “The current (Doug Ford) administration, I have some issues with their approach, in the way they do business, and they’re too far to the right. The (NDP) opposition (is) too far to the left.”

One of Crombie’s opponents in the race, MP Nate Erskine-Smith, took that opportunity to discuss his own vision for the Ontario Liberals.

“If I lead the Ontario Liberals, we won’t govern from the centre-right. I won’t suggest affordable childcare is too far left or block housing from being built,” Erskine-Smith said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Enough NIMBYism. Our province can’t afford it.”

The deadline for candidates to register to run for the Liberal leadership is Sept. 5, and contestants must pay an entry fee of $100,000 and a refundable $25,000 deposit.

Party members will vote by ranked ballot on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 and the Liberals set to announce their new leader on Dec. 2.

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