Doug Ford booed after listing Jewish people he knows
Published Monday, October 6, 2014 9:23AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 6, 2014 2:42PM EDT
Doug Ford was interrupted by jeers from a debate audience when he attempted to identify with Toronto's Jewish community by listing his Jewish doctor, lawyer, accountant and dentist.
Ford joined fellow mayoral candidates Olivia Chow, Ari Goldkind, and John Tory at a debate hosted by the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs on Sunday.
As candidates were asked what they'd do to make Toronto a safer place for its Jewish community, Goldkind brought up a past allegation against Ford's brother, Mayor Rob Ford.
Goldkind, referring to a report published in May, recounted the allegation that the mayor had used an anti-semitic slur, among other racial epithets, when suggesting "Nobody sticks up for people like I do."
In his remarks, Goldkind said, “I would start on the issue of anti-Semitism by not having a mayor who refers to us, the people in this room, the Jewish people in this room, with a derogatory name that starts with a K."
Doug Ford started to respond:
"Ari, I'm not going to address your comment, but you know something? My doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish - hold it - accountant..."
He was cut off by the crowd of approximately 600, who erupted into boos and laughter. He asked several times for the audience to let him finish before the moderator stepped in to hush the crowd.
"Let me finish please. My family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community. The utmost respect. And we look forward to working with the Jewish community as we have for the last four years."
But Goldkind said he didn't want a list of Jewish people in the Fords' lives.
"I want you to say that what your brother said was inexcusable and it doesn't get washed under the rug," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Ford said he had told his brother that the language was unacceptable, and the topic was dropped.
Following the debate, Chow said she felt that Rob Ford should apologize for his "hateful and anti-Semitic statements in the past."
Tory said that elements of discrimination still exist in Toronto and are not confined to the Jewish community. His office later sent out a statement calling Doug Ford's attempts to defend Rob's comments "shameful."