A timeline of Rob Ford and Kathleen Wynne’s deteriorating relations

A timeline of Rob Ford and Kathleen Wynne’s deteriorating relations

Rob Ford and Dalton McGuinty had trouble playing nice sometimes, and Kathleen Wynne’s arrival seemed like an opportunity to improve relations between Queen’s Park and city hall. Then Wynne embarked on an ambitious campaign to find new revenue sources (like taxes and tolls) to pay for transit expansion, a notion Ford has made very clear he doesn’t support. Things quickly devolved from there. Here, a timeline chronicling Ford and Wynne’s steadily souring relationship.

February 15–19: opening shots

The move: Ford reaffirms his opposition to tolls only days after the new premier takes office: “If the province puts them through, that’s up to them…I don’t support tolls.” Translation: you’re on your own, Wynne.

The countermove: Wynne plays the conciliator, telling Ford they “agree to disagree.” However, four days later, she delivers a pointed throne speech underlining voters’ desire for “a serious conversation” about transit infrastructure investment that’s not “mired in political rhetoric.”

March 13: extreme awkwardness

The move: At a news conference at the site of the Spadina subway extension, Ford repeats his simple, no-tax mantra (“I’m not one to implement a tax”). The situation is pretty uncomfortable since Wynne’s there too.

The countermove: Wynne follows Ford’s lead, reiterating her position (“We need to create a revenue stream in order to be able to build those projects”) without explicitly calling out her foe.

March 28–April 3: family feud

The move: Less than a week after Wynne and Ford’s “productive” first official meeting, the mayor’s brother Doug gets all aggressive on the radio: “Call an election, Kathleen Wynne, in May and I will run. I will guarantee it and we will defeat you.”

The countermove: Wynne tells reporters, “I think it’s always a great thing when people decide to throw their hat in the ring.” Outwardly polite, but we detect a steely note of false sweetness.

April 3–April 17: civility breaks down

The move: Wynne embarks on a public relations blitz, complete with thinly veiled shots at the casino-supporting, efficiency-seeking mayor. In the span of a week, she says that a casino is not a “panacea” that will pay for all the GTA’s transit needs, and the idea that efficiencies are going to generate the necessary cash is a “misconception.”

The countermove: Ford finds an easier way to dominate media coverage: in response to regional transit agency Metrolinx’s shortlist of revenue tools, he pretends to puke, delighting GIF fans across the Internet.

April 23: not playing

The move: Ford highlights the provincial government’s past scandals at an executive council meeting and says “we don’t even know if we’re going to have the same government in place in a month’s time.” The same day, the committee votes to shelve a city staff report recommending transit revenue tools until May 28—a day after Metrolinx meets to decide on recommendations for transit funding.

The countermove: Wynne stays mum. Instead, outraged councillors are leading the fight to bring the report to council for debate.

(Images: Rob Ford, Christopher Drost, Kathleen Wynne, Kathleen Wynne)