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Doug Ford booed for using Jewish stereotypes at UJA mayoral debate

Another debate full of attacks Sunday night as John Tory, Olivia Chow, Doug Ford and distant fourth place candidate Ari Goldkind stood in front of a crowd at the Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy.

The main topics were transit, taxes, social issues and the attitude at city hall.

Goldkind took centre stage at the debate, which was hosted by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, going after all three of his opponents.

“I ran because I was fed up and not happy with the choices to choose from,” he explained.

When it came to the debate over cutting costs and balancing the books, Goldkind said all three of the top candidates were contradicting themselves and accused them of being “a Ford in sheep’s clothing.”

“You have three people standing on this stage, and it’s amazing to me, who are really competing for the title and the competition to be the most progressive yet most conservative candidate at the same time,” he said. “You just can’t be that person.”

Goldkind also questioned Ford about his brother, mayor Rob Ford’s, alleged use of an anti-Semitic term in audio obtained by the Toronto Star in March.

“The fact that he insulted my religion, whether it was under the influence or not, we cannot have a mayor like that, because that is where it starts,” he stated. “I wanna hear you say what your brother said was inexcusable and it doesn’t get swept under the rug.”

Ford eventually addressed his brother’s remarks, calling them “unacceptable and inexcusable,” adding that Mayor Ford had apologized.

But first Ford drew boos from the crowd when he trotted out a list of stereotypes as part of his defense of his family.

“You know something, my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish, hold on, accountant. We’ve learned, our family, can you please, please let me finish. Our family has the utmost respect.”

The candidates also continued to battle over the number one topic of the election — transit.

Both Ford and Chow once again were critical of Tory’s SmartTrack plan.

Chow suggested that Tory wasn’t being truthful about just how much his plan would end up costing taxpayers.

“Now we have experts say you probably have to tunnel most of that 12 kilometres and it would cost something like 2.5 billion dollars,” she questioned.

Tory defended his transit plan and, when asked, told the audience how much he planned to borrow to fund the project.

“The answer is one-third of eight billion dollars. That price includes all of the engineering challenges that will have to be dealt with,” Tory explained. “The bottom line is we’re going to get this done because this city needs it.”

Ford, who continued to tout his subway plan, once again accused Tory of flip-flopping on his transit plans.

“So are you going to tunnel or are you just going to give out free jetpacks for everyone to go from point A to point B?”

Ford, Chow and Tory will face off again on Monday at the main campus of Centennial College.