Olivia Chow, Doug Ford hold 1st meet since mayoral byelection

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are holding their first meeting today since Chow was elected in June. 

After the meeting, which will take place at Queen’s Park, Ford and Chow will take questions from reporters at 2:00 p.m.

CBC News will carry it live in the player above.

For Chow, getting support from Ford will be crucial for advancing her vision for Toronto. However, during the summer byelection campaign, Ford made it clear that he did not want Chow to win the city’s top job. 

“If Olivia Chow gets in, it’ll be an unmitigated disaster,” Ford said at the time. “Businesses are going to be fleeing Toronto. Businesses are terrified. Therefore, the workers should be terrified.”

After the election, Ford softened. He said people expect them to work together and they will. 

“We’re going to find common ground when we sit down, cause she’s actually quite a nice person,” he said.

Chow has also said she’s sure there will be common ground between the two leaders.

WATCH | Olivia Chow’s view on how she’ll work with the premier: 

Olivia Chow says there is ‘absolutely’ common ground with Ford

Toronto mayor-elect Olivia Chow says Ontario Premier Doug Ford called her after her win Monday night and they spoke about shared goals. ‘Number one, we both agree that we need to build housing,’ she told CBC News. This comes after Ford said Chow would be an ‘unmitigated disaster’ for Toronto if she were elected mayor.

Tension could arise on city budget and Ontario Place

When it comes to provincial and municipal relations, there could be a few sources of friction as Chow and Ford meet. The billion-dollar hole in the city’s budget, Chow’s plan for Toronto City Hall to become a developer of affordable housing, and the future of Ontario Place, to name a few.

During the campaign, Chow said the city would need a new deal with the province and federal government to address the budget shortfall. While Ford has signalled he’d like to see the city’s fiscal house is in order before he hands over any cash. 

When it comes to Ontario Place, the Ford government submitted a new Planning Act application to the city last week after consulting with the city, Indigenous peoples, and community members. 

Speaking to reporters about the application, Chow said her priority is to reflect the wishes of Torontonians, who she said have expressed “a lot of concerns” about the plan during public consultations. 

The land that contains Ontario Place belongs to the province but the city owns some pieces of it, she said, noting that rezoning applications should follow city planning guidelines and process.

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