Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi has denounced rival Councillor Rob Ford’s condemnation of immigration to Toronto, which he made during a recent CP24 televised mayoral debate.
Ford said during a discussion about welcoming newcomers to Toronto that he opposed new immigration to Toronto when – in his view – the city can’t handle the people already living here.
“Right now we can’t even deal with the 2.5 million people in this city,” Ford said. “I think it is more important to take care of people now before we start bringing in more people. There’s going to be a million more people, according to the official plan (which I did not support) over the next 10 years coming into the city.
“We can’t even deal with the 2.5 million people. How are we going to welcome another million people in? It is going to be chaotic. We can’t even deal with the chaos we have now. I think we have to say enough’s enough.”
Rossi, the Toronto-born son of immigrants from Italy, said in response to Ford: “I am angry and deeply offended by this. My family came to Toronto for a better life and built a business, raised a family and contributed to this city. As a businessman, I am appalled at the lack of insight displayed by Mr. Ford on what helps drive economic growth in this city.
“Our city cannot achieve its full economic potential without newcomers. How can someone who claims to be such a sharp businessman not understand that basic fact. As mayor, one of my top priorities will be creating jobs, opportunity and economic wealth for everyone living in this city.
“This man has no plan for Toronto, except the old-style political game of pitting one Torontonian against another. It’s one thing to cut waste. It’s another thing entirely to cut the city off from the rest of the world by opposing immigration.
“Under Ford there is no future for Toronto.”