In Chicago, Ford pledges to make Toronto’s qualities known
Published Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:24AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:55PM EDT
Mayor Rob Ford toured Toronto’s sister city Chicago on Tuesday while attending a trade mission in the Windy City.
The mayor is leading a 60-person delegation of politicians and business leaders as they visit Chicago for two days in an attempt to foster stronger business ties.
While in Chicago, Ford is expected to meet with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, during his two-day visit.
The two mayors will re-sign the sister city agreement they share, as well as discuss trade and tourism opportunities.
As Ford strolled the city streets he told reporters the two cities share a number of common characteristics.
“You look at the entertainment, you look at the sports, you look at the people – the (demographic) make-up … very multi-cultural and businesses, so … we have a lot of similarities,” he said.
Ford told reporters that he will make sure Chicago’s politicians, business leaders and community members know about all the things Toronto has to offer.
“Tell them the benefits of Toronto. How clean, how safe it is,” he said. “How busy we are, how many jobs we’ve created in the last five years.”
Joining the mayor on this trip are business leaders George Cohon, founder of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and Robert Deluce, president of Porter Airlines.
“The mission is important to solidify growing relationships and inspire new opportunities. I’m proud and excited to be a part of it,” Cohon said in a statement.
Councillors Paul Ainslie, Michelle Berardinetti, Mike Del Grande, Doug Ford, Mark Grimes, Peter Milczyn, Jaye Robinson and Michael Thompson will also participate in the mission.
Ford has said the Chicago mission will mark the beginning of a renewed Partner City relationship – a deal first reached in 1991 to foster economic development and trade between the cities.
Toronto is also a partner city to Chongging, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Milan, Italy.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Natalie Johnson