Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto deputy mayor Norm Kelly met briefly on Tuesday, much to the displeasure of Mayor Rob Ford.
Wynne said the meeting was to touch base about issues in Toronto and to ensure good working relationships between the province and municipalities.
“We have to work with the people who are responsible for the decision making at the municipal level,” Wynne told reporters after the Queen’s Park meeting.
Wynne said she met with Kelly because “he is the representative of Toronto city council.”
Kelly, responding to a reporter’s question, said the meeting was not symbolic.
“The City of Toronto faces challenges, as does the province. We must work together to meet those challenges…This is not symbolism, this is work,” he said.
Before the meeting began, Ford had sent Wynne a letter, arguing that as the elected mayor, Wynne should meet with him.
The mayor’s brother Coun. Doug Ford also said both Wynne and Kelly were “unelected.”
Both Wynne and Kelly were elected and Wynne, like Dalton McGuinty, was chosen by party members to lead the Liberals. She took over after McGuinty resigned.
Kelly took over many of Ford’s executive powers following a council voted in November.
Council voted to remove Ford’s ability to appoint or remove the deputy mayor and members of his executive committee following the mayor’s crack cocaine scandal. Councillors also voted to slash his office budget by 60 per cent and reduce his staff.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak was mum on whether Wynne should meet with Ford as well as Kelly.
With files from The Canadian Press