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Ford takes the chain of office

Special Guest Don Cherry places the Chain of Office on Mayor Rob Ford's shoulders

TORONTO, Ont. – Mayor Rob Ford met with his new city council for the first time in public at City Hall, Tuesday afternoon.

About 400 invited guests watched from the floor of council chambers as the 64th Toronto mayor was sworn in.

Canadian ice hockey commentator Don Cherry placed the Chain of Office around Ford’s neck .

“I was in their corner right from the start,” Cherry said.  “Rob’s honest, he’s truthful, he’s like Julian Fantino – what you see is what you get.”

Ford then took to the mic, where he went on to thank the people of Toronto, saying the voters’ messages were clear and strong.

“To the people of Toronto who came out on election day in record numbers, I’d like to say thank you. You are engaged in this election on a level we haven’t seen in generations,” he said.

“Every major candidate in the mayor’s race ran on a platform of change. No matter who you cast your ballot for, you voted for change,” he said. 

The new mayor then spoke to the class of 2010, presenting each of the 44 councillors with their oath of office.

But before Ford was sworn in, he met with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning.

Ford said he sees a very good working relationship with the premier in the years to come.

The new mayor also said the vehicle-registration tax will soon be history.

“Once we pass abolishing the car-registration tax, [McGuinty is] committed to saying on January 1, he will not collect it anymore. It’s very, very good news, we had a very productive meeting,” Ford said.

Also up for discussion was transit. “We’re going to work with the province to implement our subway plan, and our subway plan is to go underground, and that’s what I campaigned on, that’s what the people want,” Ford said.

The new mayor has been facing opposition from some city councillors about getting rid of Transit City, with some who said a vote is needed. But, Ford said there wasn’t a council vote to implement it, and he plans to move forward with subways.

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