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Responding to critics, Doug Ford rejects charges he's a liability

Councillor Doug Ford is fighting back against accusations he's a liability for his brother, telling a radio station that his political enemies won't succeed in shutting him up.

"I guess their game plan over the last couple of days is to try to silence me until I don't tell the public what's really going on," Mr. Ford said, referring to TTC chair Karen Stintz and Councillor Peter Milczyn. "We know what the public wants. The public wants subways."

Mr. Ford spoke to AM640 on the same day The Globe and Mail reported that some councillors and the mayor's former chief of staff believe the freshman councillor's missteps have undermined the administration.

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Mr. Ford accused the media of "twisting" his threats to an assistant to Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, a veteran Etobicoke councillor who last month sided with the council majority that called a special meeting to overturn Mayor Rob Ford's plan to bury all new transit lines.

"The print media, they'll twist it any way you can and you can't defend yourself," he said, adding he had apologized to Ms. Lindsay Luby.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Ford rose in council chambers to take a shot at his critics.

"Sorry I was a little late," he said. "I had to take two showers to wipe the tire marks off my back."

He added: "I'd be more than happy to be thrown under the bus for my brother any day."

The Ford administration had a trying week. It lost control of the Toronto Transit Commission Monday, when council voted 29-15 to dissolve the transit agency's board.

Council voted to return rebel councillor Ms. Stintz to the post of TTC chair and elected a new commission that supports light-rail – not subways, as the mayor prefers.

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After his opening aside, Councillor Ford spoke in support of the pay packages for senior staff at Build Toronto, the city's real-estate arm. Mr. Ford is vice-chair of Build's board.

"I understand this is a public corporation. I understand some people have to take a hit," the councillor said. "But I can assure each and every one of you, [that]in the private sector, these people we have sitting on our board and on our team at Build would be paid triple the amount that they're getting paid right now."

A report to city council revealed that Build's chief executive officer, Lorne Braithwaite, earned $465,035.98 in 2010, including a $153,000 bonus and a $6,000 car allowance.

The report concluded Mr. Braithwaite made significantly less than he would for a comparable job in the private development industry.

The report also disclosed compensation for senior officials at Invest Toronto and the Toronto Port Lands Company, two other arm's-length city bodies.

Invest CEO Renato Discenza earned a total of $293,012.04 in 2010, while Port Lands president Michael Kraljevic made $215,276.91.

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Council voted 35-1 to ask the city manager to review and report back on executive compensation at all of Toronto's agencies, boards and commissions.

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Health reporter

Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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