Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's economic initiatives included contracting out garbage service on the city's west side, which significantly cut expenditures, and negotiating cost-saving deals with city unions. However, critics of the high-profile city official say he exaggerated his fiscal accomplishments.
During his final year in office, Ford touted Toronto's lower unemployment rate as indisputable evidence that his economic plans were effective. The first year he served as mayor, the city's unemployment rate was roughly 11 percent, while three years later it was about 7 percent. City Hall staff confirmed that the 7 percent unemployment rate was lower than Canadian provincial and national unemployment averages.
Ford also said his economic policies, which included tax cuts for corporations, were responsible for attracting businesses to Toronto. These businesses, he noted, were creating jobs and thereby stimulating the economy. He attributed an overall healthier economy to his commitment to reducing government waste, cutting taxes and leading efforts to make the city safer.
Many critics contended that the city's economy was improving in spite of Ford, not because of him. Others suggested that positive economic developments in Toronto during Ford's final year in office were largely residual effects from initiatives developed and implemented by previous mayor, David Miller.