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QUOTED: Rob Ford talks about his personal evolution

I’m Rob Ford. It’s going to be pretty hard to change…I don’t think I have. Some people might say ‘he has,’ but I can’t really see it.

—Inveterate penny-pincher Rob Ford, contending that just because he added $7 million in new spending to the 2013 budget, doesn’t mean he’s changed his belt-tightening, gravy train-halting ways. Although a few city hall watchers briefly wondered whether the new money for firefighters, leaf collection and student nutrition programs was evidence of a changed, compromise-seeking mayor, it turns out no one knows Rob Ford like Rob Ford. He explained the move was a strategy to prevent councillors from banding together and passing their own packages, saying that “the left would have taken it and just wanted to spend it on crazy, stupid things like more social programs, more government housing, and more this and that, and people have had enough.” The council debate over the 2013 budget—Ford’s last, unless he wins his conflict-of-interest appeal—began this morning. [Toronto Star]

(Images: left, West Annex News; right, Twitter)