Renata Ford, Widow of Rob Ford, to Run for Bernier’s ‘People’s Party’ in Federal Election

June 21, 2019 Updated: June 21, 2019

Toronto voters will have a chance this fall to vote for another Ford.

Renata Ford—the widow of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, sister-in-law to Ontario’s premier, daughter-in-law to a former Ontario MPP and aunt to a Toronto city councillor—is running for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada in the 2019 federal election.

She was introduced Friday as one of 39 candidates in the Greater Toronto Area for the fall campaign, a group that also included former Conservative MP Corneliu Chisu.

Ford will run in the riding of Etobicoke North, trying to unseat incumbent Kirsty Duncan, the federal science, and sport minister, whose Liberals have held the federal riding for all but four years since 1980.

And she will attempt to do so for a start-up party that is trying to offer itself as a more genuinely conservative alternative to the federal Conservatives.

The Ford name may carry some weight in the riding because the area was the base of Rob Ford’s support in Toronto, and the provincial riding is represented in Ontario’s legislature by Premier Doug Ford—whose father, Doug Ford Sr., was also once the Progressive Conservative MPP.

Renata Ford said she felt it was time for her to step up and run for public office after two decades of working behind the scenes. She indicated she hadn’t told Doug Ford, whom she is suing over family finances, of her decision to run.

“We’re a family and we stick together when the times are tough, but we have different opinions. He’s his own man and I’m my own person. Rob and Doug are very different people and … we stand up for what we believe in,” she said. “We discuss certain things and certain things we keep private.”

Doug Ford said through a spokeswoman that he wishes everyone luck in the upcoming federal election.

Similarly, Michael Ford, a Toronto city councillor for Etobicoke and Renata’s nephew, issued a statement saying he won’t support any federal candidate in the riding and wished all candidates good luck.

The Ford brothers publicly supported Stephen Harper during the 2015 campaign, appearing on stage with the then Conservative leader in the waning days of the campaign, and Doug Ford has publicly backed Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer this time around.

Renata Ford said she believes Bernier’s party is “the only legitimate alternative” for voters.

Bernier suggested she approached his team about running.

Last June, Renata Ford was ordered to serve three years of probation, do 100 hours of community service, not drive for two years, and pay a $1,100 fine after pleading guilty to impaired driving in 2016. She addressed the incident at the party event Friday, saying after “trials and tribulations,” she is healthier and stronger.