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(VIDEO) Rob Ford, Olivia Chow at Toronto Mayor's debate

Olivia Chow lauded herself as "the only progressive candidate" in the running for the Mayor of Toronto at Tuesday night's debate in the Ontario capital.

Chow is running against two other perceived favourites in John Tory and Toronto's current mayor, Rob Ford. Ford's past year in office – which has seen him involved in a crack-smoking scandal, several instances of reported alcohol and drug abuse, and then rehab – has been a memorable one.

"I noticed that Mr. Ford hasn't changed his way," she said. "And he has difficulty telling the truth. Mr. Tory stretches it.

"People feel that they need a change and they need a new mayor."

Chow said she wasn't surprised to see the amount of support Ford had at last night's debate.

"He's a very polarizing figure and his folks are fairly loud and energetic," she said. "He speaks to them directly. Unfortunately, what he's saying is often not true."

If Chow needed a starker example of Ford's "polarizing" status, she only needed to look outside before the debate, where an anti-Ford protestor and a self-professed member of Ford nation got into a heated argument:

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