Chatting with the Porn Star Who Wants to Be Toronto's Next Mayor

Toronto’s crowded field of candidates got a lot more erotic after Nikki Benz, adult-film actress, decided to run.

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jun 23 2014, 6:09am



Is Toronto ready to dump its Ford for a Benz? Photo via Nikki Benz Inc.

The 2014 Toronto mayoral election has attracted enough oddball candidates that it’s making the 2003 California gubernatorial recall look like the pinnacle of democratic integrity (that’s the one in which Arnold Schwarzenegger beat out Larry Flint and Gary Coleman). In case you’re not familiar with the current crop of candidates looking to take Rob Ford’s seat, the options include a white supremacist, a dude who almost made marijuana legal in Canada, the conveniently named Al Gore, one of the geniuses who wrote the classic Toronto anthem “Spadina Bus," and a dread-headed hippie who uncomfortably misappropriates Rastafarian culture.

Toronto’s crowded field of unlikely candidates got a lot more erotic after Nikki Benz, adult-film actress, announced her candidacy last month. Benz is a Torontonian through and through. She grew up in Etobicoke – the home of current mayor Rob Ford – before jetting to Los Angeles in 2004 to seek a fame and fortune by putting P's in her V on camera. Her films like Anal Dream Team and Meet the Fuckers 6 have made her a commercial and critical favourite in the world of porn, resulting in seven Adult Video News award nominations.

Nikki sent the press into a tizzy a few weeks ago when she introduced her Brazzers-backed candidacy with the deliriously clever “Trade in Your Ford for a Benz” campaign slogan – but then she ran into some trouble when the driver’s license she used to register was expired and the city prevented her from registering her official candidacy. She’s in the process of resolving the issue now.

I called Nikki to talk to her about how her professional career prepared her for the role of mayor, whether or not this is a publicity stunt and why she thinks Rob Ford is great.

VICE: What kind of changes would you bring to Toronto if you were mayor?
Nikki Benz: There are three things I would do or try. First, one of the biggest issues that Toronto has – and I know this because I experienced it last week – is horrible traffic. I want to say it’s just as bad as LA. So one of the things that I would do is work on a new plan to resolve the traffic and expand the subway system and raise funds for the relief line.

Another thing I want to do is bring the adult industry to Toronto. I realise that this is a point where a lot of people tune me out because they think it’s the worst thing possible for the city, while some others are all for it. The only adult industry that exists in Canada right now is Montreal, and they’re not that big – so I feel that if I brought the industry to Toronto, it would create jobs for people and would bring revenue for the city. We could use that money for the subway Relief Line.  

Then another thing I would probably do is lower property taxes and make it more appealing for younger people, like myself, to buy property.

Has there been anything in your professional experience that you think qualifies you for the role?
I’ve been running Nikki Benz Inc. since 2005. It’s a small corporation. I produce content, and I know how to manage finances. I know how to run a business because I am a business owner. Having a business background would be good for the city if I were to become mayor.

Also, my job already involves a lot of public speaking – I make a lot of appearances, whether it be conventions or trade shows – and I’m good at it. I also feel that I'm charismatic. And I am – this is not a sexual innuendo, but it’s going to sound like it – I’m able to handle a big workload. By that I mean I am really busy every day and I’m able to divide my time between the different projects that I do.

I’m good at having a business. I’m good at money management. Everything that I’ve learned from the adult business I can apply to government. I understand their concern about my lack of political experience, but I’m not going to be running the city alone – I’m going to get a lot of help. But I’m definitely good at knowing what needs to be done.

Also, as an adult star, pretty much everything that you or someone else needs or wants to know about me is already online. There’s never going to be a scandal with me. I get naked for a living. Everything you need to know is already out there.





Nikki outside of Toronto's city hall. Photo via Nikki Benz

What do you say to people that think this is nothing more than a publicity stunt?
Here’s the thing: Of course I’ve gotten a lot of publicity out of this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – every politician, including Rob Ford, runs for publicity first and politics second, because we have to get noticed and recognised for the things that we stand for or believe in. And once the people actually pay attention to you, then it’s time to get serious.

What do you think of Rob Ford?
I really hope that his rehab stint turns out to be useful. I do want to say that I think he’s done good for the city. However, he has a problem. He’s an addict and to truly recover from an addiction takes three to five years. He’s been in rehab for about two months – I don’t think that’s enough time to recover. Still, if I weren’t running, I would vote for Rob Ford.

My only concern for him is that it’s going to go back to such a high-pressure job again that he would relapse and he hasn’t given himself enough time to truly recover from his addiction.

What is it about Rob Ford’s policies that you like? Why would you vote for him?
I like the fact that he is a people person. Everything he promised to do he did. He lowered taxes and he wants to extend the subway system. At the end of the day, he has been a good mayor. I’m not saying he’s perfect, but he’s done good for the city, and I can definitely respect that.

How does your Jamaican patois accent hold up against Rob’s?
I think he beats me on that one. I’m definitely not that good. I’ve seen a few of those videos – I had to laugh. It was pretty entertaining. I will say this, though: Since he’s been in rehab, the city’s been kind of boring. He sort of livens things up, and the city is boring without him.

Hear, hear. You said you wanted to implement National Masturbation Day as a citywide holiday.
Technically, that was more of a publicity stunt. That would not happen, no. That was more to get your attention. I wanted people to think, Is she for real?

I’m trying to figure that out, myself. If you wanted to leave the voters of Toronto with one thing about you, what would it be?
I am the most honest person actually running. My life story is out there. I have no hidden agenda. I want to run the city.

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