John Tory and his ties to Rogers under the magnifying glass of the Integrity Commissioner


John Tory and his ties to Rogers under the scrutiny of the Integrity Commissioner

Toronto Mayor John Tory

A formal complaint has been filed by an activist with the Integrity Commissioner of Toronto alleging the mayor broke conflict of law rules interests because of his links with the telecommunications giant Rogers.

Adam Chaleff has submitted a request to the Metropolitan Integrity Commissioner, Jonathan Batty, to request the holding of a an investigation.

Mayor John Tory allegedly had an indirect pecuniary interest in a decision, without declaring it.

In a statement, the mayor's spokesman says John Tory is removed from votes several times when he was in a position of conflict of interest, but this was not the case this time.

According to the activist, the mayor's personal and professional ties to the Rogers company would have placed him in a conflict of interest situation when voting at last month's council meeting on the end of the ActiveTO program.

The program, implemented during the pandemic, prohibited traffic on certain arteries in the metropolis on weekends.

However, the Blue Jays organization, which is owned by Rogers, had come out in favor of the end of the program on Lake Shore Boulevard, arguing that the road closures were hindering the movement of fans downtown.

The mayor voted with the majority of councilors for the implementation of a plan excluding the closure of streets near the Rogers Centre.

The complaint comes a few months before the elections scheduled for the fall for municipalities in Ontario, including Toronto.

According to municipal lawyer John Mascarin, it is unlikely that the commissioner will be able to conclude his investigation before the election is held on October 24.

Under the laws governing municipal elections, any investigation that is not completed by the last day of nominations must be dropped.

Mayoral candidates can register until August 19.

Me Mascarin points out that the investigation could be relaunched after the elections.

The most serious penalty for violating conflict of interest rules, the one imposed on Rob Ford, is dismissal. Elected officials may also be prohibited from running for a new term.

Rob Ford served as mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014.

According to the lawyer, the most significant penalties are generally reserved for flagrant and deliberate acts; simple warnings from the Commissioner may be considered sufficient in cases of minor deviations.

Adam Chaleff had also been the source of a complaint against the former mayor in 2012. The investigation by the Office of the Integrity Commissioner ultimately led to the temporary removal of the mayor.


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