Mayor John Tory stands firm on low taxes in the face of massive budget shortfall, declining city services, and Tory’s own leadership challenges. (CBC)
Councillor John Tory has come under fire for his spending record: a recent government report found his office racked up more than $10,000 in expenditures that were not allowed under the legislation in effect at the time.
But Coun. Tory’s office issued a statement Sunday saying the allegations, while not true, are “untrue” and are based on faulty data from a previous budget report.
The budget report was not made public and has not been proven. But Tory has spoken out in defence of the spending.
“It’s my responsibility to be accountable. I can’t let this distract me from what I’ve got to do. If people are telling me that they disagree with me, then I’ve got to look at the facts; it’s their responsibility to look at the facts and decide whether or not they’re right,” he told reporters Saturday.
In a statement Sunday, Tory’s office said the spending on that budget report was for “a variety of items such as the provincial pension plan, the Municipal Employee Pension Plan and other pension enhancements — such as new equipment to the city.”
Tory’s office also pointed out the data in question was from 2010, which was before the current financial crisis hit city hall.
Coun. Tory defended the spending on the budget report, saying it was a matter of keeping city workers safe.
Mayor John Tory has no plans to step down, he said Monday, and his position on the issue remains “unshaken.”
“I’ve been attacked for the past year as the Mayor of Toronto, a conservative guy, that I’m leaving because of a budget deficit,” he said. “This is a false narrative.”
What Tory did say, however, was that he would leave it up to the city’s general manager to assess the “very serious financial issues” that