Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, taking leave of absence for medical treatment.
TORONTO — The mayor of Toronto is facing questions after it was revealed he was not present at a city council meeting on April 27 where the city’s plan to regulate streetcars and buses was approved by a vote of 7-2.
Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon asked Mayor John Tory why he didn’t attend as he had been invited, but he said he received a call early that morning and rushed to the meeting as the motion was ready to be voted on. Councillors were not made aware of that call, and no explanation was offered by the mayor.
The motion states the city has no plans to expand transit in the city, and would not be making a decision before the end of the year on whether to purchase streetcars, light rail or buses.
Meanwhile, a Toronto Star article published Thursday, April 22, revealed the mayor attended a meeting with a bus manufacturer in late March where the mayor promised to support the industry’s petition of 300,000 signatures to have a public consultation on the city’s proposed $1 billion streetcar expansion.
“The mayor does not have to attend council to show up and to tell council when he was asked to be absent,” said McMahon, adding council needs a response from Mayor Tory on why the city did not follow through on the deal to have the mayor present at the vote.
Asked if the mayor’s attendance was to cover up his absence, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said, “There is no secret agenda.”
“Tory is an open and transparent mayor,” said spokesperson, Mark Towhey. “I think it’s really unfortunate and disappointing that he is not able to attend council. I think that he and the council were asked to support the motion of approving the mayor’s agenda item on the streetcar and when the mayor was asked to be absent that is when he went on vacation.”
The motion approved by council on Monday passed 7-2, with Councillor Norm Kelly voting against it.
Councillor Lisa Creswell said she had