Toronto still has a mayor, but it seems the city is still confused about the real status of the occupant of the position following a series of developments surrounding John Tory’s scandalous affair with an employee.
Late last week, news broke that Tory had had an affair with a prior staffer, which has since marred his office.
“I am deeply sorry, and I apologize unreservedly to the people of Toronto,” he said in a prepared statement.
Tory – married to homebuilder and renovator Barbara Hackett since 1978 – stated in his entire statement that the employee with whom he had an affair opted to seek employment outside of City Hall, found work elsewhere “some time ago,” and they terminated the relationship mutually, “earlier this year” – meaning within the last six weeks.
“Most of all, I apologize to my wife, Barb, and to my family who I’ve let down more than anyone else,” he added.
Did Tory really resign?
In the same statement, the 68-year old politician said that he would “step away” as he believes it is the best course of action.
“While I deeply regret having to step away from a job that I love, in a city that I love even more, I believe in my heart, it is best to fully commit myself to the work that is required to repair these most important relationships,” Tory said.
Tory also stated that he will work with Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie to facilitate a smooth transition in the coming days. A byelection is anticipated to be held as a result of a new act passed by the city in September 2022. It is supposed to happen within 60 days after “a declaration of vacancy is made.”
However, observers have noted that Tory still reports to the mayor’s office, with Twitter user Joe Warmington pointing out that the three-time mayor did not use the word “resign” in his statement.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Mayor John Tory changes his mind and decides not to step down as mayor after all. Many telling him not to resign, post a relationship with a female staffer,” Warmington wrote in a tweet.
The disgraced politician who admitted to an extramarital affair has also been featured in a number of op-eds. The Globe And Mail’s Marcus Gee wrote that Tory’s exit is “a sad departure, but a big opportunity for Toronto.”
“Mr. Tory has paid a heavy price already. He and his family deserve the privacy he pleaded for in his resignation statement, which was as dignified as such a thing can be,” Gee wrote.
Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno even claimed that “John Tory should not have resigned as mayor,” adding the leader “is no less fit to occupy the mayor’s office today than he was less than four months ago, when voters overwhelmingly elected him to a historic third term.”
“He deceived his spouse, not the electorate. That was no cause to resign,” DiManno said. “At the end of the day, I’m thinking: So what? If that’s the worst of Tory’s sins, so bloody what?”
Tory has not formally resigned from his position as mayor as of late Sunday, The Globe reported. Long-time lobbyist and political consultant Aleem Kanji says Tory’s team has told him that the mayor will try to keep the job until the council debates the budget on Wednesday.
Blue Knox, the mayor’s spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that the terms of Tory’s resignation would be resolved “over the coming days,” but she did not rule out the prospect that he would still be mayor on Wednesday.
Tory was first elected mayor of Toronto on October 27, 2014, defeating then-incumbent mayor Rob Ford’s brother, then-councilor (and now premier) Doug Ford. He was elected for another two terms in 2018 and 2022, winning the last race against urbanist Gil Penalosa.
Information for this briefing was found via the Toronto Star, The Globe And Mail, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.