UPDATED: Rogers Media Scrambles to Manage John Tory Crisis; Falsely Claims Freeland Urged Him Not to Resign

It appears that the Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI.b) owned media outlet CityNews was pushing false information last night in relation to the supporters of disgraced Toronto mayor John Tory. The outlet issued a story outlining that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had urged Tory to remain in the role, despite having slept with and having a relationship with a subordinate.

That story has since seen its title modified to remove Freeland, however the body of the text still mentions that Freeland encouraged Tory not to resign.

READ: Did John Tory Really Resign As Mayor?

Reporter Laura Stone, whom works for The Globe and Mail, meanwhile is said to have spoke with a federal government source last night that denied Freeland urged John Tory to remain as mayor. Instead, she is said to have spoke to him and sent him well wishes, but did not encourage him to remain in the role.

A later update by Stone indicated that the office of Freeland is officially denying the claim that she urged Tory to stay in the role, instead stating that he was an “important partner,” who has “taken responsibility for a mistake.”

The Rogers connection

With the initial report of Freeland supporting Tory coming from CityNews, it brings into question the role that Rogers is playing in the ordeal. Tory has a long history with both the company and the family behind it, with Tory having been personally hired by Ted Rogers as a journalist in the early 1970’s. In the late 1990’s, after a stint with politics, he returned to Rogers in the role of president and CEO of Rogers Media.

READ: Freeland, Ford Allegedly Don’t Want Disgraced Toronto Mayor John Tory to Resign

Furthermore, in 2021 it was revealed that his time working with Rogers wasn’t over. The Toronto Sun confirmed that he was an advisor to the firm beginning in 2014, the year he was first elected as mayor of Toronto. The role came with an annual salary of $100,000, and saw Tory sit on the Advisory Committee for the Rogers Control Trust.

A Rogers-associated news organization working in Tory’s favor as a result is hardly a surprise.

Advisors at odds with public commentary

CBC News meanwhile this morning is stating that Tory’s closest advisors are urging him to follow through with his resignation, even as Rogers-associated media works overtime to convince him to stay. His lack-of-a-resignation will see him sit in on a budget meeting today at Toronto’s city hall.

The impact of Tory remaining in power for the budget is that he will direct the $16 billion operating budget, while his assumed future resignation will result in him not being around to face the impact that such a budget holds. New legislation enacted in the province meanwhile will give Tory the power to veto any amendments to the budget that he does not approve of.

Tory meanwhile is said to have met with his deputy mayor, the city manager and a clerk about an orderly transition, as per his press secretary. His inner circle, which is said to include chief of staff Luke Robvertson, public affairs specialist Bob Richardson, city hall chief of staff Chris Eby, consultant Patrick Harris and pollster Nick Kouvalis, are all said to be unanimous in the belief that Tory must step down.

“The people who want John to stay on as mayor don’t have his best interests at heart,” one source close to the matter is reported as having stated to CBC.

Update #1: Rogers Owned CityTV Deletes Clip of Six Sexeiro Criticzing Tory

The Canada Record Twitter account has been on this story better than anyone. Here we find out that Sid’s morning routine of social media engagement farming, where he screams at the camera about local trending topics, may have annoyed some of the brass down at Rogers Headquarters.

Update #2: Dina Pugliese Walks Away from Breakfast Television

This morning, the day after Sid’s tear down of Tory, Dina Pugliese announced she is leaving her co-host position on Citytv’s Breakfast Television after 16 years. She made the announcement during this morning’s broadcast, saying that the demanding hours have taken a toll on her physical and mental well-being. One can’t help but wonder if the timing of the resignation has anything to do with producers asking for honest and edgy takes while trying to control how they feel about certain topics.

Update #3: Chrystia Freeland Publicly Denies the Article

Freeland has come out this afternoon and told the media that if she feels the need to say something, she will come out and say it. She brought up the article and denied it saying “in this case, the article that was published is entirely untrue.” The full clip can be seen here:

This article was last updated at 1:46 PM eastern standard time, on February 15th.

Information for this briefing was found via CityNews, CBC News, 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.

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