Ford, police union among those encouraging Tory not to resign as Toronto mayor: source

A source close to Mayor John Tory tells CityNews that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Premier Doug Ford, and the Toronto Police Association have asked Tory to reconsider his plan to quit. Meanwhile a new poll suggests Torontonians are split.

By Cynthia Mulligan and Patricia D’Cunha

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the Toronto police union have reached out to Toronto Mayor John Tory, encouraging him not to resign, a source tells CityNews.

In a shocking announcement, Tory announced in a late-night press conference on Friday he would be stepping down as the city’s mayor after revealing he had an affair with a former staffer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tory said the relationship with the woman, reportedly 31 years old, ended mutually in early 2023.

At the time, Tory said he was resigning so that he could repair his relationships with his wife of nearly 45 years, Barbara Hackett, and the rest of his family. However, his announcement came at a tumultuous time, with budget negotiations taking place at city council on Wednesday.

Coun. James Pasternak has said Tory will remain in his mayoral role until after the budget deliberations at city council. It is not clear if he will resign on Wednesday or after the budget passes.

RELATED: Toronto city councillors divided as John Tory stays in office ahead of budget

Tory is expected to wield the powers, including a veto, to help push through the budget with only one-third of support from city council.

According to the source, who is close with the mayor, Ford and the police union urged him to reconsider resigning after the scandal broke that rocked the city’s political sphere.

The source also said Tory told them that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called and encouraged him to stay on.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Freeland denied that.

“Let me be absolutely clear and categorial – the story that was published yesterday is wholly untrue and not accurate. I can speak for myself and I’m speaking for myself right now, that story is entirely untrue, it is entirely inaccurate and I’m glad to have the chance to speak for myself and be clear and categorical.”

There has also been movement started by some councillors at City Hall encouraging Tory to reconsider his resignation and stay on.

Meanwhile, Forum Research says it is running an automated survey asking if he should be given a second chance as mayor.

The random public opinion poll of 1,042 residents indicated 45 per cent of those surveyed do not think Tory should be resigning, while 43 per cent think he should, and 11 per cent don’t know.

Tory was re-elected to a third term in the mayor’s office in October, receiving an overwhelming majority of the vote.

With files from Lucas Casaletto of CityNews

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