NoJetsTO Welcomes John Tory’s Declaration of Conflict-of-Interest, Demands Further Steps
Action Needed to Keep John Tory’s Staff Out of Airport Expansion Issue NoJetsTO welcomes the decision of Mayor-Elect John Tory to recuse himself from the contentious Island Airport expansion issue, but expresses concerns about former pro-jets lobbyists on his staff and their potential meddling in the issue. “We welcome John Tory’s decision to stay out of the jet issue, but it’s not enough,” NoJetsTO Acting Chair Norman Di Pasquale said. “With two former Sussex lobbyists working as Tory’s senior staff, firm steps are needed to make sure they don’t influence City Council behind the scenes.” The letter by the City’s Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson only talks about a “mechanism” to shield John Tory from confidential information. The commissioner remained silent on Tory’s senior staff’s involvement on the jet file for Sussex Strategies. “Vic Gupta was a key lobbyist for the Island Airport expansion and now he is Tory’s Principal Secretary,” Di Pasquale explained. “The people of Toronto need guarantees that Gupta will not continue to lobby on the waterfront jet issue.” “We expect the Integrity Commissioner and the Mayor-Elect to work out a strong framework to prevent any staff influence on the council decision,” the NoJetsTO spokesperson added. “It’s not just John Tory; his staff has to stay out of the jets issue – period.” “NoJetsTO has raised John Tory’s conflict-of-interest issue since the spring,” Di Pasquale said. “We feel vindicated that John Tory is doing what’s right after months of questions and pressure from us and our supporters. “It’s worth remembering that Tory’s son was a registered lobbyist on the jet issue and addressed the City’s Executive Committee directly,” the NoJetsTO Acting Chair concluded. “It was pretty clear to us that there would be a conflict-of-interest.” NoJetsTO is made up of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving Toronto’s mixed-use waterfront and a regional Island Airport. Representing residents across Toronto, the non-partisan organization NoJetsTO opposes the expansion of the Island Airport through jet aircraft and extended runways. NoJetsTO’s goal is to preserve the status quo at the Island Airport by protecting the Tripartite Agreement that governs it.
– 30 –For more information, please contact: Norman Di Pasquale, NoJetsTO Acting Chair, 647-808-2910 or firstname.lastname@example.org