TORONTO –Calling Parkdale a “pedophile district” earned Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti the anger of many Toronto residents Monday, and it’s the latest public controversy that has Nick Di Nizio ready to unseat him from York West’s Ward 7 on October 25.
“I want to bring back integrity into the role of a councillor,” said Di Nizio, who came second to Mammoliti by just over 1,700 votes in the 2010 municipal election.
Di Nizio has lived in the York West area for 16 years. The financial software project manager is a father to two kids, coaches soccer and was a past president of the Humber Sheppard Ratepayers Group.
He said residents have asked him to run again, in order to make positive changes in the community’s transit, youth programs and senior services.
“We’ve got transit issues here. Councillor [Mammoliti] now wants a subway along Finch. He approved the LRT and now he’s saying subways. It’s constantly the flip-flopping,” said Di Nizio.
“He admitted that he can’t put up a community centre, so we’ve been lacking a lot of services in the area. And one of the reasons why I want to run is to bring back services…to the community.”
Di Nizio said Mammoliti’s “flip-flopping” on his ideas to relegate prostitution to the Toronto Island and to build a floating casino on the waterfront are other indications the incumbent isn’t fit to keep his seat. Toronto’s integrity commissioner also launched an investigation into a possible code of conduct violation against Mammoliti stemming from a fundraiser held for him in May 2013.
The challenger thought Mammoliti’s latest Parkdale comment was a “joke” when he first saw it on Twitter Monday afternoon.
“But yet again, this is his type of way of doing things,” he said. “To basically blanket everybody with a statement saying: It’s a pedophile’s district? I think that’s ridiculous. As well as him actually going after Gord Perks—totally unprofessional and uncalled for.”
Di Nizio said he plans to do his share of door-knocking and meeting people at community events to make the gains he needs to win the election.
He said if elected, one of his first orders of business would be to look into the Emery Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), which shares an office with Mammoliti’s constituency office. Some have suggested the councillor holds too much sway over the organization.
“It’s been said it’s the largest BIA in the country. It’s basically run by Casa Mammoliti. You should read the monthly reports that come out—the papers that they publish—it’s basically pushing George forward,” said Di Nizio.
“Once elected, I will definitely look at auditing the BIA and seeing where exactly the money’s going.”
With files from Global News reporter Mark McAllister
© Shaw Media, 2014