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Rob Ford, Norm Kelly to attend ice storm meeting with GTA mayors

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands next to a map of the city at a news conference after an ice storm left over 250,000 customers across the city without power on Sunday, December 22, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands next to a map of the city at a news conference after an ice storm left over 250,000 customers across the city without power on Sunday, December 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – GTA mayors will be meeting in Mississauga Friday to determine how much money to request from the provincial and federal governments for ice storm cleanup.

Mayor Rob Ford will be there, as will Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

The meeting is still a day away but already there are fireworks.

City Councillor Doug Ford blasted Kelly at Toronto’s city hall Thursday, claiming Kelly wasn’t invited to meeting and was instead “party crashing”.

The Ford brothers have grown increasingly critical of the deputy mayor since city council voted to strip the Mayor of many of his powers and transfer them to Kelly during a contentious November council meeting.

But it was Mayor Ford who laughed off the suggestion Kelly was ‘crashing a party.’

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“No, if he was invited, then he’s welcome to attend, you know what, we’re working together for the best interest of the taxpayers,” he said. “I’m the mayor of Toronto, I’ll be there, I’ll be representing Toronto like I always have.”

Kelly said that he will be seeking an relief agreement that encompasses several GTA municipalities. His hope, he told reporters, is that the total cost of the cleanup will be split three ways between the federal government, the provincial government and the collective of municipalities.

“What I will bring to that meeting is a desire to cooperate with the municipalities of the GTA,” he said.

Council voted 39-0 on Monday to request the Ontario government declare the city a “disaster area” and release funds for the clean up from both the July floods and the ice storm, estimated to be $171 million.

On Tuesday, the mayor publicly requested a meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss the relief funding but was rebuked. Instead, she’s chosen to speak with the deputy mayor.

“I am meeting with the deputy mayor because Toronto city council made a decision about the authority of leadership at city hall,” Wynne said Wednesday.

The mayor said Thursday that “she’s going to have to deal with this” eventually. His brother, however, took a different route, calling out the premier:

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