September 12, 2017 9:14 pm
Updated: September 12, 2017 9:38 pm

John Tory removes Vincent Crisanti as deputy mayor after supporting Doug Ford

File photo of Councillor Vincent Crisanti.

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Toronto Mayor John Tory has replaced one of his deputy mayors who showed support for Doug Ford during an event late last week when Ford announced his intention to run for mayor.

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Ward 1 Etobicoke North Councillor Vincent Crisanti, who served as the deputy mayor for the city’s west end after being re-elected in 2014, had his deputy mayor title removed Tuesday afternoon. Tory’s decision comes after Crisanti appeared at Ford Fest Friday evening and spoke in favour of Doug Ford and the Ford family moments before Ford announced he will be running against Tory in 2018.

READ MORE: Doug Ford joining 2018 Toronto mayoral race, says ‘enough is enough’

Tory announced in a statement that Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre Councillor Stephen Holyday will assume the deputy mayor’s title, a largely symbolic position, effective immediately.

“[Deputy mayors] have the solemn responsibility of representing the Office of the Mayor and [they] represent the views of the residents across your entire area. While I don’t expect to agree with my deputy mayors on every issue or every stance, I do expect that they are committed to my overall vision of building a stronger, fairer Toronto,” Tory said.

“Based on [Crisanti’s] words and actions over the past few days, he has clearly stated he does not support my administration and intends to campaign for another candidate who has an approach that I believe will take the city backwards.”

Under the City of Toronto’s current governance system, there are deputy mayor positions for the city’s north, south, east and west ends.

Crisanti appeared on AM640’s The John Oakley Show after being told he lost his position. He said he was a supporter of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in 2010 and 2014, who later died from cancer, and Doug Ford in 2014 when he ran against Tory in his brother Rob’s place and lost. Crisanti told host John Oakley he made that support clear to Tory after the 2014 election.

“I reminded John that who he knew very well who he was speaking to when he asked me to be deputy mayor, that he was speaking to a Ford loyalist,” Crisanti said.

Crisanti said he received a quick phone call from Tory late Tuesday afternoon to say he was no longer deputy mayor.

“When he called me, at that point, I wasn’t aware that it had already gone public,” Crisanti said.

“(He) didn’t even give me the courtesy, the decency, to first tell me, have a discussion with me, listen to my side of what evolved and what happened.”

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He told Oakley he was first appointed to the position after a quick telephone conversation with Tory. He said the two didn’t enjoy a close working relationship.

“Over the last three years, John Tory rarely approached me for any one-on-one meetings and so on. I was the one that was more proactively going to John than him coming to me.”

“He ended it the same way he started it – a very quick conversation.”

WATCH: Doug Ford announces he will be running against John Tory in the 2018 Toronto mayoral election. (Sept. 8)

Crisanti told Oakley he thinks Tory is “vulnerable in his lack of strong leadership” and said Tory “isn’t leaving any legacy behind.”

“I think people in the city of Toronto expect more in terms of that leadership and this is what Doug Ford will bring to the table come May 1 when he registers,” Crisanti said.

“Between now and then, [Doug Ford]’s going to make that very clear.”

A spokesperson for Tory’s office didn’t respond to Crisanti’s comments, but said Tory wants to work with Holyday on on-going issues such as traffic, transit and taxes.

The municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018. The earliest candidates can register and begin fundraising is May 1.

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