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Toronto councillor defends expensive hotel stay at Ottawa convention

Toronto Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti. Peter J. Thompson / National Post

A Toronto city councillor is telling his side of the story after expense documents show he billed taxpayers $4,300 to attend a four-day convention in Ottawa this past summer.

Eleven councillors and Toronto’s mayor attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention back in June at a price tag of around $35,000.

Giorgio Mammoliti of Ward 7 York West submitted expense documents well above the other councillors, including accommodation of $554 per night at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, a Porter Airlines flight of $732 and the maximum allowance of $500 for everyday expenses.

The second highest bill submitted was by Michelle Holland of Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest at $3,200.

LISTEN: Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti joins AM640’s The John Oakley Show with guest host Kelly Cutrara

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“I can see that it’s a little more than the rest have paid, with an explanation,” Mammoliti told AM640’s host Kelly Cutrara on Thursday.

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“I did not book seven, in some cases, eight months before the actual convention took place and I got lucky to get a room to begin with because I booked so late.”

According to city hall documents, Councillor Josh Colle of Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence was the most frugal spender during the conference, billing taxpayers $1,840 for three days worth of accommodation and ground transportation.

It should be noted that councillor’s expenses also included a registration fee of $997.

Colle’s submission was essentially quite low because he submitted a $0 claim for both transportation to and from Ottawa and for per diem expenses.

“I can’t afford to be driving for eight hours, four hours there and four hours back. It’s not something that I could be doing with my schedule the way it is,” Mammoliti stated when asked why he didn’t follow suit.

“This was an attempt to silence me and I’m not going to be silenced.”

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