Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed his heated exchange with Coun. Mike Layton at a media availability Saturday, doubling down on his claims that he did not know about Premier Ford’s plan to cut Toronto city council seats nearly in half.
Tory and Layton got into a heated exchange in council Friday evening after the councillor suggested that the mayor knew of Ford’s plans ahead of time.
Tory said at a press conference Friday, and again on Saturday, that Ford briefly mentioned cutting city council in a meeting a few weeks ago, but that it was never presented in a serious way.
WATCH: Toronto Mayor John Tory, councillor have heated exchange during debate over cuts to council by Ford government
“I said at the press conference exactly what was the truth,” Tory said at an unrelated TTC event Saturday morning. “That’s why I was very aggravated that Councillor Layton would challenge my integrity. I had a brief — might’ve been less than two minutes — conversation with Premier Ford in his office about him suggesting that he might look at making some changes before the election. I said that was impractical … and the subject was dropped after that.”
WATCH: Mike Layton says Doug Ford has ‘personal vendetta’ against Toronto
On Friday, the premier announced his government’s intentions to shrink Toronto city council seats from what would have been 47 after this year’s municipal election, to 25.
“I didn’t take this seriously because I didn’t think it was something that was put forward in a serious way,” Tory said. “Obviously that turned out not to be true.”
Ford’s announcement drew condemnation from most councillors and a few hundred protesters who gathered at city hall Friday evening.
A smaller group of councillors have supported the motion.
WATCH: Mike Layton says other councillors knew about Doug Ford’s plan to shrink council
Tory once again called for a referendum on the issue Saturday “as a means of making sure the public are involved, the people of Toronto, when there is such a fundamental change being put forward with their civic democracy.”