John Tory to step down as Toronto mayor after admitting to relationship with staffer

Click to play video: 'Toronto Mayor John Tory to resign after admitting to relationship with city staffer'
Toronto Mayor John Tory to resign after admitting to relationship with city staffer
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto Mayor John Tory announced he would resign after admitting to having had a relationship with a city staffer. He said he would take the time to "reflect on my mistakes and to do the work of rebuilding the trust of my family." He said he would work with city officials to ensure an orderly transition. – Feb 10, 2023

John Tory says he will be stepping down as the mayor of Toronto after having a relationship with a staff member.

Tory made the announcement during a late press conference Friday evening.

Tory said the relationship did “not meet the standards to which I hold myself as mayor and as a family man.”

According to Tory, the relationship began during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he and his long-time wife were spending “lengthy periods apart.”

Tory said he will be stepping down so he can “reflect on my mistakes” and “do the work of rebuilding the trust of my family.”

He said the relationship “ended by mutual consent” earlier this year.

Tory said the staff member decided to pursue employment outside of city hall.

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Tory called the matter a “serious error in judgment.”

He said he will work with the city manager, city clerk and deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie to “ensure an orderly transition in the coming days.”

Tory told reporters he notified the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of the relationship and asked him to review it, saying he believes it is important to avoid tarnishing the Officer of the Mayor or putting City Hall through a prolonged period of controversy over what he describes as an error in judgment on his part.

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Tory served two scandal-free terms as mayor of Toronto and had just been re-elected for a third.

Tory thanked the people of Toronto for trusting him as mayor, a position he called “the job of a lifetime.”

“While I deeply regret having to step away from a job that I love, in a city that I love even more, I believe in my heart, it is best to fully commit myself to the work that is required to repair these most important relationships, as well,” he said.

Tory said he is “deeply sorry” and apologized “unreservedly” to the people of Toronto, his staff members and his colleagues at city hall.

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“Most of all, I apologize to my wife, Barb and to my family who I’ve let down more than anyone else,” he continued.

Click to play video: '‘Call the mayor’s office,’ TTC worker says in ‘unauthorized’ announcement'
‘Call the mayor’s office,’ TTC worker says in ‘unauthorized’ announcement

Tory was first elected as Toronto’s mayor in 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 and again in 2022.

Tory was re-elected to a third term in October, after a campaign that saw him tout his years of experience in the top office of Canada’s most populous city.

He secured about 62 per cent of the vote compared to 18 per cent for progressive urbanist Gil Penalosa, who came second. Tory beat out 30 mostly unknown candidates after many criticized his record on transit and housing — two issues he had highlighted as priorities.

In a tweet late Friday night, Penalosa said “now Torontonians have a chance to elect better.”

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Tory’s most recent election win came as he faced criticism about the state of Toronto under his leadership. His opponents noted the high cost of housing, aging infrastructure, overflowing garbage bins and shuttered parks.

His leadership saw increased scrutiny in recent weeks over his announcement of a proposed $48.3-million increase to the city’s police budget, which would bring police funding to just over $1.1 billion for 2023 — a figure Tory’s critics said was grossly inflated compared to other line items and underfunded social services.

Tory also saw criticism for his handling of the city’s housing crisis, as thousands of people are experiencing homelessness and Toronto’s shelter capacity is stretched to its limits.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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