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Politicians weigh in on Toronto mayor John Tory’s shock resignation

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

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is among those who have responded to the news that Toronto Mayor John Tory plans to resign after admitting to an affair with a staff member.

In a statement issued Saturday morning, Ford called Tory a “friend” and thanked him for “many years of public service.”

Tory was elected mayor of Toronto in 2014, succeeding Rob Ford and beating Doug Ford in the race.

Tory and Doug Ford have since worked closely together, with Ford granting Tory sweeping powers as a so-called strong mayor ahead of Toronto’s October election.

“John will be remembered as a dedicated and hard-working mayor who served as a steady leader during the most difficult days of the pandemic,” Ford said. “He united Toronto behind an optimistic vision for the future and I will miss working with him to see it come to life.”

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Tory announced his intention to resign as mayor Friday evening while admitting he had an affair with a staffer. He 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 in order to “reflect on my mistakes” and “do the work of rebuilding the trust of my family.”

His resignation announcement comes before Toronto passes its 2023 budget, a document created and guided by Tory under his new strong mayor powers.

While Ford lavished the outgoing mayor with praise, others have responded less favourably.

Former Toronto city councillor and sitting Ontario NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam called the relationship “an abuse of power.”

“It’s no secret that John Tory and I had many political disagreements,” Wong-Tam said in a tweet. “Tonight I fully agree that he should resign. His is not a simple, one-time lapse of judgement. Tory was her boss and this is an abuse of power.”

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Wong-Tam also urged the city’s current councillors to “tear up” the city budget he had presented and “rework” the financial blueprint.

Gil Penalosa, who finished second in October’s mayoral race, said Tory’s affair was “not just ‘a serious error of judgement.'” In a tweet, he said, “Fortunately, now Torontonians have a chance to elect better.”

Penalosa confirmed to Global News he plans to run in the upcoming by-election to choose a new mayor.

Sitting councillors said on Friday evening that they were surprised by the news.

“When this happens with the strong mayor, you can see that this is now a problem,” Coun. Paula Fletcher said. She called the resignation and ensuing situation “unprecedented.”

Coun. Jamaal Myers said he was “shocked” and sad for both Tory and his family.

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