Toronto’s deputy mayor Norm Kelly thinks now might be the time to call in the army to help with the ice storm cleanup.
Kelly told 680News that the city could use the manpower to join the 600 city staff that will be working seven days a week for the next eight weeks to collect and dispose of debris.
“When I heard that the cleanup was going to take six to eight weeks which is a very long period of time, I asked my staff if they would make some phone calls to explore that option. That’s as far as it went. No formal request has gone out. It hasn’t gone to the top. It was just a series of exploratory phone calls,” Kelly explained.
Kelly spoke to 680News political affairs specialist John Stall on Friday morning. Click here to listen to the full one-on-one interview.
Mayor Rob Ford tweeted, “Calling in the army now would undermine the efforts of City staff. A strategic plan is in place, divisions have the situation under control.”
I see no need to call in the army when we have over 600 staff dedicated to clean up efforts.The City of Toronto is on top of the situation.
— Mayor Rob Ford (@TOMayorFord) January 3, 2014
Any request for military help would technically have to go through the province and then be assessed by federal officials.
However, speaking of technicalities, it’s unclear who would be involved or in charge of that kind of request.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne chose to deal with Kelly while co-ordinating the ice storm response but Ford retained the power to declare a “state of emergency,” which he didn’t think was necessary, while the deputy did.
Former mayor Mel Lastman rode around in an armed vehicle when he called in the army during the storm of 1999.