The City of Toronto will have double representation at Friday’s meeting of GTA mayors to discuss ice storm disaster relief.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly confirmed his attendance by sending out a tweet early on Thursday afternoon.
— Norm Kelly (@DMayorKelly) January 16, 2014
Mayor Rob Ford had already confirmed he plans to officially speak for the city at the meeting.
The gathering of leaders from GTA municipalities is designed to put forward a united front in the request for provincial disaster relief funding to help cover the cost of ice storm cleanup that Toronto city officials say could top $250 million for the region. Cleanup costs in Toronto alone are estimated at $106 million.
On Monday, Ford accused Kelly of a lack of leadership during the ice storm.
“The deputy mayor was the only one in that meeting that said ‘no, we shouldn’t meet on Christmas Day,’ Ford explained. “That’s not right.”
The deputy mayor went to Florida on an 18-hour trip to visit his ill sister.
“I’m sorry,” Ford said. “When the power’s out, you work day in and day out for the taxpayers.”
Kelly angrily disputed the claims.
“I was a part of that leadership and I resent the words of the mayor,” Kelly stated.
“I thought the mayor was very personal in many of his remarks and I thought that was unnecessary, certainly not productive,” Kelly told 680News.
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has made it crystal clear she will not meet with Ford to discuss ice storm compensation.
“I’m working with the City of Toronto the way Toronto city council has indicated that they would prefer,” Wynne explained. “They have made some decisions and so I will continue to meet with the deputy mayor.”
Ford said he’s still the mayor regardless of council’s action.
“I’m the head of council. I don’t know if she forgot that but I was elected as mayor. She said I’m not the head of council … maybe she’s a little confused,” Ford said.
Ford said by refusing to meet to discuss ice storm disaster relief, Wynne is letting the people of Toronto down.
Who should really attend this meeting: Ford, Kelly or Wynne? Share your thoughts in the comments.