Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is calling on fellow councillors Gord Perks and Mike Layton to “resign their seats” after two people died and more than a dozen were hospitalized after attending the VELD Music Festival at Downsview Park over the long weekend.
In a release Tuesday, Mammoliti, who has long opposed hosting raves and Electronic Dance Music (EDM) events on government property, blamed the councillors for the deaths.
“If it wasn’t for them pushing for these events and insisting they be held on government lands I don’t believe these kids would be dead today,” he said.
“These two deaths are on their hands,” he later told CityNews.
Layton was behind a motion last spring that saw the reversal of a ban on dance parties and raves at Exhibition Place.
Perks was one of 29 councillors that voted in favour of the motion and has been a vocal supporter of EDM events.
“These councillors are telling you it is acceptable for your children to go to EDM events and even encouraging it, knowing that illicit drug use is rampant and possibly fatal,” Mammoliti said.
Coun. Perks is out of town and was not available for comment. CityNews also contacted Layton but he was not immediately available.
In his release, Mammoliti notes other instances where young people were hospitalized at similar EDM events in the city.
“Digital Dreams held in June at Ontario Place resulted in 22 people under the age of 25 being taken to hospital for drug and alcohol related illness,” Mammoliti wrote.
“VELD is also held on government lands at Downsview Park and now two people have died from ingesting illicit drugs at the event and 13 more were hospitalized.
Mayor Rob Ford said he supported the events. “I’m not going to sit here and ban every concert and every festival, or we wouldn’t have the vibrant city that we have,”he said on Tuesday. “As the mayor of the city I think the festivals are healthy.”
Mammoliti also pointed the finger at VELD promoter INK Entertainment and its CEO Charles Khabouth.
“In May, 29 people were sent to hospital while attending the Avicii show INK held at the Rogers Centre.”
“I suggest that we revisit whether or not INK Entertainment should be getting approvals and permits ever again. How many more have to die before we finally accept these EDM events cannot be held on government lands or anywhere else?”
“With the deaths of two young individuals at this weekend’s VELD Festival it’s time for someone to take responsibility before more tragedies come from these EDM events.”
Khabouth released a statement, calling the deaths “health-related tragedies that sadden us deeply.”
“We extend our heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of these individuals…”
Mammoliti also told 680News that if a pedophile “gets to a 12 year old child” at an EDM event on city property, he will blame councillors Perks and Layton for that too.
“If this doesn’t stop, in that particular area at the Exhibition grounds, you’re going to ask me very soon, most likely, why a pedophile got to a 12 or 13-year-old child.”
“And again that would be blamed on councillors Perks and Layton in your mind?,” 680News asked.
“Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.”
Toronto police have launched a homicide investigation after a 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man died after attending the VELD Festival.
Police are urging anyone who may have purchased a “party drug” at the festival not to consume it, and to turn the drugs over to police to be analyzed.
Police fear the drugs may contain dangerous adulterants.