Premier Wynne defends decision to consult with Toronto's deputy mayor - InfoNews

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Premier Wynne defends decision to consult with Toronto's deputy mayor

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne sits with Hydro officials in Toronto on December 26 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
January 15, 2014 - 7:57 AM

TORONTO - Ontario's premier is defending her decision to consult with the deputy mayor of Toronto during the ice storm that hit the city last month.

Kathleen Wynne says she chose to speak with Norm Kelly instead of controversial Mayor Rob Ford because city council chose last fall to give the deputy mayor much of the decision-making power at city hall.

Wynne says "this isn't about a political grudge."

Ford was stripped of much of his mayoral powers in November after he admitted, among many things, to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and getting himself into drunken stupors.

He said Tuesday that he requested a "one-on-one" meeting with the premier next week, but Wynne says she has met and will continue to meet with Kelly since he has "the responsibility to be the leader at Toronto city council."

Toronto council voted Monday in favour of asking the province to declare the city a disaster area, a step required to apply for storm relief funds under an Ontario program.

City staff have said Toronto faces a cleanup bill of at least $106 million from the ice storm on top of $65.2 million in costs arising from a severe rainstorm on July 8.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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