Mayor John Tory isn’t saying.
Amid a city where the mayor of arguably the largest city in North America is a question mark on the political horizon, the mayor today is reaffirming his commitment to the city.
“We’re working very hard. We have taken action to turn the wheels of the city around,” he said after a morning of discussions with civic leaders on the potential purchase of Lansdowne Park, his campaign’s one-time vow to reinvigorate Ontario Place and the fight to oppose Pride — “an unfortunate and divisive issue.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen (about his resignation). I just know we’re going to go on in the same way that we’ve done all these other areas. We’re going to keep working as we have and that’s not going to change.”
Nathalie Des Rosiers, a senior vice-president with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, said “it’s not a surprise that he hasn’t made a decision.”
She noted that it could be a “formality” when it comes to dropping out — a decision that’s not required until the end of October — “perhaps that decision has been made but he hasn’t shared it with us yet.”
“It’s not a surprise he hasn’t made a decision and he’s avoiding disclosing that information,” Des Rosiers said. “There’s certainly a danger that this issue is going to play out and he ends up choosing to come back to a place of ‘I don’t want to be in the headlines right now’ … If it came to that situation where his political prospects were damaged by making a decision that would be perceived as a non-decision, it would be worth him giving that up.
“It’s certainly unlikely to happen but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that if he really felt that (a decision to resign) would cost him politically, he wouldn’t simply freeze things for a period of time.”
Wednesday afternoon Mayor Tory — dubbed the world’s most powerful Twitter mayor by the BBC — shared the terse two-line statement with the media: “No comment and I’m happy to leave it at that.”
Canada’s sixth-youngest mayor, Tory would be only the latest in a long line of potential political successors to actually take up the mantle.
In May last year, Joe Fontana resigned just minutes after being found guilty of committing a fraud related to parliamentary expenses — adding to a string of scandals that threatened to topple a government that had just spent two years on the cusp of a first minority government since 1969.
Harold Washington’s career lasted only one term as mayor from 1949 to 1953. Former mayors such as Charles Duval, Frank Clark and Ernest Bedford have also left office under a cloud of scandal.
The current crop of potential candidates to replace Toronto Mayor John Tory will gather for their annual general meeting at Ford’s eatery on June 2.
Graham Thomson contributed to this report.