Toronto integrity commissioner ends conflict of interest investigation into Mayor Tory, says it cannot be completed by deadline

The city’s integrity commissioner says he won’t be able to complete his investigation into an allegation that Mayor John Tory violated conflict-of-interest rules during a June city council vote on ActiveTO closures, given his ties to Rogers Communications. .

In a statement to CP24 on Wednesday, Commissioner Jonathan Batty said he doesn’t have enough time to finish the investigation before Friday’s deadline.

“It will not be feasible for me before August 19, 2022 to collect all the necessary evidence, complete the required analysis, formulate my findings and issue a report,” Batty wrote.

Friday is when registration ends to become a candidate for the upcoming fall municipal elections. Under the City of Toronto Law, all integrity commissioner investigations must be completed by that day, whether or not they are completed.

“At this point, I have not made any determination one way or the other as to whether a violation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Law has occurred. The fact that I will not complete my inquiry by August 19, 2022 should not be construed otherwise,” he said.

Batty’s investigation into the complaint filed by Toronto resident and civic activist Adam Chaleff began on July 27, 2022.

Chaleff alleged that the mayor violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) by discussing and voting to reduce the number of ActiveTO closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West. The June 15 council vote came after Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro wrote in an open letter to the city about how the closures negatively affected fans traveling to see the team.

The Blue Jays are owned by Rogers Communications Inc. and Tory is a member of the Rogers Control Trust Advisory Committee. It is a paid position to provide advice and guidance to the trust, which has a majority interest in Rogers Communications Inc.

Chaleff argued that the mayor has an “indirect pecuniary interest in any matter affecting the finances, economic prospects and/or property value of the Toronto Blue Jays” and should have declared a conflict thereon.

Chaleff asked the integrity commissioner to expedite his investigation so residents would know the results before the municipal elections in October.

The end of the investigation means residents will go to the polls not knowing if the mayor, who is seeking a third term, broke the code.

“While I am disappointed that voters do not know the outcome of this investigation before they cast their ballots, I appreciate the Integrity Commissioner’s effort to conduct a full, fair and expeditious investigation into Mayor Tory’s apparent conflict of interest,” Chaleff said. it’s a statement. to CP24.

Tory has repeatedly defended her actions, and in a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for the mayor’s office said she followed the rules.

“Mayor Tory’s record of integrity speaks for itself, and the timing of this complaint is certainly revealing. The Mayor has fully cooperated with the Integrity Commissioner’s review and is very confident that he complied with the law and acted appropriately.” and in good faith on this matter,” said Lawvin Hadisi.

“ActiveTO is a traffic issue affecting thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of residents, and the Mayor has no reasonably discernible personal interest in it, direct or indirect. The Mayor respects the Integrity Commissioner and his process, and in consideration of this, we will not comment further at this time.

Although the investigation has ended, it could be reopened again. Under City of Toronto Law, Chaleff or Tory may request in writing between October 24 and December 5, 2022 to initiate another investigation.

Chaleff confirmed that he will ask the integrity commissioner to resume the investigation of his complaint after the election.

– Archived by Kerrisa Wilson and Chris Fox

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