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 will not be able to complete his investigation into a complaint that alleged Mayor John Tory violated conflict of interest rules during a city council vote on ActiveTO closures in June, given his ties to Rogers Communications.

In a statement to CP24 on Wednesday, Commissioner Jonathan Batty said he does not have enough time to complete 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 to run for election for next fall’s municipal elections ends. As provided in the City of Toronto Act, all investigations by the Integrity Commissioner must be terminated before that day, whether completed or not.

“At this time, I have somehow not determined whether a violation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act has occurred. The fact that I will not complete my investigation before August 19, 2022 should not be interpreted differently.” 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 had violated the Municipal Conflicts of Interest Act (MCIA) by discussing and voting to reduce the number of ActiveTO closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West. The June 15 city council vote came after Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro wrote in an open letter to the city about the negative impact of the closures on fans traveling to see the team.

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

Chaleff claimed the mayor has an “indirect pecuniary interest in any matter affecting the Toronto Blue Jays’ finances, economic prospects and/or property value” and should have settled a conflict over the matter.

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

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

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

Tory has repeatedly defended his actions and in a statement on Wednesday, a spokesman for the mayor’s office insisted he was following 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 assessment of the Integrity Commissioner and is confident that he will comply with the law. and acted duly and in good faith in 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 identifiable personal interest in it, directly or indirectly. The mayor respects the commissioner for integrity and his process, and in light of this, we will address this no further comment at the moment.”

Now that the investigation has been completed, it can be reopened. Under the City of Toronto Act, Chaleff or Tory may request a new investigation in writing between October 24 and December 5, 2022.

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

– With files from Kerrisa Wilson and Chris Fox

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