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Toronto’s Top Civil Servant: The City is Not in Crisis

City Manager Joe Pennachetti tries to reassure municipal workers in the face of ongoing controversy about the mayor.

joe pennachetti memo rob ford

Toronto City Manager Joe Pennachetti has sent out a memo in response to Rob Ford’s admission that he has smoked crack, and all the attendant questions that have yet to be answered about the mayor’s behaviour.

In it, Pennachetti attempts to reassure municipal workers that the government is not in crisis, and that day-to-day work can and should continue. The memo was officially sent out at 8 a.m. today (though the copy we received was timestamped 4:33 p.m. yesterday) and distributed to all staff with a City of Toronto email address.

Though the memo is very guarded, Pennachetti does stand up for the police—chief Bill Blair, who has come under attack by Doug Ford—commenting that these issues do not reflect on the force. Like Blair, he also declines to share an opinion on the matter or what Ford should do, but calls the situation “unfortunate.” (Blair has said that he is “disappointed.”)

Pennachetti is not taking interviews on the state of affairs in the mayor’s office; a City spokesperson told us only that “the message speaks for itself.” Yesterday, however, Pennachetti ran into some reporters at City Hall. One, the Globe‘s Elizabeth Church, asked him “Are you continuing taking direction from the mayor?” His answer: “Have a good day.”

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