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politics

Waterfront Toronto Backs CEO After Rob Ford Demands His Resignation

The agency's board of directors says CEO John Campbell has its "full confidence."

Photo by Still The Oldie from the Torontoist Flickr pool

Cherry Beach. Photo by Still The Oldie from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Waterfront Toronto’s board of directors has issued a letter in support of the agency’s CEO, John Campbell, after Mayor Rob Ford called for his resignation Thursday.

At a press conference during which Ford took questions from City Hall reporters for the first time since returning from rehab, the mayor censured Waterfront Toronto for spending $600,000 on a public washroom at Cherry Beach. “This is simply the latest example of a pattern of blatant disregard for taxpayers’ money,” Ford said, before demanding that Campbell step down.

Like fellow penny-pinching, wedge-issue-concocting council member Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East), Ford has also criticized Waterfront Toronto for purchasing three-dozen (permanent, all-weather, custom-designed) pink umbrellas, totalling $432,000, for the award-winning Sugar Beach. (The mayor falsely claimed earlier this week that the expense had been approved during his recent absence. The umbrellas were installed four years ago.)

At Wednesday’s mayoral debate, Ford reassured Torontonians that he has “watched every single one of your tax dollars” over the past four years—but yesterday, he was unwilling to explain how 600,000 of those dollars managed to give him the slip between 2010 and 2012, when the washroom in question first opened. The mayor had a seat on Waterfront Toronto’s board during that time, but failed to attend a single board meeting. In November 2012 he handed off his duties to Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West).

Ford—who has himself been urged to resign on multiple occasions—nevertheless claimed that Waterfront Toronto lacked accountability and that its CEO should resign. The agency responded with the following letter:

Screen Shot 2014 07 18 at 9 33 15 AM

The recent grandstanding over Waterfront Toronto’s finances has distracted from the fact that the agency will need more government funding to complete its revitalization of the city’s shoreline.

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