Outside City Hall this afternoon, Tory spoke about transitioning into office and getting former opponents on his team.
This afternoon mayor-elect John Tory was at Nathan Phillips Square, where he delivered his first press conference since winning the 2014 Toronto mayoral election Monday night.
Carrying a stack of binders to the rostrum, Tory said he has some “light reading” to do before he’s sworn in to office on December 2. He then offered reporters a glimpse at what he’ll be up to in the coming weeks.
Tory said he plans to meet with the City’s integrity commissioner, Janet Leiper, to make sure none of his board memberships and extracurricular activities will conflict with his mayoral duties. He also said he wants to “reach out” to erstwhile opponents Doug Ford, Olivia Chow, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz, and Ari Goldkind to see if they “want to make some continuing contribution in some way or other to the well-being of the city,” although he did not specify what that might entail (it was later announced that Soknacki will join Tory’s “advisory council”). Former Toronto deputy mayor Case Ootes is set to chair the group that will help Tory transition into office.
The mayor-elect said he has not yet chosen a deputy: “I haven’t even really begun to think about eligible candidates.” He also said he has not decided on any civic appointments, including to the executive committee, noting vaguely that his selections will be “representative of the skills and talent of the people involved.”
Tory was cagey when asked which file he anticipates will be the toughest. He did say that he intends to tackle the issue of maintenance and construction scheduling for roadways and public transit immediately: “We cannot have an ongoing situation where we have construction and roads being ripped up in the same area at the same time, where you have the Gardiner and the Lake Shore closed at the same time, where you have the subway being closed the same weekend they’re doing routine maintenance on the Gardiner Expressway,” he said, adding that such scheduling conflicts are “insensitive and unacceptable.”
In contrast to outgoing mayor Rob Ford, who frequently arrived at City Hall late in the morning (or early in the afternoon), Tory said that as mayor he plans to get to work early. Also in contrast to Ford, Tory said he has no problem taking public transit to work.
As for his swearing-in, Tory mentioned that he will have a special guest with him. He did not hint at who it might be, offering only that “it will not be Mr. Cherry.”