Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly defends $20,700 Niagara Falls business trip

TORONTO - Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly defended Tuesday his taxpayer-funded trip to Niagara Falls for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference.

Kelly is heading to the event this week along with eight other city councillors, the Toronto Sun has learned. The city clerk’s office estimates the trip will cost $20,700.

“The city is not sending anyone, the deputy mayor has made a decision to attend the FCM and is doing so because I think it is important to have the head of council at a very important meeting,” Kelly said.

“The other councillors make the decision for themselves.”

When the Sun pointed out taxpayers are footing the bill, Kelly described it as “investing.”

“If you take a look at the returns for that investment over the years, I think it is worthwhile,” he said.

“Toronto is the nation’s number one city and we’re expected to lead and you can’t lead unless you’re involved.”

According to the city, Kelly will be joined at the FCM annual conference, which begins Friday, by Councillors Shelley Carroll, Mike Layton, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Ron Moeser, Michael Thompson and Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Last year, the city sent 18 councillors to the FCM annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C.

At the time, Mayor Rob Ford raged against the trip.
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