Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is ready to say sorry for using a garbage truck with the City of Toronto logo

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is ready to say sorry for using a garbage truck with the City of Toronto logo as a provincial campaign prop — but trashed byelection rival Peter Milczyn’s official complaint as “petty.”
“If that (logo use) is improper, I would certainly apologize for it,” Holyday said Thursday. “The truck didn’t need to have the logo there to make the point” about his role in expanding privatized garbage collection, he said.
A day earlier, the Etobicoke-Lakeshore candidate, known at city hall as a stickler for rules, touted his record while standing in front of a city-contracted truck with Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.
The truck, with a large City of Toronto logo, was loaned to Holyday for the Wednesday event by Green For Life, whose chief executive told the Star: “the deputy mayor requested a truck so we supplied a truck. We weren’t aware of the circumstances.”
No truck was pulled off a route, Patrick Dovigi said, adding: “When the deputy mayor calls and asks for a truck, we supply it.”
Council rules expressly forbid use of the Toronto logo for anything other than city business and use of city resources for campaigning. Councillors can use their influence only for city business.
Milczyn, the Liberal candidate and — like Holyday — an ally of Mayor Rob Ford on city council, announced Thursday he has asked the city’s integrity commissioner to probe “the potential misuse of city resources.”
“For someone who claims to have respect for the office he is elected to, it surprises me that Mr. Holyday would leverage his position as deputy mayor to Rob Ford for partisan purposes,” Milczyn said in a statement.
Polls say that, leading up to next Thursday’s vote, the pair are locked in a tight race as the PCs hammer the Liberals over the power plant scandal in a bid to finally win a Toronto seat.
Holyday said he did not personally arrange for use of the GFL truck and did not know who did. Ontario PC communications director Alan Sakach said a campaign volunteer made the call and told GFL it was for a campaign.
Holyday expressed regret over the city logo being present on the truck, but added: “I think it’s pretty petty to complain.”
He accused the Liberals of trying to “change the channel” from the $585 million cost of power plant cancellations, the topic he says voters at the doorstep are eager to talk about.
The deputy mayor did not sound bothered that his position with the city apparently got a garbage truck to materialize — an advantage not available to other candidates.
“It is an advantage to be deputy mayor, and a councillor here for over 30 years, I guess.”
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the city public works committee, said: “I think that it’s OK for GFL to have a truck with candidate Holyday, but they didn’t need to have a Toronto sign.
“When they have the sign on the truck, it’s a City of Toronto truck.”