Giorgio Mammoliti unfurls banner over Gardiner to protest proposed road tolls

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, who represents Ward 7 — York West, waved his arms at motorists passing underneath the bridge to draw attention to a banner that read: "Honk for No Tory Tolls."

Tory should resign now and run in next election with road tolls in platform: Mammoliti

Toronto Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti demonstrates his opposition to proposed road tolls by unfurling a banner on the Dufferin Street Bridge over the Gardiner Expressway on Monday. (Supplied)

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, who represents Ward 7 — York West, waved his arms at motorists passing underneath the bridge to draw attention to a banner that read: "Honk for No Tory Tolls."

The Toronto city councillor unfurled the banner on the Dufferin Street Bridge over the Gardiner Expressway on Monday to show his opposition to proposed road tolls.

Mammoliti has been campaigning against the road tolls that would charge motorists $2 per trip to use the Gardiner and the Don Valley Parkway. 

"This city is heading into trouble with this leadership and I'm not liking it very much. The majority of the people who voted for this mayor do not like the fact that he is bringing back tolls," Mammoliti told reporters.

"We should find efficiencies at city hall. They are still there."

Mammoliti said Tory should either resign now and then run in the next municipal election on a platform that includes road tolls or wait until after the next election to implement them once he has made it clear to the city that they are part of his priorities.

"We don't need to be scurrying like this mayor is trying to do to tax people and cash grab people. We want to please everybody with no money," he said.

"Tory tolls are cash grabs and I'm going to just keep fighting them."

Mammoliti said city council could save money by amalgamating its housing agencies under one administration, abandoning Rail Deck Park plans, scrapping the proposed LRT on Finch Avenue, or letting the province run the TTC.

He said it could also get out of the business of running seniors homes and daycare centres. And he said the city could seek funding from the provincial and federal government to help run its operations.

Mammoliti said the city needs to identify its priorities before Tory pursues what he called pet projects.

"What he is neglecting is his responsibility to find efficiencies in this city, and some of us have to remind him that he was elected on the promise not to bring tolls into this city," he said.

Tory acknowledges opposition 

Meanwhile, at another news conference on Monday, Tory spoke in favour of the tolls.

Tory called his plan for road tolls "bold" and "honest" and said the money generated from the tolls will go towards much needed public transit projects in Toronto.

"If we are going to tame the traffic beast, especially in light our expected future growth, let alone the status of the city today, it means having a plan today to pay for crucially needed transit for today and tomorrow," Tory said.

The mayor said he acknowledges that not all councillors agree.

"I say to those who have expressed opposition, I respect your right to take a position against road tolls. But leadership also requires you to spell out in detail where the funds would come from to build transit and fix the traffic."

Council is scheduled to discuss road tolls at its meeting this week.