Councillor apologizes for face-to-face confrontation
Two Toronto councillors had a heated argument in front of a group of reporters on Wednesday, during which it appeared that Giorgio Mammoliti and Gord Perks came close to physically confronting one another.
The incident was sparked by Mammoliti's comments Wednesday concerning a report issued by Ombudsman Fiona Crean that found Mayor Rob Ford's office exerted undue influence on the process of appointing people to the city's boards and commissions.
Mammoliti, an ally of the mayor, rose in council and questioned the impartiality of the ombudsman, calling her report politically driven.
When the speaker demanded an apology from Mammoliti, he refused and left the floor. Mammoliti later went to the back of the council chambers to speak to reporters when he was confronted by Perks.
"Shame on you. Get out of this chamber," said Perks, who stood just inches away from Mammoliti while pointing aggressively at the councillor.
"You're a bully, you're trying to destroy the public service in this city. Get out of here. You said you were leaving the chamber. Leave the chamber," said Perks, as Mammoliti repeatedly said "Don't touch me."
"I will defend myself if you keep touching me. Don't touch me," said Mammoliti.
"I'm not touching you Giorgio. Leave the chamber," said Perks.
After a lunch break, Perks apologized for his confrontation with Mammoliti.
Crean will take questions from council on her report Thursday morning.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Crean said her report was not political, but simply factual.
"I have no reason to disbelieve the folks that gave me the evidence," she said Wednesday.
"And when you find that, you know, five people said this and one person said that, then you make your own assessment of credibility."
With a report from the CBC's Jamie Strashin