Ford once again presses Tory for action on gun violence in new letter

Premier Doug Ford slammed Toronto Mayor John Tory in an open letter Saturday afternoon saying once again that Tory has refused to bring the issue of guns and gangs before city council.

Premier also takes jabs at meeting on bill to slash city council

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has slammed Toronto Mayor John Tory in an another open letter Saturday afternoon. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Premier Doug Ford slammed Toronto Mayor John Tory in an open letter Saturday afternoon saying once again that Tory has refused to bring the issue of guns and gangs before city council.

In his latest letter to Tory, Ford reiterated the provincial government's investment of $25 million in funding, which will help in providing tools and resources to combat gun violence, but added that more needs to be done.

"As Mayor you have the power to bring this issue before City Council and match our investment, a move that would further assure Toronto residents that their municipal government takes the fight against guns and gangs as seriously as the Province of Ontario does," Ford said.

The premier also took jabs at Monday's city council meeting that will look at legal options available to fight Ford's Bill 5, which will cut the number of city councillors from 47 to 25. 

"The fact that the special meeting you have called will focus on saving the jobs of politicians, instead of addressing options to deliver more resources to the fight against guns and gangs is telling," Ford added.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in his own open letter Friday afternoon that he's committed to matching the $25 million funding by the provincial government. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

"Once again I implore you to bring the issue of new funding before City Council, on August 20th or shortly thereafter. As mayor you have the power to call a special meeting of Council, within 24 hours, to address the fight against guns and gangs in Toronto."

Tory responds to Ford's latest letter

Asked about Ford's letter during the Taste of Manila festival on Saturday, Tory said he has already addressed the issues raised by Ford, both publicly and personally when he saw the premier on Friday.

"We are, of course, going to match the money. I had said that a week ago when it was announced for community safety and for additional help for our police service, who do such a great job for us," Tory said.

"And the other thing I told him, unfortunately, is that we can't debate gun violence at the special council meeting on Monday because the special council meeting, under the rules, can only debate one topic. That's the way they're set up."

The mayor said city council will discuss the cut in the number of councillors and legal advice obtained, and council is "committed to moving forward to match the money for the guns and gangs that the province provided to us."

Saturday's letter comes after other open letters sent between the mayor and the premier.

Special meetings address 1 issue, mayor says

Tory said in his own open letter Friday afternoon that he's committed to matching the $25 million funding by the provincial government, but also reminded the premier that changing the agenda for Monday's special meeting agenda isn't possible. 

"As you would remember from your time on City Council, special meetings are confined to the issue for which they were called, so as to ensure their efficiency, accountability and transparency on behalf of the people of Toronto," Tory wrote.

Ford closed Saturday's letter saying he was looking forward to a response by Tory and hinted at possible changes that may come due to the upcoming municipal election.

"The residents of Toronto should not be forced to wait until after the next municipal election to see real action against the menace of guns and gangs."