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article imageToronto Mayor Ford cancels annual New Year's levee at city hall

By Andrew Moran     Dec 12, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - If you're one of the hundreds who want to personally meet and greet Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and other members of council at this year's New Year's levee event, you will not be able to. Ford, who is on vacation, cancelled the tradition.
According to a report in the Toronto Sun, Mark Towhey, Ford’s chief of staff, confirmed Tuesday that the annual New Year’s levee won’t be happening because of scheduling conflicts and the cost.
The 44-year tradition, which is held in the city hall rotunda and usually takes place on New Year’s day, allows residents to meet a handful of councillors and the mayor. Last year, a couple of hundred constituents waited in line between one and four hours to meet the mayor.
A city spokesperson told the news outlet that it costs taxpayers thousands of dollars each year. In 2011, the event had a price-tag of $4,500 and in 2012, it cost $3,400.
Some city councillors took to Twitter to vent their frustration over the cancellation of the levee.
“Scheduling? Levee is same time ever year,” tweeted Trinity-Spadina Ward 19 City Councillor Mike Layton. “Cost? We stand in line for 3 hrs. Must be cheaper than recorded votes #lameexcuse.”
“It's Council's Levy. He can't do that,” wrote Beaches-East York Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis.
Ford is unable to comment on the decision because he is on “personal time” for vacation and will be away from city hall for an undisclosed period of time.
Last year, the New Year’s levee, which was held on Jan. 2, was briefly interrupted by a protest. Members of Toronto Stop the Cuts held a long banner with balloons that were released at the event. Digital Journal spoke with one of the protesters at the time, who said that he is urging Ford to “get out.”
Cities across Canada hold municipal levees, including Charlottetown, Edmonton, Hamilton, North Saanich, Summerside, Winnipeg and much more.
More about Rob Ford, Toronto mayor, new year's levee, Cancelled, City hall
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