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David Olive: John Tory should not be intervening in the messy affairs of Rogers: It’s a clear cut conflict of interest

David Olive: John Tory should not be intervening in the messy affairs of Rogers: It’s a clear cut conflict of interest
Business
Tory chaired a roughly three-hour meeting of members of the advisory committee that oversees the Rogers Control Trust, the Rogers’ device for controlling the company, and independent Rogers’ directors.

The mayor said Wednesday that it’s his job to meet a “serious fiduciary obligation that I promised the late (company founder Ted) Rogers that .”

Ted Rogers has been dead for 13 years, and Tory will still drop everything to protect the late tycoon’s legacy. Rogers’ legacy, not to forget, was the amassing of wealth and power.

What else might Tory do to help one of Toronto’s least favourite companies? What has he already done for Rogers in his six years as mayor that has yet to be revealed?

The mayor added Wednesday that his mediation work for Rogers’ controlling shareholders was done on private time after a 12-hour workday for the city.

Actually, being mayor is an all-consuming job. There is no private time during waking hours. Time devoted to mediating complex and highly emotional family disputes is time away from civic problem-solving.

There are several problems here.

The first is that Tory’s membership on the Rogers advisory committee, and his significant role in Rogers affairs this week, ought to be considered a conflict of interest.

Tory has also taken time away from his pandemic management of a major city to deal with matters outside his elected responsibilities. He hasn’t said whether he’ll do so again before the Rogers feud is resolved.

The mayor has shown favouritism to one enterprise, to which Tory and his family have had strong ties for three generations.
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