Feb 13, 2023

By Jane Brown

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We are learning some details of how the week played out leading up to John Tory’s shocking announcement of an extra-marital affair with a former staff and his resignation on Friday night.

A Toronto Star report on Monday says the paper was tipped in December that John Tory’s marriage to Barbara Hackett was in trouble, but an aid to Tory told the paper the mayor didn’t think his marital status was a news story and he was concerned about the impact such coverage could have on his children.

But in early February, reporters at the Star learned Tory had been seeing a much younger woman who had worked in the mayor’s office.

It was soon after, Tory’s Chief of Staff Courtney Glen and one of her deputies formed a “war room” to deal with the unfolding crisis.

And while they stratagized, Tory reportedly worked the phones seeking solace and advice from a number of allies including former chief of staff Luke Robertson, political strategist Nick Kouvalis, communications consultant Bob Richardson and his 2022 campaign manager, Patrick Harris.

As last week went on, Tory was apparently pushed to resign by family members including Barbara Hackett.

As of this writing, Tory has not yet officially resigned as he said he would when he held that hastily called news conference on Friday evening.

The Toronto Star is also reporting his supporters on council spent the weekend trying to get signatures on a letter urging Tory not to resign at all, saying his apology was enough to get him back leading Toronto through these troubled times.

The report also says it’s possible Tory will appear at council on Wednesday as mayor as deliberations for the 2023 Toronto budget begin.

Former Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy was among the names mentioned as a possible candidate for the next mayor.

He has since said he won’t be running and said this morning there’s a lot of sadness around John Tory’s situation.

“On a personal level, I’m deeply sad. I’m sad for the young woman involved in this story,” Cressy told CP24 Monday morning, “I’m really sad for Mayor Tory and his family. I’m sad for the mayor’s staff, the Toronto public service and for all of us. And so let’s not lose sight that this is sad. It’s also as I’ve reflected on this, this is also a story about the human condition. As my wife always reminds me life is not black and white, it’s often grey. Good people can do bad things.”

Gil Penalosa meantime, who came second to Tory in the October election, has declared he will run again.

Gil Penalosa will join Libby Znaimer in studio Monday at 12:30 on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back.

John Tory remains Toronto’s mayor until he submits a letter of resignation to the city clerk and council declares the office vacant, a process that has not yet taken place.

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