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Mayor John Tory was forced to leave a ground-breaking ceremony at the Toronto waterfront on Thursday morning after a group of protestors heckled him until the event could no longer continue.
The protestors, who demanded that Tory take action on legislation that would prevent renters from being evicted during the pandemic, flanked the ceremony, demanding that Tory call on the Ford government to reverse Bill 184, which protestors say would allow landlords to evict tenants.
According to CP24, Tory tried to make peace with the group, telling them he would be happy to speak with them after the event had concluded, but protestors continued to heckle the mayor.
Protestors would begin to call out Tory for his "million dollar condo," leading to increased tensions. Tory would then say he believed the protestors to be the same ones who attempted to enter his condominium earlier this month.
“You are people that come and engage in violent activity in front of my home. Violent activity in front of my home. Alright here we go,” Tory told the group, before leaving the event.
"I repeatedly offered to meet with the protesters after the announcement to hear their concerns, but they chose to continue their public protest instead and not let the event proceed."
After leaving the event, Tory was followed by protestors. Tory would go on to enter a nearby building while protestors awaited him outfront.
Tory would later leave the building with a group of police officers, who escorted him to an SUV as protestors continued to heckle the mayor.
“Outside John Tory’s condo he said that instead of coming to his condo people should sit down and talk to him. Where has he been since then because all he has done is ignore us and the positions we have put forward,” one protestor told CP24. “Today he could declare support for tenants that are unable to pay rent and who refuse to leave their homes because of COVID. He could do that today.”
Tory would later go on to say that he has no legal authority to ban evictions in Toronto.
“I continue to be focused on addressing the ongoing challenges with affordable housing and homelessness in our growing city and would urge those who share those concerns to join me in continuing to advocate to the other levels of government for assistance,” he said.
The T3 Bayside complex—the building Tory was attending the groundbreaking for—will provide 250,000 square feet of creative office space and bring as many as 3,000 jobs to the waterfront.