Thursday, December 1, 2011

Toronto Star taking mayor Ford's shutout to City's integrity commissioner

The Toronto Star will file an official complaint to the city’s integrity commissioner about Rob Ford’s directive that excludes the paper from official releases and announcements, John Honderich, chair of the Star’s parent company, Torstar, announced. During Ford’s mayoral campaign last year, the paper ran a story about his conduct as a football coach that led to him leaving his position from a team in 2001. Ford alleges the story is untrue, and called it a political attack on his campaign. He imposed a freeze on issuing official releases to the Star after his election, and says the freeze will not be lifted until he gets a front-page, above-the-fold apology. Councillor Adam Vaughan's motion for "free press and democracy" was recently shot down by Ford's allies, though Vaughan says the motion that would have prohibited city officials from excluding specific jounalists or outlets was not specific to the Star. Vaughan spent over 20 years as a political reporter before running for council in 2006. “Mayor Ford has no obligation to speak to or be interviewed by the Star. That is entirely his choice. However, when it comes to public press releases and public notifications from his office as mayor of all the people, that is another matter,” Honderich said in a statement featured on the Star’s homepage. “That directly affects our ability to cover city hall and serve our readers.”

Honderich's statement is here:

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