Open Letter to Mayor Rob Ford Office
- June 30, 2014
- David Nickle,
- President, Toronto City Hall Press Gallery
- 100 Queen Street West
- Amin Massoudi
- and Media Relations
- Office of Mayor Rob Ford
- I'm writing today in my capacity as President of the Toronto City Hall Press Gallery, regarding Mayor Rob Ford's decision to exclude certain media from attending his June 30 speech.
- The pretext for your decision to selectively limit the number of journalists attending the mayor's speech seems to be the small size of the venue the mayor has chosen: his office's protocol lounge. It's the gallery's position that this is only a pretext: as Toronto's own Strategic Communications department has pointed out to you and to us, there are many spaces at Toronto City Hall where the mayor can speak in front of all the interested Toronto media.
- It's further the gallery's position that this is what the mayor owes Toronto—not only on his return to his elected position after a well-publicized paid leave of absence, but on any matter of municipal interest. Torontonians gather their news from a variety of sources—television, radio, print and online publications—and they are well-served by the broad range of perspectives provided by individual outlets and journalists. Choking off access to any one of those outlets or journalists is a disservice to Torontonians, by their duly elected mayor. It thwarts democracy.
- The Gallery would respectfully request that the mayor follow the advice of Toronto's public service, and relocate the speech to the Member's Lounge in the Council Chambers, where he has delivered nearly all of his addresses since the fall of 2013. As you are aware, the Protocol Lounge is unsafe for the number of journalists and news outlets who have a right to attend.
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