Toronto’s municipal election is on Monday, October 22
Will this be the year Toronto waves goodbye to Giorgio Mammoliti?
The “loyal” ally of Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been a Toronto city councillor for the last 23 years, despite a long list of controversies and scandals – but that could change after voters in Toronto go to the polls on Monday, October 22.
There are signs this year could be different. Mammoliti’s comments, reported first by PressProgress, comparing his approach to Toronto’s Jane & Finch neighbourhood to spraying a building for “cockroaches” only united the community against him.
Flaunt It, a youth-led organization based in Jane & Finch that uses photography to promote positive self-images among young women, organized their community to produce a video responding to Mammoliti labelling them “cockroaches”:
— Sam (@SamTecle) October 20, 2018
There’s also groups like Progress Toronto, an organization working to support progressive candidates across Toronto for city council, who have been organizing a multi-lingual mass leafleting campaign against Mammoliti in his own ward.
1. That time Mammoliti compared people living in Jane & Finch to “cockroaches”
During an interview with the far-right Rebel Media website, Mammoliti said his approach to dealing with Toronto’s lower-income Jane & Finch community would be like “spraying down a building full of cockroaches.”
Toronto Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, one of Doug Ford’s closest allies, went on Rebel Media this weekend and shared his solution for Jane & Finch:
— PressProgress (@pressprogress) August 13, 2018
2. That time Mammoliti posed for a photo with a sledgehammer and declared he would “knock down” social housing
Last month, the city councillor continued his campaign to demonize Jane & Finch by putting out a campaign poster with a photo of himself holding a sledgehammer and a message declaring he would literally destroy “social housing” units:
3. That time Mammoliti got half naked to protest a nude beach
Opposing a nude beach in 1999, Mammoliti stripped down in front of reporters to show everyone that nudity is obscene. “Today it’s a secluded beach, tomorrow it will be a beachfront and then it will be the streets,” Mammoliti said at the time.
Protesting making Hanlan’s Point a nude beach, in 1999 he took off his shirt in council chambers. pic.twitter.com/GshlHcDpjr
— David Hains (@DavidHains) March 20, 2018
4. That time Mammoliti wanted to turn Toronto Islands into a red light district
Back in 2011, after an Ontario court struck down prostitution laws, Mammoliti floated the idea of transforming the Toronto Islands into a red light district.
Known for its quiet gardens and family-friendly attractions, Mammoliti suggested ferries full of sex-seekers could cross Toronto Harbour to visit the islands’ brothels and perhaps later head to a floating offshore casino Mammoliti also wanted to build.
5. That time Mammoliti said he would “knock down” a family home because somebody drew a dick on the side of their house
Only a few weeks ago, Mammoliti released a bizarre campaign video on Facebook taking issue with some PG-13 graffiti he stumbled across while wandering through a back alley in Jane & Finch.
“Look at this,” Mammoliti said, gesturing to the crudely drawn phallus. “Social housing has become the incubator to our social problems in our community.”
6. That time Mammoliti tried to trap neighbourhood cats
In 2000, Mammoliti raised the ire of cat owners after he launched a campaign to rid cats from his ward. “It’s time that I roll up my sleeves and fight the cats,” Mammoliti told the Toronto Sun. The councillor had been setting up cat traps in an effort to stop free-roaming cats from soiling gardens in residential neighbourhoods.
“Cat owners that let their cats run freely, if they see me in their neighbourhood, they should keep their cats indoors,” Mammoliti said.“If I have to hide behind the gardens and tomatoes and meow to get them into the cages, I’ll do it.”
The Sun also noted that “cats would be turned over to the city’s animal services department and put down if no one claims them.” Mammoliti bragged he had captured 239 cats.
7. That time Mammoliti tried, but failed, to build a giant $8 million flag pole
8. That time Mammoliti went on a rant about banning bikes from Toronto’s streets and wrapped himself in electrical tape
Earlier this summer, Mammoliti was quoted saying: “I do not believe bicycles should be on roads at all.” To emphasize his point, the city councillor had a public meltdown that saw him tie electrical tape around his face and claim that “socialists” were conspiring to purge him from city hall because of his opposition to bikes on city streets.
— PressProgress (@pressprogress) June 19, 2018
9. That time Mammoliti used Rob Ford’s funeral to issue a press release attacking his political rival
Following the death of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in 2016, Mammoliti used the opportunity to attack his political rivals by issuing a press release titled “if I die tomorrow, these 6 people need not attend the funeral.”
“The vermin that dwell in the underbelly of Toronto were out in full force in an exemplary display of the wickedest behaviour mankind can exhibit,” Mammoliti said of the six city councillors blacklisted from his funeral.
10. That time Mammoliti blamed “the Devil” for youth crime in Toronto
In yet another bizarre message from Mammoliti’s campaign last month, the city councillor said he wanted to “drive the devil out of Toronto.” He added that “we need to bring religious values back into politics because their lack is the reason our children are killing each other” and insisted “religion and politics do mix/”
Following his tweet about “the Devil,” British comedian Ricky Gervais zinged Mammoliti on Twitter over his suggestion that religious people do not commit crimes.
Exactly. People who believe in a god are never violent. That’s why there are no religious people in prison. https://t.co/siDVibfyD0
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 17, 2018
11. Those times Mammoliti was under investigation by police
From time to time, the city councillor has faced close scrutiny by police. Mammoliti once pushed for a deal with a developer that would have seen the public overpay $2.6 million for a $12 million piece of land where Mammoliti proposed building a giant flag pole. A secret report obtained by CBC Toronto also noted that Mammoliti “made direct express threats” to city staff during the fiasco.
Mammoliti has been caught up in a number of other financial scandals. In 2013, he took $275,000 in personal loans from real estate developers. In that same year, he hosted a lavish $80,000 fundraiser that was attended by prominent lobbyists and companies who are known to bid for municipal contracts.
12. Those 510 times Mammoliti didn’t bother showing up for work
On top of all these offensive comments and shady dealings, Mammoliti doesn’t seem to show up to work very much. In fact, Mammoliti has the worst attendance record on Toronto city council, missing 48.7% of council votes taken this year.
No wonder his team is sensitive to criticism – members of the councillor’s campaign team were caught red-handed trying to steal leaflets criticizing Mammoliti’s attendance record straight out of his constituents’ mailboxes.
— Helen Kennedy (@solidhilarity) October 14, 2018
Correction: This story originally stated Mammoliti had been a city councillor for the last 18 years. In fact, Mammoliti has been the councillor 23 years, spending the last 18 years as councillor for Ward 7 as well as five years prior to that as a councillor for the neighbouring Ward 6.