LEVY: Scarborough politician spends tax funds on Chinese meal
January 30, 2020
January 30, 2020 9:04 PM EST
Toronto mayor John Tory, along with city councillors Jim Karygiannis, Cynthia Lai, Michael Thompson and Michael Colle attended a 'solidarity dinner' at Royale Fine Dining & Banquet in Scarborough with members of the local Chinese business community on ThursdayJack Boland / Toronto Sun
Barely two months after he was tossed out of office over questionable election party expense filings — and was subsequently returned to his job by an Ontario court judge — Cllr. Jim Karygiannis hosted a taxpayer-funded Chinese dinner Thursday night to break what he called a “new cycle of hate and racism.”
The dinner for 100 was held at Scarborough’s Royal Fine Dining Banquet, which is promoted online as a “highly decorated Chinese restaurant with an upscale menu of unusual dishes.”
Karygiannis said the 100 invited are community stakeholders, some of whom have been “targeted” over rumours about the spread of the Coronavirus by some media outlets and through word of mouth.
Several have experienced a drop in business, he added.
“Stigmatization, intolerance and outright bigotry have no place in Canadian society,” he said, on the very same afternoon the W.H.O. declared a global health emergency over the virus.
“The risk of contracting the illness in Ontario is still low.”
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The entire council was invited and Mayor John Tory and newbie Cllr. Cynthia Lai were invited to speak.
Karygiannis said the dinner — which he has approval from the Clerk’s office to pay for out of his $50,000 office budget — will cost between $20 and $30 per person.
He said the menu will include noodle, rice, vegetable, pork and beef dishes.
Tory’s spokesman Lawvin Hadisi said the mayor decided to attend to support the councillor and the Chinese community.
“His job as Mayor is to stand up for and support all residents who call Toronto home,” she said.
Hadisi said Tory will be paying for his dinner — plus that of any other councillors who attend — out of his own pocket.
Lai, when reached Thursday before the dinner, said she was just one of the guests invited and didn’t know who was paying for the dinner.
She said she planned to go because she felt she “should be there.”