MAYOR POPPY: TORY SPREADS THE RED

24 Hours Toronto - - NEWS - JOE WARMINGTON

Mayor John Tory no­ticed what Don Cherry and Post­media Net­work no­ticed.

“There seems to be less pop­pies vis­i­ble on the street than usual,” the mayor con­curred on Thurs­day.

There is no po­lit­i­cal state­ment be­ing made or crit­i­cism be lev­elled in ex­press­ing con­cern about it. “Lest We For­get” is a say­ing for a rea­son. Some­times, peo­ple just need to be re­minded what Nov. 11 and the week lead­ing up to is for.

Many towns and cities out­side of Toronto have spe­cial pro­grams on their main streets in re­mem­brance and the vol­ume of peo­ple wear­ing pop­pies seemed higher.

But Toronto’s mayor has his own so­lu­tion to try to rem­edy that. He took to the street him­self with a box of pop­pies.

Yes, that was Mayor Tory out on Queen St. W. and in the Ea­ton Cen­tre hand­ing out pop­pies. In fact, he put $100 in a box of 100 pop­pies and handed them out to peo­ple who did not have one.

“But even still, many peo­ple still wanted to do­nate,” said the mayor. “I think there is $150 in here now.”

All of the money in her poppy box, and all of the money stuffed into Tory’s, will go the Le­gion’s poppy fund to help with pro­grams for vet­er­ans.

The 2017 sta­tis­tics are not in but, for what­ever rea­son, there seems in Toronto fewer peo­ple are wear­ing them than nor­mal.

“We need to make sure peo­ple re­mem­ber to buy a poppy and wear a poppy,” said Tory.

Not one per­son he met Thurs­day was re­sis­tant when he asked them if he could give them one.

They all said yes.

“I don’t think it’s be­cause peo­ple are not sup­port­ing Re­mem­brance Day,” said Tory. “I think there are a va­ri­ety of fac­tors.”

What­ever they are, the mayor thinks it’s good that Cherry pointed it out and he’s glad to do his part.

“We wouldn’t be hav­ing ro­bust de­bates in that coun­cil cham­ber over there if those men and women did not go over and fight for our free­doms,” said Tory. “It’s a small ges­ture to the troops who gave their lives to wear a poppy and to re­mem­ber them.”

Peo­ple were ex­cited to see the mayor, es­pe­cially a group of stu­dents who were sched­uled to visit him at City Hall but who he bumped into at Nathan Phillips Square on their way in.

With about 10% of peo­ple wear­ing pop­pies we have nowhere to go, but up.

By Re­mem­brance Day, Satur­day, Tory is con­fi­dent that num­ber will climb to closer to 100%.

“I am re­ally hop­ing peo­ple will come down to the Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony at the ceno­taph at Old City Hall to pay our re­spects and to say ‘Thanks,’” he said.

Mayor Tory will be there and he will be wear­ing his poppy.

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