POLITICS

Protesters Disrupt Mayor Ford's New Year's Levee

01/02/2012 06:24 EST | Updated 03/03/2012 05:12 EST
CP

Protesters in Toronto tried to disrupt Mayor Rob Ford's New Year's levee on Monday, with one man detained by police.

Hundreds of people attended the event at City Hall for the chance to meet the mayor for a few moments. Most brought warm wishes for 2012, but some citizens delivered angry tirades.

Activists from a group called Stop the Cuts Toronto launched a helium balloon inside the City Hall lobby, with a few people applauding in response.

Protesters also unfurled a "Stop the cuts" banner near the mayor.

Police and security guards moved some the activists who'd gotten close to the mayor, shoving one against a glass wall before detaining him.

The protesters said they were there to tell Ford that any cuts to city services aren't welcome and that they'll be making their voices heard on Jan. 17, the first day of debate during council's final budget process.

Dozens of journalists also arrived to ask questions about a 911 call made from Rob Ford's home on Christmas and about the costs of the Eglinton subway line, which infrastructure magazine ReNew Canada has named the most expensive project in the country, based on total costs including materials and labour.

The mayor's office said Ford is too busy to comment.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday told the media that council would be taking all voices into consideration.

“We can’t control the timing on the protests," he said. "I guess people come here to make a point and they’re going to do it in whatever way they can. They certainly want to gets the media’s attention and I guess they did.”

Holyday said the vast majority of the people in attendance were congratulating the mayor.