Toronto mulls calling in army for ice storm cleanup

Toronto contracted workers from Davey Tree clear the fallen limbs in the Mount Pleasant and...

Toronto contracted workers from Davey Tree clear the fallen limbs in the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton Avenue area after trees were brought down because of the ice storm in Toronto on Thursday January 2, 2014. Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI

Don Peat, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 5:26 PM ET

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's office sounded the retreat over Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly's public musing about possibly calling in the army to help with the ice storm cleanup.

Kelly said Friday that Toronto isn't calling in the army — yet.

But he admitted he was having staff make calls to find out what the Canadian military could do to help speed up the city's ice storm cleanup.

The deputy mayor's army idea came as city crews and private contractors started a $25-million, six- to eight-week cleanup to collect debris and fix damaged trees.

Ford's spokesman Amin Massoudi said Friday afternoon the city doesn't need the army.

"Mayor Ford is concerned that calling in the army now would undermine the efforts of our city staff," Massoudi said in an e-mail. "There is a strategic plan in place and our divisions have the situation under control.

"The mayor sees no need to call in the army when we have over 600 staff dedicated to cleanup efforts," Massoudi said. "The issue now is the cost associated with the cleanup.

"This is why Mayor Ford has requested a special meeting of city council on Jan. 10 to seek provincial funding assistance for the storm clean up," he wrote.


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