Thank you, Martha. You raise an important voice — an ethical voice — on this subject. I’ve been faulting Mayor Tory for his involvement with Rogers, especially at this time. He claims it’s fine — no conflict according to him. Conflict of interest and appropriateness in the actions of public officials doesn’t work that way, Mr. Mayor. It’s about perceptions, and you’re not the one who gets to decide about the appearance of conflict, especially when you’re making huge dollars from that relationship. If Mayor Tory were totally confident about the appropriateness of his role with Rogers, he would long ago have disclosed his compensation. Hiding it leads others to be suspicious. The overriding issue is, and must always be, whether the appearance of such a relationship meets the test of public confidence and trust. Forty years studying, advising and commenting on ethics in the public arena, and around the boardroom table, persuades me this does not.
Rogers does a lot of business with the City of Toronto. Being the mayor of Toronto is already more than a full-time job. There’s no room for a gig like this with a private company like Rogers, and certainly not one that is so highly remunerative. It’s just another wrinkle in a Shakespearean saga that has brought a storied company into disrepute. And now Toronto has to become tainted by it?
Martha’s should not be the only public voice on this subject. The voice of ethical choices is a voice that is too often missing from Canadian boardrooms.