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Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Walker wrestles with Mel's ethics

By IRENE PAPAKONSTANTINOU -- Toronto Sun

Mel Lastman's use of Bad Boy's slogan at yesterday's WrestleMania X8 rally provoked more accusations of conflict of interest from a city councillor.

Coun. Michael Walker has been rumbling about Lastman's effort to host the event, because the mayor's son, Blayne, uses World Wrestling Federation stars in ads for his Bad Boy furniture stores.

Lastman announced officially that Toronto will host WrestleMania X8 at the SkyDome in March 2002.

"The ties between the mayor, WWF and Bad Boy may have never been as obvious as they were at the rally," Walker said. "He was even putting his thumb and forefinger together and throwing out 'Nooooooobody'."

It's not unusual for Lastman to use the Bad Boy catch phrase, but Walker said it is "completely inappropriate" in this case.

"Mr. Lastman has got to admit that his endorsement of this event is a conflict of interest, directly related to his son," Walker said.

The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act prohibits city politicians from taking part in decisions that benefit a spouse, child or parent.

But a spokesman for the municipal affairs ministry said recently that the matter must be an issue before council, therefore the act does not apply.

More on Wrestlemania XVIII





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