The mayor’s communications staff is in full public relations control. Warren Kinsella, a Liberal columnist for the Sun News Network, published a photograph on his blog Thursday that shows former member of the neo-Nazi band Rahowa Jon Latvis, wearing a Latvian military uniform, standing with Rob Ford during a meet and greet at city hall.
Latvis posted the photo on his Facebook page on May 6.
Hours after the information made the rounds on the Internet, the Mayor’s Office issued a statement, in which it explains that the mayor met with hundreds of people at January’s event. According to Press Secretary George Christopoulos, Latvis asked for a meeting with the mayor to discuss issues that were of significant importance to the gentleman, which is a regular request from constituents.
Nearly 800 people lined up in January for the annual New Year's Levee to meet and greet Mayor Rob Ford and city councillors.
In March, Latvis met with the mayor for a short period of time to talk about transit issues.
The Office of the Mayor stated that Ford was completely unaware of the allegations made against Latvis. Furthermore, Christopoulos confirmed that any racist, hateful or offensive remarks were not at anytime made in the short meeting.
The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs also issued a statementThursday afternoon in response to the report. The group explained that it fully understands that the Mayor’s Office cannot screen thousands of people Ford meets each year.