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Michael Tibollo campaign denies Michael Di Biase is back as volunteer

'He has not been volunteering, canvassing, phone calls, door-knocking of any sort, no sign installations, nothing'

June 3, 2018
Tim Kelly

It seems Vaughan-Woodbridge Progressive Conservative candidate Michael Tibollo may have a short memory when it comes to volunteer and disgraced former Vaughan councillor Michael Di Biase.

Di Biase, who Tibollo said last September would have no role as a volunteer in his provincial election campaign, was spotted by a PC supporter, who did not wish to be named, on Victoria Day putting up lawn signs in the Sonoma Heights neighbourhood in Vaughan.

That coincides with a photo of Di Biase at Tibollo’s campaign office launch on May 6.

Last September, just a day after he was roundly criticized for announcing that Di Biase would volunteer on his campaign, Tibollo announced Di Biase would not have anything to do with it.

Asked to comment on Di Biase’s role as a volunteer on the Tibollo campaign, Vaughan-Woodbridge PC campaign chair Tony Di Battista initially said he wasn’t aware that Di Biase was installing campaign signs.

“I don’t know about that, I’m not aware of it,” Di Battista said.

In a followup call, Di Battista denied that Di Biase had any volunteer role in the Tibollo campaign.

He said, “That’s a lie,” when told a voter said he had seen Di Biase volunteering on the Tibollo campaign.

“He has not been volunteering, canvassing, phone calls, door-knocking of any sort, no sign installations, nothing,” Di Battista said firmly.

“Michael (Di Biase) has not done any sort of volunteer work at all. Michael is a very strong supporter of Michael Tibollo. He does come to the office and he has been at events with Michael (Tibollo), not with him personally, but he has been at the same events,” Di Battista said.

Di Biase, a longtime Vaughan councillor who served as mayor and deputy mayor, resigned in May 2017 after a damning integrity commissioner report accused him of sexual harassing a city employee.

In a statement released earlier this month, Vaughan-Woodbridge Liberal candidate Steven Del Duca said: “I am extremely disappointed to learn that Mr. Di Biase has once again been welcomed by Michael Tibollo.

"The integrity commissioner’s report was crystal clear – Mr. Di Biase engaged in completely inappropriate behaviour directed at a female employee.

"To make matters worse , it appears that Michael Tibollo was less than forthcoming when he publicly committed to sever ties with Mr. Di Biase.

"The people of Vaughan-Woodbridge, and in particular the women of this community, deserve clarity on this matter.”

A request to speak to Tibollo and a call to Di Biase were not returned.