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November 30, 1998
Mayor Lastman asks Toronto to pitch in for victims of Hurricane Mitch
Mayor Mel Lastman asked Toronto residents and businesses to open their hearts
and their wallets at a press conference today to announce the Toronto Cares
campaign, which was spearheaded by Councillors Joe Mihevc (York Eglinton),
Peter Li Preti (Black Creek), Frances Nunziata (York Humber) and Chris
Korwin-Kuczynski (High Park). The funds will help rebuild the countries
devastated by Hurricane Mitch, which ravaged Central America in October.

"The disaster is not over. In many ways, it's just beginning," the mayor said
in reference to accounts of continued flooding and evacuation in the affected
areas and recent outbreaks of disease such as cholera and dengue fever. "I
know Torontonians care about people. We care about the terrible tragedy facing
Central Americans and we want to help them. I urge everyone to pitch in and
help rebuild El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua."

Buzz Hargrove, President of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, kicked off
the campaign with a cheque for $325,000, representing the original $250,000
pledged to OXFAM on November 11, as well as an additional $75,000 raised in the
last 10 days. The funds were drawn from both CAW's social justice fund and
union membership across Canada.

The mayor encouraged Torontonians to make cash donations throughout the
month-long campaign by calling one of several recognized agencies providing
disaster relief to Central America. A list of these charitable organizations
is available on the City of Toronto's web site at or by
calling the Hispanic Development Council's toll-free information line at
1-877-325-8222. The information line will also provide regular updates on the
situation in each of the four affected countries.

Joining the mayor were representatives of the Hispanic Development Council,
(the umbrella group of all Spanish-speaking groups and organizations in the
Greater Toronto Area), representatives of provincial and federal governments
and other international aid organizations.

Media Contact
Jim Warren
Director of Communications
(416) 395-6482



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