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May 15, 2003
U.S. National League of Cities commends Toronto's response to SARS
Toronto - Following a meeting with Mayor Mel Lastman and City officials this
morning, the National League of Cities (NLC) commended Toronto's response to
SARS, upholding Toronto as a model for the rest of North America. City
officials shared their experiences, including management of the outbreak and
economic recovery plans with the NLC.

"I'm thankful the NLC has given us this opportunity to share our experience
with them, and hope they will pass the word on about how safe and great Toronto
is," said Mayor Lastman. "The whole city worked together and this is the reason
for our great success. I've never been as proud as I am today to call myself a
Canadian - and most of all a Torontonian. Our city has become a model for the
rest of the world."

"The way the public health officials of Toronto were able to quickly identify
and contain the spread of SARS is amazing," said John DeStefano, NLC President
and Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut. "This was the gateway point to North
America and the real story was what could have happened outside of Toronto, if
Toronto did not contain and control SARS. I am very grateful for what occurred
in this city when people stepped up to the plate. It's a story of

"This inspires all of us from around North America to look at this experience
and learn from it," added Charlie Lyons, first NLC Vice President. "My hearty
congratulations to Toronto."

The National League of Cities is the oldest and largest U.S. national
organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States.
The unique partnership among the NLC, the 49 state municipal leagues, and the
elected leaders of the 1,700 member cities and 18,000 state league cities
provides a powerful network for information sharing and for speaking on behalf
of America's cities in Washington, D.C. and all state capitals.

For more information, please visit the City's Web site at and

Media Contact
Melinda McInnes
City of Toronto Media Relations

Michael Reinemer
Communications Director, National League of Cities



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