Ford wants private sector to pay for pandas


Mayor-elect Rob Ford is all for Toronto importing two giant pandas--that is, as long as the private sector foots the bill.

Giorgio Mammoliti, the driving force behind bringing the two giant pandas to the Toronto Zoo for five years, says the cost will be approximately $20 million -- a bill he knows Ford will not want to cover with city dollars.

The plan is to attract a private partner in the next seven or eight months to cover the cost. If the zoo board proves unsuccessful in seducing a panda-sponsoring partner, it will look to the provincial and/or federal government for support. That's right, petition the provincial government for transit AND panda funding. If that falls through, Mammoliti says the board may have to "rethink the business model."


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