Mayor boycotts flag raising, but one councillor does go

Dancers ahead of the Chinese flag being raised at City Hall

Toronto Mayor John Tory boycotted a Chinese flag-raising ceremony in front of city hall on Monday, citing ongoing ``issues between Canada and China.''

The city provides a space for all countries recognized by the Canadian government to raise their flag on their national day.

A group of protesters gathered at Nathan Phillips Square today and over the weekend in light of the Chinese national holiday.

Some of them held signs with pictures of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained in China.

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, who represents Scarborough-Agincourt, did go to the event.

"There's a large contingency of my population that is from mainland China, and in respect to them, I'm celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China."

When asked about the two detainees, Karygiannis admitted that the issue was "above my pay grade."

Relations between the two countries soured after Canada arrested Meng Wenzhou, a Chinese telecom executive, in December after an extradition request by the U.S.

Mayor Tory said in a statement that he's concerned about issues between the two countries and hopes a resolution will be found ``in the near future.''