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Morning Brew: RCMP Claims "Definite Maybe" Sighting of Mariam Makhniashvili in Alberta, City Hall Bans Corporate Donations in 2010 Municipal Election, THS Fights Back, Raptors and Bosh Trounced by Hawks

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / December 3, 2009

city hall skatingPhoto: "Crazy dude skating in the rain @ 4 deg C..." by chewie2008~, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Why would the RCMP in Okotoks, Alberta put out a press release yesterday, detailing a "definite maybe" sighting of missing Toronto teen Mariam Makhniashvili, more than a month after the alleged sighting reports were made? The questionable move sparked a knee-jerk media frenzy, an almost-press conference by Toronto Police, and a huge dose of false hope for the family. Everyone is hopeful that she will be found alive, but authorities and media need to remain responsible and rational.

Once again, City Council didn't get to conclude debate and vote on the proposed and highly contentious billboard tax, deferring the vote to Friday. A room full of frustrated journalism students (and a blogTO staffer) learned that they'd have to wait for another day to file their breaking news reports. What council did achieve, however, was a landmark decision to ban corporate and union donations to candidates in the upcoming 2010 municipal elections.

The lawyer for the Toronto Humane Society wants the public to realize that there are two sides to every story and that allegations of cruelty coming from the OSPCA have not been proven. Slamming the OSPCA for a TMZ-style approach to the case so far, such as inviting the media to the raid to capture handcuffed execs on camera, releasing accusations to the media in piecemeal, etc. (see embedded video below):

Oakridge Junior Public School teacher Shawn Carr, who works part time in a Village sex novelty shop, stands accused of sexual assault and sexual interference against a 15-year old boy. Eye-witness reports suggest that the boy claimed he was 19, which would make him legal for consensual sex. The law used to state 14 as the age of sexual consent, but was amended last year and currently states that one must be 16.

And the Raptors got absolutely trounced last night. The Atlanta Hawks scored a whopping 146 points, and held star Chris Bosh to just 2 points in just under 16 minutes of play time. According to the game's box score, Bosh only made two in-play shot attempts and scored 2 for 4 from the free throw line. Something seems off here... is he exercising some kind of secret work-to-rule protest? Does he have the flu?



Ryan L. / December 3, 2009 at 09:46 am
After all the THS has been doing to try to deflect criticism, it's not all that surprising that Trow was a former lawyer
Mike W / December 3, 2009 at 10:11 am
How often does the media get invited/informed to/of police raids?
K / December 3, 2009 at 10:22 am
"allegations of cruelty coming from the OSPCA have not been proven"

I think that finding a mumified cat in the ceiling is enough proff of cruelty to me.
truth / December 3, 2009 at 10:44 am
Then there was that little Globe series in the summer. THS is using the lawyer's maxim: if the facts are against you, argue the law, if the law is against you, argue the facts, if the facts and the law are against you, pound the table. THS is doing a very good job of pounding the table.
Joel / December 3, 2009 at 11:12 am
Bosh rarely lives up to the "superstar" accolades he receives from some in the media. Sure, he has a double-double almost every night, but the Raptors have never really won anything with him as leader. I see him giving up on plays a lot and that's a trait that will transfer down to the other players on the team.

My preference for the off-season is to let him go to free agency (or trade him before the deadline, if possible). I'm tired of him.
cocoa / December 3, 2009 at 02:56 pm
Re Raptors -

Bosh is as good as gone, and I don't blame him for being frustrated. The team sucks, has sucked for years and has no prospect of not sucking in the short or long term. He's dealing with it better than Vince did, I don't expect him to start quitting on the team, but Colangelo should probably sign and trade him at the end of the season. He ain't staying. Colangelo is so overrated.

Re Donations
I don't know why people are so quick to support the ban on union and corporate donations. They're both generally reviled, but at the same time it seems wrong to silence the corporations (world's smallest violin etc i know).

A big part of this city's success is our extremely large business community. They're important and they play a really vital role in how this city functions. Why are their voices taken away? Can the average citizen be trusted to consider their interests when donating? Will a council that doesn't have their interests in mind effectively consider them and their interests?
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