Toronto

Morning Brew: Underdog council hopefuls hold rally, McCallion inquiry continues, Regent Park students get a surprise assignment, woman ordered to sell condo, U of T diploma recall

A gathering for "unincumbent" council candidates organized by mayoral candidate HiMY SYeD was held at Dovercourt Baptist Church yesterday. About a dozen participated in the underdog's pep rally - with nine city councillors retiring or running for mayor, it is an unusually open year for council candidates from any background or experience level. But unlike their more visible, mayoral counterparts, these DIYers came out to encourage each other and swap stories. "We're all coming at you like vultures," one candidate said. When they're off work from Staples, of course.

The judicial inquiry into conflict-of-interest allegations against Mayor McCallion of Mississauga heard testimony yesterday from the CEO of a company closely involved in the development deal that sparked suspicions around the mayor's involvement. Evidence presented to the inquiry shows that McCallion allegedly used her position to push through the hotel/condo complex, which was to earn her son in excess of $10-million, and then helped to arrange a settlement when the deal fell apart. Leo De Bever of Alberta Investment Management testified that "the settlement came out of the blue" and that, had they known of Mr. McCallion's ownership stake in the development company World Class Developments, they "would have given [the deal] a much harder look."

A group of 25 students from the Regent Park School of Music received a surprising assignment recently: to sing as backup vocalists for Pink Floyd's Roger Waters at the Air Canada Centre during the children's chorus of "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)." The school was contacted only last week by the promoter asking if students would be interested in singing, so students had little time to prepare and were sent lyrics and a YouTube video to practice from. The director of the school, Richard Marsella, hopes the experience will benefit students' confidence, saying "After you perform at the ACC, you can take on a class speech." Well, sure, but it'll kind of pale in comparison, no?

An unusual legal struggle is continuing downtown as lawyers for a 30-unit condo complex at Bay and Bloor are returning to court Friday to try to enforce a court order ordering a 41-year-old woman to sell her home. In a decision of rare precedent, Natalia Korolekh was ordered by a judge to sell her unit, get rid of her dog and pay $35 000 in costs to the condo board. Korolekh has so far neglected to comply with the order and litigators for the condo board are determined to enforce it. Forcing the sale of a unit is a drastic measure - undertaken by judges less than five times in the past 25 years according to a lawyer who has worked on similar cases.

A typo in diplomas issued by the University of Toronto has resulted in a recall of almost 1350 recent graduates' diplomas. The error, which occurred in the official title of then vice-president and principal Ian Orchard, affects graduates from November 2009 and from this past June. They're being asked to return the parchment in exchange for a new one. "The diploma parchment...is the public manifestation of the graduate's accomplishment and it should be correct in all respects," said a spokesperson, adding "Graduates have earned their degrees and may continue to use the degree designation." Should have had someone proof read their work.

Photo by Ian Mutttoo in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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