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Morning Brew: Judge to clarify Ford's byelection status, $505 M to fix the Gardiner, police charge TTC collector, Downsview Park in doubt, and meet the UP Express

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 30, 2012

toronto swimming poolA judge will officially confirm this morning whether Rob Ford can to run in a by-election if his conflict of interest appeal fails and his seat is declared vacant. Justice Charles Hackland is holding a conference call with lawyers on both sides of the case at 10 am. The city's legal staff believe Hackland's initial ruling bans the mayor from seeking office until 2014, a position Ford's team disputes.

Yesterday's proposed city budget floated a 1.95 per cent property tax hike provided $21 million can be shaved from the police budget. The $9.42 billion spending document also includes a massive $505 million to keep the crumbling Gardiner expressway standing over the next 10 years. A study shows the highway carries 28,000 people downtown during rush hour, the TTC brings 145,000 by comparison. Is the Gardiner worth its gigantic repair bill?

Rob Ford might not be winning any popularity contests downtown right now but he's still holding sway with the federal Conservatives. The National Post says Ford is still palatable for Don Valley West MP John Carmichael and even the PM himself. I'd hate to see what you have to do to get ditched by those guys.

Rob Ford's imbroglio has made it into the pages of The Economist. The piece, which slams the mayor's "bombastic, polarising manner." goes on to highlight council's knack for alienating the city's admirers and knock our "shabby and truncated subway that is unfit for the world-class metropolis Toronto claims to be." Ouch.

Mississauga, also included in Metrolinx's "second wave" Big Move announced yesterday, is at its own transit crossroads. An LRT line through the city on Hurontario to Brampton is on the cards but, like somewhere else I know, funding is still up in the air. According to The Star, some local councillors are afraid of backing the $500 million project for fear of losing their seats at the next election.

Police have charged three men in connection with a theft investigation at the TTC that alleges a collector stole $3,800 from a float. Cops also allege unions reps helped cover up the crime that appears to involve tampering with token rolls.

Toronto could use all the parkland it can get, so why is the 145-hectare Downsview Park being transferred to a Crown corporation that "manages, redevelops and/or sells" surplus federal properties? No answers yet, but apparently the future of the land is still undecided.

The annual tradition (or so it seems) of vandalizing the Christmas nativity scene outside Old City Hall has continued for another year. A protective window was smashed Wednesday and a sheep figuring decapitated. The display has been attacked 6 out of the last 7 years.

Finally, Metrolinx's rebranded Air-Rail Link, now the Union-Pearson Express, has returned to the Internet after vanishing on Sunday. Here's a jaunty little animation from the folks at Winkreative, the creative team behind Porter Airlines' distinctive branding.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "IMG_6325" by 416Pictures in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

28 Comments

Xavier / November 30, 2012 at 08:43 am
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"I'd hate to see what you have to do to get ditched by those guys" That aweful mayor raising funds for charity. Boo! hiss! What a terrible human being
Rafa / November 30, 2012 at 08:53 am
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Good to see religious tolerance is alive and well in Toronto, that is, of everything other than Christianity.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Xavier / November 30, 2012 at 08:59 am
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Seems you missed the part where he wasn't dragged to court for raising funds for charity but for speaking and voting in council on whether or not he should pay back the improperly raised funds (re: don't do it using city letterhead, it's in the rule book) after being told to do so 6 times by the integrity commissioner. Maybe you should use Teh Googles to look up "Conflict of Interest".
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Rafa / November 30, 2012 at 09:00 am
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The actions of one individual does not reflect the whole.
Rafa replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 30, 2012 at 09:04 am
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Do you think it's the same person doing this for 6 years?
pessi / November 30, 2012 at 09:14 am
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Mississauga Councilors are afraid of backing a $500M investment in their transit infrastructure; meanwhile Toronto Council supports a $280M reduction of bike lanes. This is why we can't have nice things.
Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 09:18 am
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City hall shouldn't have a nativity scene to begin with.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Rafa / November 30, 2012 at 09:26 am
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Wouldn't surprise me actually.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 09:27 am
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It's at Old City Hall, which is not actually City Hall anymore and hasn't been since they built New City Hall (aka, Nathan Phillips Square) back in the 60's.....
Rafa replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 09:27 am
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Are you going to support the ban of other City-approved religious events? Like, say, the Khalsa day parade for the Sikhs?
Al replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 09:28 am
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Bigot.
Zeus / November 30, 2012 at 09:35 am
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Someone broke the Holiday Nativity scene again?
That makes baby Santa cry.
Aaron / November 30, 2012 at 09:48 am
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Ugh, $500 million on a highway everyone hates? Let the Gardiner fall down. Spend it on the Waterfront LRT instead and we won't need the Gardiner any more.
SousedBergin / November 30, 2012 at 09:50 am
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Not a fan of any of the Abrahamic religions but nothing good comes out of enraging the thoughtless.
Jose replying to a comment from Zeus / November 30, 2012 at 09:52 am
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I think you mean Baby Jesus.

Santa is an old, immortal fat guy.
Todd replying to a comment from pessi / November 30, 2012 at 09:54 am
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It's such a weird climate here. No one is satisfied, but no one wants to pay for anything. People always point to Europe as having desirable infrastructure, but they don't seem to get that people there actually want to pay for it.

Can't have highways and subway systems fall out of the sky.
Todd replying to a comment from pessi / November 30, 2012 at 09:55 am
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It feels like the GTA is Houston, basically. BOO TAXES, YAY CARS, BOOOOO GRIDLOCK, BOOOO ANYTHING THAT'S NOT CARS.
Alex / November 30, 2012 at 10:15 am
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Why don't they use a toll to pay for the Gardiner repairs? Or at least a part of it. It doesn't make sense for Toronto alone to pay for something that's used mostly by out of town commuters. They should at least get some infrastructure funding from the Province or Feds.
T. N. Cheek replying to a comment from Todd / November 30, 2012 at 10:16 am
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Well, the Gardiner's falling out of the sky...
jjmk / November 30, 2012 at 10:36 am
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can you like to the study that shows the highway carries 28,000 people downtown during rush hour please?
Tommy replying to a comment from Al / November 30, 2012 at 10:36 am
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That's a pretty big jump there dude. People just love trolling out the 'bigot' accusation these days - please remember that it has some pretty hefty implications there. How about saving it for a truly terrible person, and not a one-liner in a comments section.
Picard102 replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 30, 2012 at 11:04 am
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It's still government land though is it not?
Picard102 replying to a comment from Al / November 30, 2012 at 11:05 am
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Yes, very bigoted to separate church and state.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from Tommy / November 30, 2012 at 11:13 am
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Agreed, a lot of strong accusations being flung around here lately. I believe I was compared to Hitler in a recent Morning Brew for questioning Council's debating of Edmonton's elephants. I recognize I might be a bit of an asshole, but really...
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 11:26 am
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Without haveing the time to go to the land registry office and double check, since it's now used as a court house, I'm going to say yes it is. And so what? They also put up a Mennorah and other things at the appropriate points in the season. It's also a commonly used film set and the jumping off point for that guy who occassionally stands in front yelling about the police poisoning his food.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Picard102 / November 30, 2012 at 11:48 am
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While we have the right to freedom of religion in Canada, I don't think we have separation of church and state enshrined in our constitution the way they do in the States.
iSkyscraper / November 30, 2012 at 04:36 pm
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Wow, that Economist piece is harsh (and true). Too bad Ford Nation is too dumb to read it or care, because that's the worst takedown of a Toronto mayor I've ever seen in the international media.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 4, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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The Economist is right about Ford, but NOTHING else than that.

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