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Morning Brew: Rob Ford due in court, Don Bosco wins, City Hall greeters, Nathan Phillips Square renos get pricey, TTC driver suspended, and a streetcar timelapse

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 16, 2012

toronto downtownRob Ford is due in court today to testify in a $6 million libel lawsuit brought against him by Boardwalk Pub owner George Foulidis. It's alleged Ford defamed Foulidis by telling the Toronto Sun a deal to award his company a lease without asking other companies to bid "stinks to high heaven."

Taking a day off from court yesterday, Rob Ford coached the Don Bosco Eagles to victory in their latest Toronto Bowl match. The team thrashed Northern Secondary 31-0. For his efforts, the mayor got the obligatory Gatorade shower. Cue photos of kids hoisting the mayor aloft in celebration.

An earlier accident and fire is blocking the westbound collector lanes of the 401 near Keele this morning. Lanes are starting to re-open but there's plenty of debris to clear up.

Arriving at City Hall can be a daunting experience for people unfamiliar with the layout, and that's why Doug Ford and civic advocate Dave Meslin say we need dedicated supermarket-style greeters waiting at the front door. The reception area isn't always staffed and the building's signage isn't all it might be. Gravy?

Speaking of city hall, the Nathan Phillips Square renovations are going to cost more than expected after workers found numerous additional problems, including corroded supports inside the concrete arches over the skating rink. The government management committee approved an extra $750,000 yesterday, bringing to total to $2.6 million.

A TTC streetcar operator has been relieved of duty after leaving the controls to chase down an alleged attacker. Dino Oroc, a marathon runner, abandoned his vehicle at Queen and John but couldn't catch the suspect. It's strictly against TTC policy to leave a vehicle without permission.

An anti-casino lobby group is garnering support from prominent members of the local community. "No Casino Toronto" has gathered more than 3,000 signatures for its online petition and received support from noted architects and urbanists.

If you're going to stomp on remembrance day flags, make sure there's no-one snapping your photo. Pictures of a runner appearing to kick over small flags on the grounds of Sunnybrook hospital has caused readers of the link sharing site Reddit to try and identify the man. No luck yet, though.

The TTC officially opened the doors of its Hillcrest Yard yesterday to give the media a first look at it the first working version of its new streetcar design. A few weeks ago, photos of the mammoth moving operation required to get the vehicle to Davenport and Bathurst surfaced online. Thankfully, the Commission has put together a time-lapse of the big move for those that missed out.

IN BRIEF:

Photo: "Toronto Downtown Core from CN Tower" by bukharov from the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

30 Comments

Ford4ever / November 16, 2012 at 08:50 am
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I, for one, wholeheartedly support suspect-chasing TTC driver. Those who stood by and did nothing should be suspended.
Bronau / November 16, 2012 at 08:59 am
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Which one is the bar car?
FORDNEVER replying to a comment from Ford4ever / November 16, 2012 at 09:00 am
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I agree.
FUTTC / November 16, 2012 at 09:38 am
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This TTC driver should never have been suspended.

Its not like he was chasing someone who didn't pay their fare.
Big deal over $3.00

He was after a potential sexual assault suspect.

He should be commended if anything.
likethewind / November 16, 2012 at 09:40 am
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I wonder if Dino had been a 100 Meter runner instead of a marathon runner, he would have been able to catch him faster?

"hey suspect...keep runnning all day...i'll nab you at mile 42."
vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 09:40 am
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Dear Doug Ford. Instead of 'greeters', mayhap you could increase staffing levels at the reception desk and put up better signage? It's City Hall, not WalMart.
Van / November 16, 2012 at 09:50 am
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How is it that in this day and age that a company would FIRE an employee for chasing someone who assaulted a passenger!!?? By doing this, you are showing employees that theyshould just sit back and do nothing. What ever happened to humanity and compassion? A suspension, I can understand because he left his passengers stranded, but an all out fire. Poor guy...he'll never do something kind again :(
Dan / November 16, 2012 at 09:58 am
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I do think it's stupid that the TTC driver has been suspended, but what about the passengers left sitting in the streetcar, with no idea how long the driver plans on chasing the guy for? Not to mention, the streetcars that will start backing up behind the unmanned one.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Van / November 16, 2012 at 09:59 am
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"Releived Of Duty" = Suspended. He wasn't fired.
Liberty Villain / November 16, 2012 at 10:10 am
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The end tagline of that TTC video is quite laughable.
Van replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 10:12 am
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No, actually it's a euphemism for " to fire someone; to dismiss someone from employment". If he was suspended, they would have made that clear. They aren't saying fired, because it has a negative connotation!
Chris replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 10:19 am
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I wonder who he plans to use as greeters - I can't imagine they would actually hire and pay people to do that....wouldn't that be "gravy"?

Don't be surprised that it was Doug who had the idea - I think he really believes City Hall should be run like a Wal-Mart.
the lemur replying to a comment from Van / November 16, 2012 at 10:27 am
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No, it means he's employed but not on active duty. Byford was on CBC radio this morning and it sounded like they just wanted to go over the rules with the driver.
Jacob / November 16, 2012 at 10:30 am
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Fire the Ombudsman and anti-corruption people. Hire greeters.

Seems legit.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Van / November 16, 2012 at 10:44 am
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A police officer is "Removed from Active Duty" while under investigation for a transgression of some kind = suspended. A TTC driver is "Removed from Duty" = Suspended. Most news articles are referring to his status as "Suspended" not "Fired".
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Chris / November 16, 2012 at 10:49 am
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I fail to understand people who think government should be run like business when government isn't 'business'. And that they end up in politics!
Rob / November 16, 2012 at 10:51 am
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How is the case of the driver leaving the control any different than the streetcar/bus drivers I see on a daily basis leaving the vehicle to use the bathroom or grab a coffee?

On the other hand, I can understand why they don't want their vehicles left unmanned, particularly the 501 which, at any given time, has a good number of CAMH patients on it.
lowrez / November 16, 2012 at 11:11 am
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I agree with Ford4ever, but on a side note: fuck Rob Ford.
steve replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 11:48 am
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I too do not understand how a government can be a business. It's job is to collect money and spend it colectively and equally on everyone. Not to make a profit and please stock holders.
sue replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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because a heck of a lot of people don't understand that government cannot be run like a business, and therefore - vote for these folks who think government should be run like a business. And there's the circle.
Spent the day at City Hall this week. Nobody at reception any time I walked by.
iSkyscraper / November 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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In other Toronto news, at least what counts as news to Americans:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324073504578115083324809740.html
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from Rob / November 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm
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"How is the case of the driver leaving the control any different than the streetcar/bus drivers I see on a daily basis leaving the vehicle to use the bathroom or grab a coffee?"

Are you saying that the TTC shouldn't view the two differently or that WE shouldn't view the two differently?
Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm
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Lefty numbskulls: not-for-profit entities, including governments, are indeed run like a business. The difference is that profits must be used to further the goals of the corporation (ie. the government) rather than paid out as dividends to shareholders.

Keep fighting the good fight Fords. Lest we end up like this:

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/13/how-a-vicious-circle-of-self-interest-pushed-san-bernardino-into-bankruptcy/


AV replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm
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Chris I really appreciate you updating your name to include the title of MBA, it makes me care about what you have to say so much more. Bravo, cool guy.
steve replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 01:25 pm
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Thanks for the bourgeoisie point of view, capitalist ideals have proven to be very successful in the US.
EricM replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 01:27 pm
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Well you must marvel at the corporation that is Toronto then Chris. The city has never had a year end deficit since amalgamation. That is 8 years of the ever enlightened looking Mel, 8 years of that lefty Miller and now with Ford. Of course legislatively speaking there aren't aloud too, but people tend to forget that when all have talked about an 'operating deficit' at various points for various motivations. The city of Toronto act even gave Council the power to tax to avoid shortfalls or build revenues. I'm assuming since you are after-all an MBA I don't need to break down the basics of operating deficits Vs. Year ends... do I?
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 02:01 pm
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I don't think you really understand what you are talking about. So much for that MBA.
Alex replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 04:01 pm
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Just goes to show how little thought people like that put into things, considering that "handling money" is about all the two have in common. Like how businesses succeed by focusing on areas where they can make profits, versus a city which must provide a certain level of service no matter what. Or how businesses have a relatively stable management structure and set of long-term goals, whereas in government everything can change every 4 years. I could keep going.
Matt replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 06:54 pm
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Etobicoke Upstairs College is a fine school, VampChick21
Numbskullchris replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St, MBA / November 16, 2012 at 09:07 pm
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Chris you are still a clueless rightard i see.

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