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Morning Brew: Rob Ford's quiet afternoons, Doug Ford keeps mum on mayoral run, TTC signs off on LRTs and Presto, ancient footprints, and Edmonton council is mad

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 29, 2012

toronto street glassRob Ford took most afternoons off from his city hall duties during the early part of the football season between Sept. 1 and Oct. 26, according to documents seen by The Star. The piece notes "private" appointments scheduled for 3:30, roughly the same time as the Don Bosco Eagles practice. Is this further proof that Rob Ford's a part time mayor or just evidence he doesn't keep detailed itineraries?

Doug Ford is refusing to rule out a run for mayor if his brother is removed from office after a report appeared in The Star yesterday suggesting the mayor's inner circle could planning a switcheroo. A poll conducted Monday suggests Olivia Chow, were she to run, would still have no problem beating Doug.

The TTC signed two important agreements yesterday; one confirms four new LRT lines for Toronto by 2020, the other sets a 2015 deadline for system-wide Presto card facilities. By the time the decade is out, Torontonians should (barring any unforeseen circumstances) have four new rapid transit lines and the option of paying with contactless card or cash.

Imagine unearthing one of the most astounding archaeological finds in Toronto's history and then just pouring concrete over it. Well, according to Adam Bunch at Spacing, that's exactly what happened in 1908 when workers installing a pipe off Hanlan's Point found 11,000 year old human footprints in the clay. The astonishing story surely has to be the first example of the city's careless management of its historical features.

I guess Edmonton didn't take too kindly to our council suggesting the Alberta city move their elephant south to a warmer climate. Stephen Mandel, the mayor, said it was none of Toronto's business what it does with its zoo animals, and was "noticeably irate."

U of T researchers have scored $2.2 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a fund that provides cash to healthcare and poverty reduction projects, to produce a waterless toilet for use in the developing world. The team is working with sand filters and UV-ray sanitation.

Just a heads up - the Bloor-Danforth line will be closed this weekend (all day Saturday and Sunday) between Keele and Kipling for track replacement work at Jane station. Shuttle busses will replace trains between the stations. Normal service resumes Monday at 6 am.

IN BRIEF:

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

Photo: "Seeing Double" by Aband1d_Urbex in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

33 Comments

Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 09:05 am
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Well, I guess everybody can stop all of the bitching now, because new LRT lines are being built and Presto's being rolled out across the system (although knowing many of the people at BlogTO who comment, that won't last long.)
toooldforthis / November 29, 2012 at 09:21 am
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Please Please Please not Olivia Chow. Not Doug Ford.

Why do we have to choose between a left-wing nutjob or a right-wing nutjob? Can't we just please elect a centrist mayor that eschews the loonier policies on both left and right? I say that knowing that council is filled with nutjobs of both persuasion and trying to be the mayor leading them is probably a thankless soul-destroying job.
Foster / November 29, 2012 at 09:21 am
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If Doug Ford runs for Mayor, he has to step down from his Councilor position, right? I stand by his attempt to run, with obvious hope he loses. Seems like a great opportunity to get both Fords out of office!
Lucy the Elephant / November 29, 2012 at 09:25 am
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RE: Edmonton Elephant

See Toronto? This is why the rest of Canada hates you.
Rob K replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 09:28 am
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While contracts may have been signed, until the PCs come out in support of these LRTs, nothing is set in stone.
toooldforthis replying to a comment from Rob K / November 29, 2012 at 09:39 am
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Whoa. Hold on. You aren't suggesting that a provisional government would be so crass and careless with taxpayer dollars as to intentionally violate long term infrastructure contracts at great cost to the taxpayer in penalties, are you?
CaligulaJones / November 29, 2012 at 09:53 am
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"18,000 year old human footprints"

I think you might want to fix this. The article mentioned is headlined "...11,000 year-old footprints"...and says "...ice age ended, about 12,500 years ago"...and "...about 11,000 years ago" for the footprints.
Me replying to a comment from Lucy the Elephant / November 29, 2012 at 10:01 am
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AND tends to hate the Left with their interfering busybody ways. Most of the comments in their newspaper were spot on. It appears in general people out there have MUCH more common sense then "we" do.
aband1d / November 29, 2012 at 10:06 am
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Thanks for using my pic!!!!!
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from GamblingJetLee / November 29, 2012 at 10:13 am
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I say we need somebody as radical as Ms. Chow to fix this city, or we'll all be in for a world of shit (the city is somewhat broken, and some radical stuff from a radical mayor might be the way to fix Toronto up.) We've had years and years of a radical corporatist rule over Toronto, and where has it got us? No place, and nothing that's halfway good for a city like Toronto. So, we need her.

Besides, I don't think that Chow is a radical as people make her out to be-this sounds like the Sun News Network's propaganda bullshit, and they know what they can do with that.
Sara replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 10:22 am
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Riding a radical pendulum doesn't sound like a great way to run a city. Why can't we just choose someone with level-headed ideas and a sense of future-planning.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from CaligulaJones / November 29, 2012 at 10:25 am
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Fixed, but I still think 18,000 has a nice ring to it.
ROB / November 29, 2012 at 10:25 am
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"Hold on. You aren't suggesting that a provisional government would be so crass and careless with taxpayer dollars as to intentionally violate long term infrastructure contracts at great cost to the taxpayer in penalties, are you?"


Oh,snap. :)
mark replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 10:28 am
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You must have a picture of Stalin or Lenin hanging in your home if you think Toronto has had any kind of 'corporatist' rule for any length of time. Until Ford was elected we were ruled by far left crazy people who worked to destroy this great city. Given the chance Jack's widow will further destroy this city.
Chris on Bay St replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 10:51 am
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+1
the lemur replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 10:59 am
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Far left crazy people? What, like Lastman?

You're right about 'corporatist' in any case. Ford's career in politics is basically a way for his family to keep him out of the running of the family business (they tried to get him on a school board for similar reasons) and for all his talk of running the city like a business, he seems unable to do just that and has no real vision for the city beyond pinching pennies here and there and focusing on soft targets (weeds, graffiti, etc.).

Political theory might have a name for that kind of administration, but corporatism is something entirely different.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 29, 2012 at 11:06 am
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There's only one man who can fix this City, and that man is Kevin Clarke.
the lemur replying to a comment from Rob K / November 29, 2012 at 11:07 am
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The PCs probably won't say anything about LRTs until one or more of the lines is complete and if they happen to be in power at that point, in which case they'll show up to take credit for it, just like how Van Loan showed up to the reveal of the new streetcar a few weeks ago, even though the feds contributed nothing to it.
Alex replying to a comment from Sara / November 29, 2012 at 11:51 am
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Because being Mayor is a thankless job with long hours. No sensible person would ever want it. We're stuck with radicals because they're the only ones passionate enough to do it.

Wow Council, you already lost our zoo's accreditation by basing policy on Bob Barker, let's not bring that embarrassment to the attention of other major Canadian cities, ok?
James / November 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm
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Clearly the Mayor's office stopped keeping detailed itineraries after the first few months of his term, when questions arose about who he was meeting. First they stopped providing his itinerary, which is unusual for a politician in this day and age, and then when the media started to acquire it through freedom of information requests, surprise! everything in it was vague, with few names listed and "private" marked in much more frequently. This from a man who promised openness and accountability. He simply doesn't want the media (and the public) to know what he's doing. But it leads me to wonder, why bother keeping an itinerary at all? Is he required to keep one, but not to release it willingly, or is there no requirement to even keep an official itinerary? With nothing official, it allows Rob (and Doug, who's so fond of saying that nobody anywhere works harder than Rob) to claim non-stop work with no evidence.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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"Until Ford was elected we were ruled by far left crazy people who worked to destroy this great city."

If lefty rule was so awful, how did this city become "great"?

And don't invoke the name of Bill Davis. He's a pinko by today's standards.

vampchick21 replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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Dude, just stop posting, ok? The more you post the more evidience is gathered that you're a foaming at the mouth, insane Tea Party plant.
Jer / November 29, 2012 at 01:42 pm
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The problem with the presto passes is they cost like $6 to get one... Plus, I think they expire after 2 or 3 years and you need to get a new one (at additional cost). Why not a system like NYC or other cities where you can get an electronic payment stored on a cheap/free card and you can sell it to tourists/etc as a multi ride pass or multiple day pass (would be so much better if you didn't have to show the day pass to the guy in the booth when using the subway).
mark replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 29, 2012 at 01:51 pm
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Like I care what a hipster chick with a high school education thinks.
Tommy / November 29, 2012 at 01:52 pm
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I wish people would stop pigeonholing politicians using their fleeting understanding of the "political spectrum" that Miss Clarkson drew on the chalk board back in middle school. Leftist-this, righty-that; if you can't dig any deeper into your argument than that, you might as well just dig into your pants and start flinging feces for what you bring to the debate.

Our predicament is this: the past decade has seen a dramatic polarization of all politics, centered more around big personality candidates and less about policy. Toronto, being the mix it is, easily gets divided and angry. What we need is a dummy candidate - someone without big plans or big ideas, just wants to keep sanity, and is willing to let council make the big decisions. We need a monkey like the Governor General who will shake dignitary's hands but doesn't really do anything. We need a mayor so politically benign that any mishaps they have are gossip potential instead of policy affecting. Toronto needs, and will only function, with a Mel Lastman.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 02:33 pm
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Too old to be a hipster (pushing 40 now) and not sure what a hipster is. Can't do my job with a just high school diploma, so you fail on that count too sweetcheeks.
Chris replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 02:46 pm
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"Like I care what a hipster chick with a high school education thinks. "

...says the guy whose boss barely finished a year at Carlteton post high-school (and never graduated) - and whose only job as an adult has been in politics. But at least Robbie's not a hipster, right Mark?
Joe Public / November 29, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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Dalton McGuinty must be giggling himself to sleep these days...
Alex replying to a comment from Tommy / November 29, 2012 at 03:16 pm
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Absolutely agree. +1
mark replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 29, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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Aging goth chick isn't a job.
Me replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 04:52 pm
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heeheehee. Okay, getting my popcorn. Resume you two.
Craig replying to a comment from mark / November 29, 2012 at 07:49 pm
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Mark, do you get paid by the post? Will this be your only source of income after Ford is gone?
vampchick21 replying to a comment from mark / November 30, 2012 at 08:56 am
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You actually presume I give a rats ass about the opinion some faceless right wing nutjob on a comment board has about me. That's hilarious!

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