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Morning Brew: Doug Ford OK with $7M for by-election, Del Grande says put up or shut up, tolling the Gardiner, Uber taxi gets in trouble, and a boring video

Councillor Doug Ford says it's worth spending $7 million on a by-election in January if his brother is removed from office. Mayor Rob Ford was granted a stay of removal yesterday by an Ontario Superior Court judge, meaning he'll stay in his job until an appeal can be heard in the new year. "What price do you put on democracy?," he told reporters.

Speaking of an election, councillor Mike Del Grande wants some risk for members of council planning to run for mayor in a by-election. To do that, Del Grande says, councillors should quit their seats to run, and he's willing to put forward a motion to make that happen. "Let's put some skin in the game. And you know what, let's have a byelection for all the positions that may end up being open, not a free ride," he said. Should councillors step down if they want to campaign?

There's new debate about whether the city should cough up $505 million over the next ten years to fix the Gardiner or seriously consider tearing part of it down to cut costs. The budget committee yesterday supported a motion by councillor John Parker to asses the minimum cost of maintaining the stretch east of Jarvis until an environmental assessment is complete.

Councillor Paula Fletcher suggested the elevated highway would be perfect for tolls if the city decides to go ahead with repairs. Do you agree? Should the Gardiner pay for itself?

Taxi company Uber has run into trouble with municipal licensing and standards over its smartphone app that allows users to hail and pay for a cab or limousine without a phone call or cash. Uber doesn't have a dispatcher's license, which the city says is mandatory if it's to send cars to customers.

Metrolinx unveiled its next wave of Big Move projects last week, promising a downtown relief line, an extension of the Yonge line, and bus rapid transit on Dundas West (if it can get the cash). The project now has an easy-to-follow website that explains some of the costs and where the money might come from (namely, tolls or fees.) Take a look.

Legendary Blue Jays' announcer Tom Cheek has been posthumously awarded the Thomas C. Frick award for broadcasting excellence by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thanks to Reddit user killerbees19, Cheek's most famous moment, his call of the Jays' most recent World Series win, is available here. "Touch 'em all, Joe."

Aside from the astonishing machines involved, subway tunnel boring is, for the most part, boring. That is until the giant earth-carving apparatus bursts out of the dark and into the light of day at the end of a big dig. On Nov. 26, Torkie and Yorkie, two of TTC's preposterously named tunnel carving machines, broke through into an extraction shaft on Keele Street in a rare double exit. Here are the highlights of the action.

IN BRIEF:

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

Photo: "Untitled" by Richard Rhyme in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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