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Morning Brew: Rob Ford back in Toronto, Idle No More plans a flash mob, grumpy auto emails, report lambasts TTC, Kromer Radio project is dead, and bugs in books

Posted by Chris Bateman / December 20, 2012

toronto museum stationRob Ford (remember him?) is back from his "private time" Hallandale Beach in South Florida, his office has confirmed. The week-long trip was customarily not advertised but several travelers at Pearson noticed the mayor preparing to board a flight. While he was gone Ford missed a budget debate about the ailing Gardiner Expressway.

"Idle No More," a grassroots campaign against a controversial federal omnibus bill, is organizing a flashmob at Yonge-Dundas Square this Friday. Bill C-45 proposes changes to the Indian Act that would make it easier for First Nations groups to surrender lands. Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation is currently on hunger strike, vowing to die unless the government alters its stance on aboriginal rights.

Curmudgeonly councillor Mike Del Grande has a rather grumpy message for people trying to reach him online: "Assume I am not going to read your e-mail. Send it after the 6th of January otherwise it will find it's [sic] way in the trash bin." The temporary auto-response also advises that the budget chief has "left downtown and dashed to get my private jet and fly off to Rio in Brazil." It does manage a "Merry Christmas" though, so that's something.

The TTC was "arrogant" and "patronizing" to residents near Donlands and Greenwood stations during a consultation process over second exit projects, according to a report by the city's ombudsman. Fiona Crean found the Commission made serious mis-steps in its conversations with the community, including threatening to demolish several homes. Commissioner Glenn De Baeremaeker said it was a "dark day for the TTC."

A TTC driver could face charges after a collision at Yonge and Finch last night, says CP24. Police say a female pedestrian had the right of way when she was struck by a bus just before 8 p.m., suffering non-life threatening injuries to her head and face.

A development on the west side of Bathurst Street between Dundas and College looks like it's dead in the water. RioCan had hoped to develop the strip that includes the Kromer Radio building into a 3-storey retail site but were cut down by Toronto's committee of adjustment in May. An appeal verdict handed down by the Ontario Municipal Board that was released earlier this week upheld the decision to nix the proposal.

That horror novel might be a little scarier than you thought. Bed bugs found in a Toronto library book mean another public space in the city isn't safe from the parasitic creeps.

Batten down the hatches - it looks like Toronto's about to get its first blast of frigid weather. A winter storm has prompted Environment Canada to issue a special weather statement warning of snow, freezing rain, and hazardous driving conditions today through Friday. Stay safe.


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

Photo: "Yellow Line" by Aband1d_Urbex (rockandrollfreak) from the blogTO Flickr pool.



CdnSyrup / December 20, 2012 at 10:19 am
Thank goodness i don't read!
LatteSippingElitist / December 20, 2012 at 10:55 am
Yay! Ford's back from vacation. Just in time to take three weeks holidays. After a gruelling three months of coaching High School football and little else. I can't wait until they kick his fat goldbricking ass out if my city. The suburbs can sit on it and spin.
Dave / December 20, 2012 at 02:09 pm
So to recap, you can insult, attack, threaten anyone on the right side of the political spectrum. But make a joke about indians and you will have your comment deleted.
Picard102 / December 20, 2012 at 02:32 pm
It's easy to vow to die, when you know it wont happen.
Mark / December 20, 2012 at 03:05 pm
She lets her people starve while she lives a life of luxury. So screw her.
anglometrix replying to a comment from Dave / December 20, 2012 at 08:31 pm
Dear Dave, my thoughts on your originally posted comments were deleted as well. To recap, I had responded to the sarcasm in your joke about unemployed "Indians" not being able to make it to tomorrow's round dance mob flash at Eaton's Centre. In the spirit of good old Canadian sarcasm, I had offered up a thought that my folks had worked at protecting me from not uncommon jokes like yours. I took a stab at being as sarcastic as you by writing something like "guess this 'lazy ass half breed' will have to take a few hours off from her six figure job to hang with those Canadians whose fellow citizens continue to choose to not learn about them." Let's hope they don't burn our wagons this time, hey Dave?
dave / December 21, 2012 at 09:52 am
You'll speak a different tune when they start a 'land claim' on your condo. Caledonia proved these people don't obey the rule of law. Good luck buddying up to these criminals.
Picard102 / December 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Apparently you can't suggest that a vow to die is gutless when you know you won't die.
Dave replying to a comment from Picard102 / December 21, 2012 at 01:19 pm
Blogto protects their sacred cows, including indian chiefs who could stand to lose a few pounds.
Stan / December 21, 2012 at 01:37 pm
just fuck off Dave. you have no right to make racist remarks on BlogTO. save them for your hillbilly christmas with the rest of the klan.
Haha / December 21, 2012 at 01:55 pm
Saying the truth out loud is racist now? No surprise there.
Dave / December 21, 2012 at 02:06 pm
Fuck off Stan. My tax dollars go to pay for these layabouts who steal the money we give them and force the people they are supposed to take care of starve. Why is there always a big screen tv in the chiefs house while their people are freezing? Why does Attawapiskat have a fucking new zamboni while their houses are falling apart? Why does every reserve have run down shacks for the people despite us paying billions to them every year. These "idle no more' fuckwads are looking to extort more money from us so that their free loading can continue. Nothing more.
wwwhhhhaaatttt? / December 21, 2012 at 02:36 pm
wait you can't call a chief fat, but you can call the mayor fat? wwwhhhhaaatttt?
Lamb / December 21, 2012 at 05:39 pm
I read each of your comments, as a First Nations citizen it's sad to see that people continue to have naive, biased and racially negative viewpoints about FN people. Especially those of us who are peacefully working towards finding solutions to FN issues. Interestingly enough some of the answers don't require funding. The easiest way to understand any situation is to imagine it happening to you and your family. If forced to live In third world conditions I can pretty much bet everyone would be in support of improvements. I have family living on reserves... I have seen the good the bad and the ugly of this type of model. The way the Canadian government handles Native issues and rights is contrary to how Native people historically have governed themselves. The average non-Native forgets that we were doing just fine in the pre-contact times. The problems we have now are not ones we created and even so we are looking towards ourselves for finding ways to resolve the existing discord between us and the Canadian government! Now in the spirit of kinship I would like to see everyone be more positive, accepting and copacetic of each other. Miigwetch :)
Haha / December 21, 2012 at 06:09 pm
And we just loved the natives walking around Caledonia with machine guns and threatening people. Oh yeah, so equal rights!!
Lamb / December 21, 2012 at 07:23 pm
Many of us live our lives in a proper way. I for one do not own a gun and would never use force. Anything I have to say can be done peacefully. With the idle no more movement... It's simply a gentle non-violent way to bring attention to issues facing FN citizens. Let's examine the reasons why these situations become issues in the first place. Caledonia became an issue primarily from the irresponsible actions of non-Native developers trying to use land that wasn't theirs. What would you do if someone tried to take your home away from you?
Dave replying to a comment from Lamb / December 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm
That is bullshit and you know it. That development only became 'indian' land when it became valuable. Until then there were no claims to it. Tell you what Lamb. We'll take back everything we have given you and let you live how your ancestors did 300 years ago. No electricity, no cars, no guns, no medicine, no education. Nothing of our modern way of life. Then we'll see how well you'll be doing without the white man's handouts.
Raina / December 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm
I grew up next to a reserve, attended schools where the majority of students were Aboriginal, played on hockey teams where I was the only Caucasion player, attended Pow Wows, Round Dances, Aboriginal Days, etc. I appreciate the culture and the beliefs of the Aboriginal people. What I don't appreciate is the whole "Help Us" mindset that I've seen. I know many young First Nations people who are doing well in life, have an education, wonderful families, good morals, etc. They are fighting hard for First Nations people to be recognized. BUT they are DEMANDING to be helped (and recognized). The GOVERNMENT should step in, and ensure that the people know how to read. That they know how to take care or their children. How about some of the people who have the skills GET OUT THERE and try to give back to their communities? The First Nations mother who is a breastfeeding advocate? Go to some local reserves and educate the other young mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding. The 20-somethings who spend half their time battling for First Nations rights on Facebook? Go out and teach someone to read! You can't demand the Government to help you when you don't begin to start helping yourself.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Dave / December 25, 2012 at 04:29 pm
He deserves it, just like you deserve it for electing him.
Lamb replying to a comment from Raina / December 27, 2012 at 04:19 pm
Chi Miigwetch Raina... I think your ideas are positive and helpful. We as FN citizens do need to help each other in whatever way we can, and it only takes one. Contrary to the viewpoints of others suggesting we are only after "handouts"... I have spent many hours volunteering at Six Nations to educate and encourage positive life lessons with the citizens of all ages. I expect nothing for this and I do not get paid. I would like to think I am not an exception but rather a continuation of our traditional perspectives and life values. Unlike other individuals I am not stuck on this "money-thing" - I have attended a number of Native events over the years where we still trade each other for goods etc. there are positive ways to get some things we want or need in life without money. For the record I will gladly continue to share, volunteer and educate in a positive non-discriminatory manner. Some of us really do care and make our way through life via our own talents and gifts. So let's hope 2013 brings a continuation of living life in the good way.
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