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Morning Brew: Council OKs 2% property tax rise, Ford votes against own budget, TTC fires 8 enforcement staff, going for mid-rise, and taxpayers' group Twitter pulled

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 16, 2013

toronto geeseThe first round of budget votes at city council took a bizarre turn yesterday when Rob Ford voted in favour of a motion that contradicted his own budget plans. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti's motion to freeze property tax rates and build a floating casino to make up the lost revenue garnered a "yes" vote from the mayor whose budget called for a 2% increase. The motion died, though, with only Ford, Frances Nunziata, and Glenn De Baeremaeker voting with Mammoliti. What are your thoughts on the tax increase?

The TTC has fired eight enforcement officers who it says issued false offense tickets for panhandling, loitering, and other offenses to members of the public with no fixed address. Five of the workers face criminal charges for obstruction of justice and fabricating evidence as a result. The fake tickets were likely a smokescreen for skipped shifts.

Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat says Toronto needs more mid-rise apartment buildings in all of its neighbourhoods rather than a cluster of extra tall condos in the downtown core only. In the latest in a series of articles from the Toronto Star, Keesmaat says 5-10 storey buildings are key to the city's success. Do you agree?

A Saint John man is angry with Air Canada over a Christmastime incident that resulted in his13-year-old son being left alone at Pearson for six hours. The airline put the plane's other passengers in a hotel for the night when after flight was turned back due to bad weather.

The Toronto Taxpayers' Coalition, a group advocating for a downtown casino to fund subway expansion, had its Twitter account suspended yesterday, possibly for faking a verification mark on its page. Metro's Jessica Smith noticed yesterday that a blue check mark reserved for major corporations and celebrities appeared on the group's Twitter account shortly before the micro-blogging site suspended access.


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

Photo: "Jesus Geese" by DdotG/blogTO Flickr pool.



K. / January 16, 2013 at 08:13 am
Keesmaat is right. Most of the good, walkable neighbourhoods around the world are filled with midrise buildings, not 50 storey towers. I just hope she has enough sway with councilors to get city council to follow up on this.
Haha / January 16, 2013 at 08:16 am
I guess one shouldn't try to foll Twitiot? Sot of non-news, this.
Haha / January 16, 2013 at 08:16 am
fool. Spelling needs coffee.....
iSkyscraper / January 16, 2013 at 08:37 am
Thank god Ford is opening his mouth again and doing stupid things. It's no coincidence that we are spared more Ikea Monkey stories whenever Ford is around.

Seriously, what an embarrassment. No other mayor in North America would act so bizarrely or talk from the gutter like he does. Can't wait until he is gone.

I was suspicious about Keesmaat simply because the Ford administration hired her, but she has won me over. She is exactly who Toronto needs right now in this field. Any chance she would run for mayor?
AV / January 16, 2013 at 08:52 am
Glad to see the TTC constables get whats coming to them. Hopefully they'll also investigate the 2 TTC fleet vehicles with 2 officers a piece parked every weekday morning, doing sweet FA, behind the IBM building @ Church & Bloor (just beside Asquith Park).
Jessie / January 16, 2013 at 09:01 am
Yes yes yes yes yes midrise buildings! Preferably in mixed architectural styles (for those of us not into modern design)
Steve K / January 16, 2013 at 09:30 am
The mayor voted for a floating casino? This is even dumber than building a real casino.
Rob / January 16, 2013 at 09:47 am
I read on the Star that 4 of the fired officers are also on the Sunshine List (i.e. making 100k a year) - truly disgusting.
tired of this crap / January 16, 2013 at 10:16 am
bring back the f*cking vehicle registration tax and stop raising property taxes you morons
steve replying to a comment from tired of this crap / January 16, 2013 at 11:34 am
Maybe we should add a tax to renters, that way everyone can help pay for city services. It would be nice it everyone was treated equally...
tired of this crap replying to a comment from steve / January 16, 2013 at 11:50 am
Psst - the owners of the house pay the property tax and then they pass this cost on to the renters in this thing the renters pay called "rent".
Fox News replying to a comment from steve / January 16, 2013 at 11:50 am
steve, what Tea Party manual did you put down to type that silly comment? Property tax is passed on to landlords, who pass it on to renters. It affects everyone. You probably think transit funding only benefits transit users too, don't you?

If you are so obsessed about treating everyone equally, perhaps you would also be in favour of road tolls and other forms of user fees the Ford seems to be incapable of understanding. It can't just be "don't tax my lifestyle choices but please tax everyone else's".
Notahipster replying to a comment from steve / January 16, 2013 at 11:57 am
this is why queen park let landlords do certain percentage yearly in raising rent. you should really do some research before posting. this year queens park allowed landlord`s to raise rent by 3.2%.
Jacob replying to a comment from K. / January 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm
But if you make the neighbourhood walkable and desirable to live in, more people will want to live there, and then you may as well put in giant condos to house those people eager to buy!

Or at least that's what goes through the minds of developers.
internet awards replying to a comment from steve / January 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm
steve - you win the award for the dumbest comment on the internet in history. congratulations, the competition was stiff but you overcame.
Christian replying to a comment from steve / January 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Steve, renters pay a tax higher than single family dwellings or condominiums through rent. Renters are paying more per dollar than anyone else in Toronto
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Christian / January 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

There Christian, fixed it for you so that steve can understand better.

Steve, maybe the feds should tax housing gains, so all investments are as you say, "treated equally".

Stoone / January 16, 2013 at 01:19 pm
Mid rise is a great idea. Will allow developers to afford/justify timeless stone facing, much needed among in this glass city we're becoming. Should somehow design the buildings to accomodate additional levels in the future
Haha replying to a comment from tired of this crap / January 16, 2013 at 02:29 pm
Problem is, they'll do both.
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