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Morning Brew: Rob Ford happy TTC newsstand contact under review, Stintz claims radio silence, former mayors urge against casino, and credit/debit for Metropasses

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 31, 2013

toronto o'connor bowlRob Ford says he's pleased the TTC's decision to award a contract extension to its newsstand supplier without seeking competitive bids is being reviewed by a third party. Ford told reporters in a rare unplanned press conference that he's "glad they've seen the light" as TTC chair Karen Stintz, who had publicly supported the deal, watched on.

The impromptu press chat was unusual because it was called inside the mayor's office, an area usually off-limits to the press. As if to illustrate the simmering tensions between the pair, Stintz's presence at the event was questioned by a Ford staffer. During the brief question period Ford claimed he had tried to reach out to the TTC chair about the controversial contract but been unable to get through. Stintz claimed a similar experience. Is this hostility troubling?

Speaking of the TTC, the Commission is hiring new bus, streetcar, and subway operators. Experience with large vehicles is an asset.

Three former mayors of Toronto have written an open letter to Rob Ford and members of council urging against a casino within the city limits. David Crombie, John Sewell and Art Eggleton, say "beware the sales pitch. The numbers don't always add up." Casino companies have been presenting their visions for a major gambling facility since late last year. Do you think Rob Ford will take the advice of his predecessors seriously?

The annual "coldest day of the year" bike ride - held every Jan. 30 - was decidedly lukewarm affair. This part of the winter is statistically sees the coldest temperatures but yesterday peaked at 14 C, the warmest end-of-January day on record. Organizer Jared Kolb told The Star's Katie Daubs the warm weather was "kind of a downer."

The TTC is now accepting debit and credit cards at all of its stations for Metropass purchases. Hooray! Plastic was previously only accepted for annual passes.

Mayoral possibility Olivia Chow says Canada needs a national transit policy if Toronto is to maintain the Gardiner and build the transit it so badly needs. Chow will outline her ideas in a speech at York University tonight.

Finally, A Revenue Canada employee has been fired after The Star ran a story on his video game creation, "I Get This Call Every Day," which is based on his experiences working for the agency. David S. Gallant from Brampton is taking the dismissal as a chance to work on his game career.


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

Photo: "O'Connor Bowl" by Dominic Bugatto/blogTO Flickr pool.



glenn storey / January 31, 2013 at 09:32 am
jeeez, i wonder if robby got competitive bids to repave the parking lot and street in front of deco labels before getting the city to do it. i wonder if they got comp. bids from whoever did the design for the ferris wheel debacle (and who's paying for that, i'd STILL like to know).
Marc replying to a comment from glenn storey / January 31, 2013 at 09:54 am
As much as I dislike Rob Ford, this point is no long relevant in North American politics. The fact is "Ford Nation" does excellent PR and represents a "for the people" ideology. Their opponents, the "left", on the other hand seem to not be able to do anything more than call him fat, try to take him out in court and start community initiatives that never quite go anywhere.
steve replying to a comment from Marc / January 31, 2013 at 10:50 am
Yawn you right winders are boring, get a real perspective.
Alex / January 31, 2013 at 10:53 am
Yeah right, Ford tried to reach them about the contract. That guy lies about everything, why does he think anyone would believe him? I just don't understand why he bothers anymore. He's already lowered the bar so much that people really don't care that he's incompetent, we're at the point where we're just happy if he doesn't screw up anything important.
McRib / January 31, 2013 at 11:19 am
i think we all know who to believe in this instance.
ARthur Danforth / January 31, 2013 at 11:39 am
Why is there a picture of O'Connor Bowl up top? I don't see how it relates to the text.
Jacob replying to a comment from Marc / January 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm
"For the people" is such unbelievable doublespeak. If Ford could get away with cutting every public service in existence, he would.
Why? replying to a comment from ARthur Danforth / January 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Why do you care?
Did it ruin your day?
Pathetic... Get a life and go complain about something else...
Downtown replying to a comment from ARthur Danforth / January 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Some people on this site are just HILARIOUS! People really do not know what to complain about anymore. as "Why" said, Pathetic and get a life.
Liberty Villain replying to a comment from Downtown / January 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm
I think he was just making a general inquiry, and not a complaint.
Timmy / January 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm
To answer ARthur Danforth's question, the top photo every day on blogto doesn't have anything to do with that day's blogs, just various photos from around Toronto.
Truthseeker / January 31, 2013 at 01:20 pm
I sense a lot of sexual tension, I think Stintz and Ford should just bang and get it over with.
Boo replying to a comment from glenn storey / January 31, 2013 at 01:28 pm
Oh glenn, you always have something enlightening to say don't you. Do you disagree with competitive bidding for the newsstands? You're speculating but let's say Ford didn't get bids in other situations; should he continue not to?

I love how you guys find a way to shift the spotlight on our elected leader even on issues regarding the ultimate enemy which is TTC resource allocation.
Right / January 31, 2013 at 02:34 pm
Ford is right in this matter this should of gone up for bidding. There should be no one sole source deals when it comes to the city.
Andrew / January 31, 2013 at 02:34 pm
O'Connor Bowl! I love driving by this place. Such a classic exterior.
Mark Dowling / January 31, 2013 at 03:04 pm
When confronted with Ms Stintz calling him on his crap... oh let's let Monty Python take it from here:

Brave Sir Robin ran away. ("No!")
Bravely ran away away. ("I didn't!")
When danger reared it's ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled. ("I never!")
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out. ("You're lying!")
Swiftly taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Robin!
Craig / January 31, 2013 at 03:05 pm
The TTC deal should go to a competitive bidding process. The deal should be based not only rent money, but how they are going to improve/expand the customer service available. Hell, I'd love to have a Timmies in my subway stop, or a bakery (like Bathurst).

Alex / January 31, 2013 at 05:24 pm
Bunch of liars, the TTC. Takes credit cards my rear-end. I tried to buy my pass w/ my Amex the other day. Oh, it's not working, do you have a VISA? Yes! But I want to use my Amex, dammit. Not my fault she doesn't understand how to use the chip/pin or to punch numbers in manually. Stupid collector goof wouldn't call Amex to confirm merchant processing. #*&@!!!!!
oph / January 31, 2013 at 06:01 pm
Same site that defends racist costumes neglects to mention the loss of the Raptors' heart and soul, gee what a surprise.
Jay / January 31, 2013 at 07:27 pm
@glenn story - jezzzz I wonder if you're a complete idiot or a total moron? Don't answer. That's a rhetorical question. You cannot get a bid on City work because ... dun dun dunn. It's done by the city workers.

When buying or having vendors bid to take on these types of contracts it should always go out for bid. Even if this company would have ended up with the best bid and won. You can only know that by having vendors provide multiple bids. This is not a political ideology. This is just common sense. Shop for the best service at te best price. We all do it every day.
JOSEEE / January 31, 2013 at 08:04 pm
Ya wtf? Hipsters don't talk about sports? Cmon BLOGTO, ppl that care about newest food and vintage spots CAN like sports too. The biggest trade for the Raps so far and you're talking about the coldest day bike ride?
JOSEEE / January 31, 2013 at 08:13 pm
Sorry, I shouldn't generalize.. once again CMON BATEMAN YOU NARROW MINDED PUPPET
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