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Morning Brew: Board of Health is against a casino, term limits for council, racist letter is a hoax, Cabbagetown on coyote watch, and bird strike building owners acquitted

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 12, 2013

toronto broadviewToronto's board of health has come out unanimously against a downtown casino by endorsing a staff report that says a major gambling facility in the city would cause more harm than good. The findings showed a casino would be unlikely to change the unemployment rate and would disproportionately rely on revenue from low-income families, among other things.

Term limits for city councillors are on the agenda over at the Star. Columnist Royson James says it's time council placed restrictions on how long elected officials can remain in office in Toronto. Currently, a councillor can stay indefinitely provided they have the votes. Would you like to see term limits or would that restrict the will of electorate?

A letter that purportedly told Richview CI students in Etobicoke to avoid eye contact with their African American classmates is a fake. The text of the letter, which seems to appear on the school's letterhead, is similar to another hoax that circulated online in 2011.

A Toronto cardinal will be part of the group that elects a new pope. Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, will make his decision in Rome when high-ranking members of the Catholic church gather to choose a new leader. It's thought Marc Ouellet, from Quebec, is a leading contender to take over. If that were to happen Ouellet would become the first non-European pope in history.

Cabbagetown residents are on coyote watch after one of the wild canines was spotted near Sackville and Carlton streets. The animals are native to the Toronto area and packs are known to still live in the Don Valley. Animal services says the city's coyotes may be more active than normal for this time of year and are telling local residents to supervise young children and pets.

Speaking of wildlife, a judge has acquitted the owners of a Yonge Street building that allegedly poses a risk to birds. Justice Melvyn Green agreed that more than 800 birds had struck the reflective windows of Cadillac Fairview corporate centre in North Toronto in 2010 but decided the company had done its due diligence to prevent the deaths. The case could establish a precedent that building owners are responsible for the wellbeing of birds.


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

Image: "Across The Don Valley" by Dominic Bugatto/blogTO Flickr pool.



steve / February 12, 2013 at 08:14 am
Why is the board of health commenting on a casino? Isn't that outside their mandate?
steve / February 12, 2013 at 08:56 am
The use of the term 'African American' in reference to a Canadian school should have triggered 'this is fake' right away.
Are we that devoid of Canadian culture in our schools and general society that we identify American speak as Canadian
John in TO / February 12, 2013 at 09:22 am
"The case established a precedent that building owners are responsible for the wellbeing of birds."

No, it did not. Courts of first instance never establish precedent.
Alan replying to a comment from steve / February 12, 2013 at 09:32 am
That is the problem with governments and certain political parties. They like to tell us adults what is good or bad for us. If i want to go gambling that should be my choice, and no one elses.
McRib replying to a comment from Alan / February 12, 2013 at 09:40 am
who says you can't gamble?
Lee Zamparo replying to a comment from Alan / February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am
The board of health isn't concerned if gambling is good or bad for *you*. It is required to assess what net effects the presence of a casino would have on the health of citizens of Toronto (including mental health). They're just doing their job. Don't worry Alan, no one is telling you what to do.
Marc replying to a comment from Alan / February 12, 2013 at 10:18 am
Yes, but if you gamble away your life and then beat your spouse and kids and go on financial support, then it does become society's and the government's problem. I imagine you and your family would appreciate a safety net of some sort. Your entitlement is alarming, but typical.
AV replying to a comment from Marc / February 12, 2013 at 10:24 am
Yes and if you smoke a joint and go crazy and murder 10 people its ALSO society's problem. Oh wait, that's also another over-the-top, hysterical point of view.
CaligulaJones replying to a comment from Marc / February 12, 2013 at 10:33 am
I thought "slippery slope" arguments kinda went out of fashion after your mother's "if he jumped out the window would you?"
Sean replying to a comment from Marc / February 12, 2013 at 10:35 am
Yes Marc, and if you comment here and then go bugger little children it is our concern - see how ad hom attacks work? Now head back to The Star where you belong.
Adam / February 12, 2013 at 10:44 am
Can anyone actually provide a link to the BoH report? I'd like to read Dr. David McKeown's quackery in all its idiotic glory.
Chris / February 12, 2013 at 10:50 am
I'd love to see term limits on Councillors - the power of incumbency at the Municipal level is far stronger than at higher levels of government, and it results in situations like "deadwood" Councillors hanging on far longer than they should because they like the perks of power, even though they have nothing of value to contribute (i.e. Mammo) or they've been around so long that they're still fighting the battles they were fighting years ago even though they have little bearing on the City of today (i.e. many of the more hard-core lefty and righty councillors).

Keep in mind that this whole "downtown vs suburbs, left vs right" nonesense is a fight being perpetrated by the more longer standing Councillors - the newbies for the most part don't subscribe to that nonsense and are far more interested in trying to figure out how to get things done, and have shown a willingness to work with anyone on this Council, regardless of their political leanings - which is why the "mushy middle" (made up largely of recently elected councillors) has largely led this Council in the last couple of years.

We need the regular turnover that term limits will bring, in order to ensure we get new blood and new ideas at the City Council level, and don't find ourselves constanting re-hashing the same arguments over and over again. There are defintely ways to do this in order to minize the disruption on Council (staggered terms, for example), but this is an idea that needs to be seriously explored. We cannot as a city continue on with a constantly fractured council that is more interested in revenge and undoing the previous guy's work, than in dealing with what this City needs to keep prospering in the future.

I truly hope this comes to pass.
Alan replying to a comment from Marc / February 12, 2013 at 10:55 am
if i am beating my wife and doing all those things, my problems are far more then just gambling, i would have had mental issues before even heading to a casino. Though i know many that gamble and none have the problems you listed. So this over the top, and just more nanny state politics from certain political parties.
Mark / February 12, 2013 at 01:09 pm
Casino opponents are mostly concerned with maintaining control over people. They are in favour of regulating how you live your life. You can do anything you want so long as it is approved by these self-important busybodies.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Mark / February 12, 2013 at 01:23 pm
Or, you know, maybe it's a case of "here's the information. Do with it what you will as an adult, intelligent or otherwise." Or you can freak out and scream nannystate, whatever gets you giddy.
zombieboy22 replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 12, 2013 at 01:41 pm
Or, you know, maybe it's a case of "here's the casino. Do with it what you will as an adult, intelligent or otherwise." Or you can freak out and scream Rob Ford, whatever gets you giddy.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from zombieboy22 / February 12, 2013 at 02:01 pm
Oh gee! Ya got me! Cause, I'm like, one of the most vocal whatever you think I am. *eyeroll*. Bottom line is, for me, I don't give a rats ass who endorse or wants a casino downtown Toronto, I think it's a bloody stupid idea. Bloody. Stupid.
foo / February 12, 2013 at 03:10 pm
I'd love to see a term limit on mayors who break the law and are generally childish and idiotic.
realityCheck / February 12, 2013 at 03:16 pm
While I am against a casino, I find the Board of Health's arguments against one ridiculous, even hypocritical. Slamming a casino on the basis of the increased congestion it would bring would only makes sense if the same concern had been shown with respect to the condo-fication of Toronto that has been taking place during the past decade. At one time, the province required a referendum before a casino could be built in any given community. Recently, they changed the law so that only a "consultation" is required. The only fair process would a referendum.
Mark replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 12, 2013 at 03:49 pm
Casino's have been in operation in Ontario for close to 20 years. Neither Windsor nor Niagara Falls has descended into 1920's style Chicago gangsterism. Simple solution, don't like casino's? Don't go there. Just don't tell other adults how to live their lives.
sigh / February 12, 2013 at 07:41 pm
Meh, casinos are dumb, people can just watch TV or go out on the town or to a bar if they want entertainment. I'm glad we have layers of bureaucracy to ensure idiotic stuff like this never gums up the city. And besides, it IS a health concern because only scumbags are going to attend. Put this thing in Markham or Etobicoke or some damn place, let them deal with it.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Mark / February 13, 2013 at 09:13 am
Oh for the love of....are you really that much of a jackass idiot or are you playing it up for the boards?
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