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Morning Brew: Council OKs protections for non-status migrants, coun. Perks gets a GIF, graffiti squad targets councillor's yard, and more bendy buses for the TTC

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 22, 2013

toronto beachCity council has agreed to investigate measures that will make it easier for undocumented workers to access vital civic resources. A staff report is due back later this year on whether Toronto could make non-status migrants feel comfortable accessing schools, shelters, food banks, and reporting crime without fear of deportation. Coun. Joe Mihevc told the National Post it was a "historic moment" for Toronto.

Coun. Gord Perks isn't so good at hiding his feelings about coun. Norm Kelly's opinions on climate change. Kelly has said in the past a drastically warmer climate would be good for Toronto. Metro's Matt Elliott, ever watchful at council meetings, made an animated GIF so we can all enjoy the moment over and over and over again. Nice one.

A judge has ruled that councillors are not city employees and as a result their work schedules, emails, and conversations with lobbyists are private. The Toronto Star had been fighting documents from coun. Doug Ford's office related to speculation he was planning to bring an NFL franchise to Toronto. The judge said that even though Ford and other councillors receive taxpayer-funded salaries, they are not employees of the city. Should this information be available to those who request it?

Toronto's graffiti police have made a powerful enemy in coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon. Municipal Licensing and Standards contacted the Beaches-East York councillor over a fish mural her children painted on the back fence of the family home. The city decided the art, which faces into an alley, falls in the realm of prohibited graffiti. Should graffiti squad use more discretion?

Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion wants a banner at Pearson to tell travelers exactly where the airport is located. Despite having Toronto in its name, the site is belongs to our neighbors to the west. McCallion wants visitors welcomed to her city first. Does she have a point?

The TTC's first new "bendy-buses" haven't arrived in service yet but the Commission is already ordering 126 more of the flexible, articulated vehicles. The buses have a much higher capacity than current standard TTC road vehicles. The first of the new fleet will arrive in the Fall. Here's what they'll look like.


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

Image: "F80 // 01" by Christie Photography/blogTO Flickr pool.



Alexander / February 22, 2013 at 08:17 am
Hazel has spunk, and that's great but nobody cares about Mississauga and certainly nobody comes to Toronto to visit Mississauga. I imagine there are lots of places where the loud/noisy airport isn't in the city that is the actual destination and it's just embarrassing for Hazel to think that confusing visitors is a good idea.
90yearoldpildriver / February 22, 2013 at 08:25 am
well she does have a point the airport does sit in Mississauga, Just say welcome to mississauga and toronto and everyone will be happy. Compromise is a good thing. And I still she can still beat the fat brothers in a wrestling match or at least a arm wrestling match.
BM / February 22, 2013 at 08:49 am
No one cares about Mississauga.
Mark / February 22, 2013 at 09:46 am
The 37 councilors who voted to provide safe haven for illegal immigrants need to be arrested for aiding and abetting criminals.
Liberty Villain / February 22, 2013 at 09:49 am
I'm from Mississauga, and a supporter of Hazel, but she's wrong on this one. You can clearly tell she's got retirement on the brain.
CaligulaJones / February 22, 2013 at 10:01 am
Maybe with the "Welcome to Mississauga" sign, Hazel can whip up a toll to get out of Mississauga into Toronto.
Rob / February 22, 2013 at 10:07 am
Ridiculous how much pull Councillors have. Not only should we be able to go through their finances, but we should be able to relieve them of their duties should something be discovered.

Oh, and get rid of half of them for starters. This city needs fewer politicians.
Rob / February 22, 2013 at 10:08 am
All these little BS pet projects... youth violence committees, floating around bullet bans, shark fins...

Want my respect? Refuse to touch any city business until future revenue models are discussed. All these parasites are doing is kicking a can around until re-election. AND. NOTHING. EVER. GETS. DONE. HERE. BECAUSE. OF. IT.
Rob / February 22, 2013 at 10:10 am
And eff Hazel too, she should be in jail right now.
Jacob / February 22, 2013 at 10:49 am
I imagine this is one ruling where Doug Ford thinks it applies to him, but not anyone else.
Ryan / February 22, 2013 at 11:30 am
If I saw a "Welcome to Mississauga" banner when I got off the plane I'd get right back on it.
Joey / February 22, 2013 at 11:38 am
"And eff Hazel too, she should be in jail right now."

Quoted for truth. (And hilarity!)
realityCheck / February 22, 2013 at 01:20 pm
I personally would never snitch on someone who was in the city illegal. However, the argument that "WE" benefit from their labor is bunk. Yes, there are those who benefit from this underground labor pool -- unscrupulous and cheap labor employers, developers, landlords. But for working people in general, the presence of such a large pool of desperate individuals serves to drive down wages and working conditions and exacerbate the high unemployment that has plagued Toronto for at least 2 decades. Is it any wonder why unemployment among youth and young people is at an all time high? Is it any wonder that large segments of youth in Toronto (re: recent TDSB poll) are extremely concerned about their future prospects? Is it possible that people don't see any link between high youth unemployment and growing youth crime? I don't believe in reporting folks who are here illegally (many of whom enter the country thanks to Harper's temporary foreign worker program, which is little more than the new slavery). But I do believe we need to stem the tide of people who are here illegal.
Alex / February 22, 2013 at 02:15 pm
I don't know about that amnesty ruling. I like the idea of them being able to report crimes and access charities, but they aren't citizens so they can't just go to schools(how many illegal school age people really come here anyway?) and use city services for free. If someone is here illegally then chances are they're getting paid under the table, and there is usually a reason that claims are denied (they aren't always good reasons but they aren't always bad ones either). We shouldn't be making them honorary citizens when we won't let them become real citizens.
Me / February 22, 2013 at 03:43 pm
"Let" them become citizens? HAHA! Right! Maybe they should have ASKED first! Fuck 'em, if they're illegal, ship them back, no exceptions. We have more than enough HONEST people trying to emigrate here LEGALLY and it's hardly fair the illegal assholes mess it up for them.
John / February 22, 2013 at 04:13 pm
When's the Blogto fundraiser for your hero Magdar's legal fund. Ford is going to make him pay for the farce that he was put through. Servers the leftwing bastards right. Hope they go broke over this fiasco.
Nancy / February 25, 2013 at 02:20 pm
Shut up, Hazel.
Simon / February 26, 2013 at 06:32 pm
One thing all you anti-immigration rednecks need to understand is that not one of you did a damn thing to earn your Canadian citizenship. You plopped out of your mother and proceeded to waste everyone else's air and water and burden us with corrupt, incompetent politicians who got your vote by spouting a few cartoon-character catch phrases. Meanwhile, millions of people, almost all of whom are smarter and more involved citizens than you, work for years, spend thousands of dollars, jump through hoops, endure all manner of interrogation and red tape, and often risk their lives to come here only to get denied democratic rights, get exploited and defrauded by employers, harassed by police and shat on by idiots like you who haven't a chance in hell of passing a citizenship test. This isn't "your" country just because you had the luck of being born in it with white skin. You don't get to put up a fence around it because of some accident. Your birthplace don't entitle you to shit. You are not an aristocrat despite how badly you wish you were. So sit down and accept it, Toronto is a sanctuary city. One day soon when we get rid of Harper and this country comes to its senses we will open our borders and morons like you who don't know the first thing about Canadian politics and history will fail the universally-assigned annual citizenship test and be sent floating off into the Atlantic to be someone else's problem.
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