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Morning Brew: Ford audit expected today, mayor asks staff to sign in, Ikea monkey ruling due, rat infested store to re-open, watering the plants, and a Robocop sale

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 1, 2013

toronto bathurst quayRob Ford (and the rest of us) may find out the results of an audit into his campaign finances today. If the document finds Ford broke the rules during his successful run for mayor in 2010 it will be down to the city's compliance audit team to decide whether to pursue non-criminal charges against the mayor. Down the road, if it's proved Ford breached the Municipal Elections Act in court, he could - yep, you guessed it - be removed from office.

Also in Ford, it turns out the mayor has been asking his staff to sign in to work since the summer. As Don Peat at the Toronto Sun says, Ford's policy for his thirteen-member team came into effect just weeks before the mayor was criticized for skipping out of an executive committee meeting to coach his high school football team. The sheet explains signing in will help Ford's executive assistant know "where staff may be during the business day."

So yeah, the Ikea monkey lady is still kicking around. Yasmin Nakhuda is fighting the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland for custody of the rhesus macaque that she says she was mislead into handing over. In court yesterday, Nakhuda's lawyer called a witness that could "speak macaque." A judge will rule on the case today.

Looks like someone expects the Ikea monkey to make a run for mayor when his court case is done, according to a sticker seen by Reddit user RaffyGiraffy.

Two Kensington Market stores closed due to severe rodent infestation will be allowed to re-open shortly. Wanda's Pie in the Sky and New Seaway Fish Market were closed by Toronto Public Health after a Reddit user posted a photograph of three rats busily chewing through a food package in full view of customers. The market received a conditional pass at its last inspection but had failed to prevent the infestation spreading.

You may remember during the last civic election that Rob Ford repeatedly cited the cost of watering the plants at city hall as a major cog in the so-called gravy train. Turns out, not so. The Grid's David Topping has dug up the dirt (sorry) on the real cost of keeping City Hall verdant.

GO transit riders will be a little lighter in the pocket this morning. A new year fare increase of between 35 and 55 cents came into effect today, though the rise will be lower for Presto users.

Finally, today is your last chance to snap up Robocop movie memorabilia at Pinewood Studios. A team of movie industry workers who didn't want to see the props from the recent Toronto-shot remake end up in a landfill are selling the items off at 225 Commissioners Street today. A second Total Recall event will take place on Feb. 13 to 15. Cash only.


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

Photo: "Masts" by Empty Quarter/blogTO Flickr pool.



DL / February 1, 2013 at 08:23 am
So sick of hearing about that damn monkey, but that sticker made me do the whole coffee-through-nose thing.
fishy fishy / February 1, 2013 at 09:10 am
Oh New Seaway - I've been a loyal customer for a number of years.

And you have rats?

No more fish from you until you get a couple of greens in a row.

What will I do? Should I cross the street to Hooked and pay 50% more for fish that they buy from the same distributor as New Seaway?

Uh, no.

Anyone want to vouch for any other fishmonger in the market?
EricM / February 1, 2013 at 09:15 am
Maybe if Ford loses this case, we could have the Ikea monkey stand in for him. Two problems solved!
Chris / February 1, 2013 at 10:32 am
Kind of ironic that Ford is demanding that his staff "sign in" in order to make their whereabouts known at all times, while he consistently refuses to release his schedule publicly so that we the public, who are HIS bosses, know where he is and what he's up to. Wonder why we're apparently not entitled to the same level of transparency from our Mayor - especially since he campaigned on being the most transparent administration we'll ever see.
Rob replying to a comment from fishy fishy / February 1, 2013 at 10:56 am
Every place that serves food in Kensington has pests. I've been inside the kitchen/work area of several. Seaway had a gotcha journalist stroll by. That's the difference.
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L / February 1, 2013 at 05:11 pm
Whatever you do don't go to Sea Kings a few doors down!!!! I used to live In an apartment that backs onto them and I've seen those Portuguese dudes touching their bits out back before going back in and touching the fish they sell
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