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Morning Brew: Federal cash could fund relief line, Ford gives an awkward speech, lobbying changes abandoned, elephants could fly, and Toronto critters have babies

Posted by Chris Bateman / March 22, 2013

toronto aura$14 billion of federal money earmarked for new infrastructure in the latest budget could help pay for the Downtown Relief Line. The Building Canada Fund, which will be topped up over the course of its life, also includes $4 billion for projects of "national significance." Karen Stintz is hoping roughly a third of cash for the new line could come from the feds. Does this give you hope the line could get built soon?

Rob Ford "pounded" out an "awkward and embarrassing" pro-casino speech to a gathering of Orthodox rabbis this week, despite being asked to attend to learn about the Toronto Eruv, a group that helps people on the Jewish Sabbath. Ford was "disheveled," according to coun. Joe Mihevc, and threatened to run against anyone who opposed a casino at the next election. Yikes.

Lobbying at city hall won't be reined in to business hours. The mayor's executive committee voted yesterday to defer advice from the lobbyist registrar indefinitely. Linda Gehrke said lobbying on topics from the Toronto casino to the Pusateri's valet area should take place between 8 to 6 p.m and only at community meetings. Was shelving the suggestions the right call?

A TTC operator has opened subway doors in a tunnel for the second time in a week. The incident during rush hour yesterday morning happened between King and Union stations while the train was stopped at a red light. The Commission is blaming the incident, which led to a 9-minute delay, on a trainee error.

Also in TTC, two fare collectors are facing charges over stolen money. It's alleged Krishna Rajkumar and Paul Vardy took customer's money without depositing it in the fare box.

The ROM has a startling new exhibit - 2,400 dead birds killed by flying into Toronto buildings. The fowl display was organized by Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) and shows crumpled examples of 91 different species. The group says around a million birds die each year after after colliding with buildings in the city.

Bob Barker is hoping Toronto Zoo's aging elephants can be flown to California on a military C-17 aircraft rather than taking the journey by road. The city is in talks with the Department of National Defence to hire a plane, at Barker's expense. Toka, Thika and Iringa will move to the PAWS sanctuary by the end of June. Make sense?

Finally, baby squirrels, owls, raccoons, and possums are being born and hatched all over the city now winter is drawing to a close. Sadly, every spring about 2,000 orphaned animals are taken in by the Toronto Wildlife Centre at Downsview. Things are quiet now, but staff told the Toronto Star "the floodgates will open" soon.


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

Image: "aura rising ii" by ronnie.yip/blogTO Flickr pool.



Bob But Not Doug / March 22, 2013 at 08:13 am
Ten bucks says Ford was drunk or hung over.
steve / March 22, 2013 at 08:20 am
Joe was probably coked up
James / March 22, 2013 at 08:41 am
So, shortly after Mr. Byford apologized for having a train open its doors in the tunnel, it happens again, less than a week later?

What kind of idiots is the TTC hiring? Surely if you don't know how to control the train doors, you shouldn't be put in a live train. Do we not have training cars?

This is just getting ridiculous. The TTC is becoming like Ford, one disaster after another.

HAHAHA / March 22, 2013 at 09:06 am
I doubt Toronto will ever see a penny of this infrastructure fund.
It will be riddled with red tape and money will never be given out to municipalities, but somehow disappear.
I really hope im wrong
iSkyscraper / March 22, 2013 at 09:24 am
The US federal government gave New York City $1.3 billion for the $4.5 billion first phase of their "DRL" (the Second Avenue Subway).

Toronto plays a similar role to New York in the Canadian economy. No reason it should not receive similar treatment.
Mar / March 22, 2013 at 09:30 am
The one thing this mayor has achieved is bringing out a mean streak from the 'bleeding heart left' we are generally an overly sympathetic group but we will definitely be relishing fords spring meltdown
Aaron / March 22, 2013 at 09:37 am
If the money is handed out on a per capita basis, Toronto would get about $1.2 billion over 10 years, which is just a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed. It's better than nothing, but the feds are still not stepping up when it comes to infrastructure investment.
Alex / March 22, 2013 at 09:42 am
I can't find the article now, but it did say specifically that some of the $14 billion was earmarked for transit. So we don't even need to make the national significance case, just apply for some of the transit money.

I think the Leafs were tired with the back-to-back games. They were great in the first, and then died partway through the second and at the beginning of the third. Carlyle is right that they need to work on conditioning. They just aren't fast enough and don't have enough endurance.
the lemur / March 22, 2013 at 09:49 am
Smooth move, Mr Mayor! Address a devout religious group who organized an event on something completely different, but change the subject to gambling (something they take a dim view of). My guess is it wasn't booze or drugs, just Ford's utter confusion at the concept of eruv and/or the Sabbath being on Saturday.
Mark / March 22, 2013 at 09:50 am
That number of dead birds is nothing compared to the slaughter caused by McGuinty's wind turbines.
Chris West / March 22, 2013 at 09:59 am
To those who read the Sun, have they always published stories like this about Ford? Maybe they've realized that he's an embarrassment to the right.
Mark's Agenda replying to a comment from Mark / March 22, 2013 at 10:02 am
Dodge the mistakes by the boss, distract with something completely irrelevant that beats up on hippies and drags out the name of a former premier. A good day's work.
the lemur replying to a comment from Mark / March 22, 2013 at 10:25 am
Got figures to back that up? No, of course you don't.
Weirdo replying to a comment from Mark / March 22, 2013 at 10:47 am
Funny how in other places in the world there are massive wind turbine farms and the people there have no problem. Usually because they are progressive forward thinkers who know the benefits of green power production.
But lemme guess, You are against nuclear, coal and gas power plants also? Or maybe you don't have a problem with them, just not in your backyard right?
The rest of the world is laughing at us while they progress forward with better energy, transit, building solutions.
Rafa / March 22, 2013 at 11:00 am
I wonder if an automated train would open doors in the middle of a tunnel. Hmmm....
E. Toby Coe replying to a comment from Rafa / March 22, 2013 at 11:15 am
Open the pod bay door, Hal.

Ferd replying to a comment from Alex / March 22, 2013 at 11:29 am
The problem is that Ford will actually have to step up and apply for the funding. I'll bet any money that he will refuse to do so, again citing his imaginary private sector friends who are lined up around the block waiting to build subways with not cost at all to the people of the city.

At least Stintz is stepping up and responding to the federal budget. Did anyone even hear a peep out of Ford about it?
mark replying to a comment from Weirdo / March 22, 2013 at 11:33 am
The birds in Spain seem to have trouble too.

Why are there no Wind Turbines near major cities? Why do only the rural areas have to deal with the health issues and dangers of these things? Toronto uses the most power. Toronto's lake coast should be filled with these things to power the city if they are so safe.
McRib / March 22, 2013 at 11:38 am
aren't more bird killed by domestic cats?


its the only way to be sure.
the lemur replying to a comment from mark / March 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm
Because wind turbines of the size needed to generate a decent amount of energy work best in open spaces without obstacles to wind.

There are no 'health issues', but yes, we should be putting them IN the lake.
Craig replying to a comment from mark / March 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm
Isn't there a very large turbine at the CNE grounds?

Hydro has been studying putting turbines on Lake Ontario, I don't know where that stands now though.
Robert / March 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm
When I read you comment about health issue from wind turbine I did some research. It appears that health issues is mostly ancedotal.
There is currently a lawsuit gogin on in regards to putting wind turbines in the lake off the shore of Toronto
You see there are nimby eveywhere it is not only a city porblem.
Make you post moot.
Try again.
Jacob / March 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm
The federal money will go for gazebos in Muskoka.
RobK replying to a comment from HAHAHA / March 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm
The money will be given to Conservative-friendly ridings. It's all about the photo-ops and big checks and making sure it looks like the gov't is doing something to build hockey rinks and all things Canadiana that have nothing to do with infrastructure. That's what happened the last time around with Economic Action Plan 1.0, it's not hard to think it won't happen under version 2.0.
Why we can't have nice things... replying to a comment from Weirdo / March 22, 2013 at 01:33 pm
By benefits I guess you mean taking your fellow citizens cash and flushing it down the toilet.

If "progressives" get their way we will all be broke...
Rob Can't read gud... replying to a comment from Robert / March 22, 2013 at 01:44 pm
Wind farms create more greenhouse gasses than they save:

Your post is moot. Try again...
Todd / March 22, 2013 at 01:46 pm
Calgary's totally going to get a subway before we'll get more lines. Bank on it.
the lemur replying to a comment from Rob Can't read gud... / March 22, 2013 at 02:14 pm
That's an article about wind turbines being built on peat lands. Do we have much of that here, as in Scotland? DIDNAE THINK SO.
Martian416 replying to a comment from Rob Can't read gud... / March 22, 2013 at 02:30 pm
That article about greenhouse gases ONLY applies to wind farms built on PEAT bogs. Not much peat around GTA. This isn't Scotland.

If subsidies to the fossil fuel and nuclear sector were removed, the renewable energy sector would not require any subsidies to be competitive. (source EWEA) In 2009 the oil sector received $1.38 billion in subsidies in Canada. And the nuclear sector received $321 million in 2009-10.
Go back to Mars / March 22, 2013 at 03:07 pm
Maybe we subsidize other forms of energy because they are much more efficient: like orders of magnitude more efficient. As in Ontario won't have rolling blackouts because the OLP hates the people of this province more efficient... but why listen to physicists when Premiers Mom & Dad know best...
Mark's Afternoon Agenda / March 22, 2013 at 03:55 pm
Check on blog comment sections, note that morning Agenda was completely successful by generating 12 comments about wind energy, a topic not even in the news today, while no further comments have been made about fat, boorish boss with intelligence of a sack of flour embarrassing city and office yet again. Chance of re-election creeps ever so slightly upwards. Now onto talking points for Sunday radio show...
Mike / March 22, 2013 at 04:08 pm
Go ahead downtowners and demand wind turbines are installed all along the lake front in Toronto. I won't hold my breath. Just like the Mississauga and Oakville power plants, you all want your electricity, just so long as the production of it harms other people and is no hindrance to your health or way of life.
vampchick21 / March 22, 2013 at 04:35 pm
stop talking about wind turbins and focus people. Our mayor apparently decided that the best spot in the world to win support for a fucking casino was at an Orthodox Jewish event intended to provide civic leaders with information. Orthodox Jews, who are no friends of gambling. The man has no sense of time and place.
Joe Smith replying to a comment from Mike / March 22, 2013 at 04:52 pm
Lastime I checked, this blog was called blogTO as in Blog TORONTO.
If you don't like it, go to Blog wherever the hell you are

Also, get your facts straight before you make an uninformed comment.
Our electricity grid is all inter-connected with almost every major city on the eastern seaboard, as you may recall the huge blackout and the size of it.
Not only do we supply ourselves with electricity, it gets spread around.
So the power that you are using to read my reply to your dumb post is quite possibly coming from somewhere in Quebec or somewhere else.
But i guess you don't have a problem with that right?
So pointing your finger at one city is quite dumb and ignorant.
Alex replying to a comment from vampchick21 / March 22, 2013 at 04:57 pm
How is that a bad thing? It just shows how dumb he is and that unless he can again get other people to back him and run his election campaign he will fail and we will hopefully get a competent mayor to replace him. We're stuck with him for 2 years, but at least he's so incompetent he can't really do anything bad in those two years.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Go back to Mars / March 23, 2013 at 01:33 am
Great essay. Unfortunately, we all know how people will treat nuclear energy, and also refuse to listen to science, even when it`s logical. Such is the way the times are.
Good point iSkyscraper... replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 23, 2013 at 08:32 am
...anyone have any ideas how we can convince the province/feds to pony up? Maybe we could see if "Canada's Economic Action Plan" could help?? (hahahahahahahahaha)
The Left Rises (albeit slowly)! replying to a comment from Mar / March 23, 2013 at 08:37 am
Yes, you're correct...the Left is working hard to close the Mean-Spirited Gap. We have a long way to go to catch up to the Right, but after having been under their jackboot for so many years, but we're cottoning onto their slimy ways and finally learning their most devious methods (see: Mark Towhey...who posts above as 'Mark')
see how Con Trolls control the conversation replying to a comment from Rob Can't read gud... / March 23, 2013 at 08:57 am
We were all talking about something that desperately needs our attention --TTC funding-- and the Conservative trolls on here successfully highjacked the narrative and we're all now talking about FLAP (a problem solved by shutting off lights at night) and 100% NON-issues like wind turbines (who other than complete morons thinks wind turbines are a bad idea--it's 2013 for cheesus' sake!!)

Ignore the trolls, or use one word replies to them and move-on.
Yet another attempt to derail the conversation replying to a comment from Mike / March 23, 2013 at 09:00 am
See?! If you're a left-leaning citizen, ignore bullshit like this and stick to substantive discussion.
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