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Morning Brew: City planner says Scarborough subway is risky, Star and Globe to defend Ford stories, mayor used city staff to grab sports gear, and Sam sign maker speaks

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 9, 2013

toronto tiffToronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat is worried the province's Scarborough subway plans don't fit with the city's broader transit plans. Speaking to the Globe and Mail, Keesmaat said the plan was simply a way to create a subway - any subway - from a limited set of funds and risks underserving customers with a limited number of stops. Is her assessment accurate?

The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star will defend their reporting of the Rob Ford crack tape story and an article it spawned before the Ontario Press Council today. The Star's original reporting of the attempt to acquire the alleged video and the Globe's profile of Doug Ford's as a hash dealer in the 1980s are the focus of the hearings. The mayor and his brother were asked to speak at the hearings but neither has responded. The council has no legal authority over the newspapers.

Rob Ford isn't happy about the upcoming appointment process that will replace former deputy mayor Doug Holyday. On his Sunday radio show, the mayor said it was "absolutely insane" that council opted not to hold a byelection in Ward 3. "This whole process stinks. I don't like it, I don't feel comfortable with it," he said.

Also in Ford, the mayor's office staff have taken back the football equipment his foundation tried to donate to the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The taxpayer-funded convoy grabbed the gear from Don Bosco this week, but spokesman Amin Massoudi said the staff were "volunteering."

The maker of the Sam the Record Man sign and the computer system that controls the lights on the outside of Honest Ed's says he is sad the famous neon records are is stuck in limbo. Jack Markle is one of 1,000 people who have signed a petition calling on the city to hold Ryerson to its end of the deal and hang the $16,000 sign on its new Student Learning Centre. "It would be a pity and a shame to have (Sam's sign) come down," he told the Star.

The Toronto MPP who claimed a $20,000 allowance for a second home in Niagara has quit as the PC's finance critic. Peter Shurman said his annual salary of $112,500 prevented him affording both homes without claiming the Niagara property as his primary address. PC leader Tim Hudak said Shurman didn't break the rules but expected "a higher standard."

Some nasty soil on the site of a proposed hotel at the CNE grounds is causing some trouble. An excavation found "petroleum hydrocarbons, volatile and semi-volatile compounds, and inorganics" that could cost up to $5 million to clean up. Festival Plaza is expected to be open in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games.



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

Image: mooncall2012/blogTO Flickr pool.



Dave / September 9, 2013 at 08:53 am
Hudak should appoint Doug Holyday to replace Peter Sherman. Doug brings credibility and respect that few in the province have.
Not_Applicable replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 09:01 am
The Ontario PC's should replace Hudak. Then they might have a credible candidate in the next election.
Dave / September 9, 2013 at 09:16 am
The only thing Hudak is missing is a big personality. He is modest and direct, the uninformed masses cannot deal with this type of polititian. The Ontario voter would rather have a polititian that is dishonest and vocal ala Dalton Mcguinty.
Stuart Smith / September 9, 2013 at 09:42 am
Like Dalton McGuinty had a big personality? Where were you for the last 10 years?
Dave replying to a comment from Stuart Smith / September 9, 2013 at 10:03 am
Stuey, the simple left lapped up everything the man said. You should know that.
Alex / September 9, 2013 at 10:41 am
A planning expert is being ignored by council and thinks their plan is stupid? What a surprise. It's not that Toronto doesn't have city planners, it's that council and the OMB ignore them.
Tax Payer / September 9, 2013 at 10:41 am
Love how our tax payer money is being used again to have his staffers do something football related. They volunteered bullsh!t no one volunteers in this day and age.
James / September 9, 2013 at 10:46 am
They should sue the Star and The Globe if they can't prove their rubbish. Tired of the press trying to be a politcal party and lobbying for and against political parties and politicians vs just honestly reporting the news.
Logan / September 9, 2013 at 11:00 am
I regret that I can't be there and see that some key questions regarding journalistic standards of investigation and analysis were discussed, before and after publication.

I have a feeling these questions will be swept under the carpet, superficial ones will be explored only, the Star reporters will be exonerated, and the matter will be as frivolously treated as it is in the typical remarks found over the months in the blogs and these comment sections.
jen replying to a comment from Logan / September 9, 2013 at 11:02 am
I'm sure Ford won't mind if you skip work to attend the hearing. It's not like you do much on the job anyways.
Jack / September 9, 2013 at 11:04 am
Funny the beloved right wingers Toronto Sun doesn't even have to answer to Ontario Press Council. And they print lies every single day, meanwhile everyone else does answer to them. And the right wingers are screaming for accountability of the press, hypocrites.
Jacob replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 11:08 am
The uninformed masses? Interesting to hear you say that. Are those the same uninformed masses (your so-called "majority") that voted Rob Ford in based on dishonest but vocal slogans?
Linda replying to a comment from Logan / September 9, 2013 at 11:14 am
I guess writing article after article on a politician with no back up might get you into a little trouble with some folks - the Toronto Star relies a lot on "anonymous" information for their articles - something I was taught in journalism school as being unacceptable.
iSkyscraper / September 9, 2013 at 11:18 am
Keesmaat for mayor.

Dave replying to a comment from Jack / September 9, 2013 at 11:18 am
Jack, maybe because the Sun actually has journalistic integrity. The Ontario Press Council does not just pull names from a hat to challenge the authenticity of the reporters.
Alex replying to a comment from Linda / September 9, 2013 at 11:31 am
As much as I like to trust the claims made by random people on the internet, it doesn't sound like you went to a real journalism school. No paper could do a serious investigation of anything and then publish the real names of all their sources, that's ridiculous. If you told someone you would be putting their real name in the paper they'd never give you information on anything that could potentially get them into trouble. The only article the Star wrote where the source was actually anonymous to the reporters themselves was the crack scandal, and they put in the story that they thought the people were shifty, but that the video did seem real. Did you go to the Sun's journalism school? It's easy to write for a paper that doesn't actually do investigations and just puts their opinions in the articles.

What exactly is hard to believe about any of the stories on Ford anyway? I don't understand why people think any of this is far-fetched. It's well known he does drugs and lies about everything, so what's so weird about him doing crack? His weight definitely makes it seem a bit odd, but if he ate enough junk food and did no exercise then maybe he could still stay like that and smoke crack.

Sorry for the long post, but it's just so tiring seeing all these conspiracy nuts acting like the Star has it in for Ford. They obviously don't because their articles just help to shore up his support. All politicians face this kind of scrutiny, just most politicians don't have as many scandals as Ford. Well, most Canadian politicians.
Linda replying to a comment from Alex / September 9, 2013 at 11:39 am
The Toronto Star has complaints against it for the non-stop battering of the Ford family? Say it isn't so. Even funnier is that the people of Toronto put up with the lousy government they have provincially and sinking into HAVE NOT status yet they are consumed with Rob Ford at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. Priceless!
James replying to a comment from Alex / September 9, 2013 at 11:46 am
He made the TTC essential which is a victory for commuters despite what you think.
Not sure how cutting a tax is regressive but the VRT was a new tax Miller imposed as another of many tax grabs so keeping miore $ in your pocket most would approve of.
Most of his gaffes are the press hounding him relentlessly and lefty nut jobs trying to sue him and losing.
Not_Applicable replying to a comment from James / September 9, 2013 at 11:59 am
The press hounds him relentlessly because he's too much of a coward to take questions from the press on a regular basis. Part of his job is to answer questions - whether you think certain news organizations or biased or not is besides the point. Unfortunately, the only thing Ford is self-aware of is his inability to put words together to form a coherent sentence.
IP Check / September 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Can we get an IP check on some of these posts? Looks like Dave is posting under multiple names again.
Not_Applicable replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm
"The Ontario voter would rather have a polititian that is dishonest and vocal ala Dalton Mcguinty"

What I want, actually, or what I wanted, was a suitable opponent to McGuinty. Nobody doubted his untrustworthiness, and yet he still handily defeated Hudak. What does that tell you?

Hudak’s campaign sent out flyers telling parents McGuinty was forcing their children to participate in gay pride parades at school.

Personality isn’t his only problem. Harper barely has one and he’s finally got his majority.
Linda replying to a comment from Alex / September 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm
When the issue at hand is an extraordinary claim, the simple dictum which every university student (let alone journalism student) should know by 4th year, that

'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'

should hold.

Otherwise, their papers and essays come back with C's and C-'s and lots of red ink on the argumentation defending their thesis-statements

I don't expect the average Ford opponent to think at the mayor of one of the largest cities in N. America, with good performance marks having been reported in the Star and G&M themselves by recognized objective measures would be smoking crack on a regular basis with the underworld of that city to be an 'extraordinary claim'.

Of course not, since circular reasoning enlightens his or her soul blindingly: the video shows Ford did thus smoke crack. "What more evidence do you need?!"

I hope the press council is motivated by something a bit better than that sort of logic, but I'm not expecting miracles.
Dave replying to a comment from IP Check / September 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm
Actually I have been quite silent yet again on this. Not every point that you do not agree with is Dave. Get a life, it appears that the silent right is starting to be vocal again.
Jack / September 9, 2013 at 01:17 pm
"Jack, maybe because the Sun actually has journalistic integrity"

HAHAHAHAHAHA thanks for the laugh buddy, that made my afternoon.
Dave replying to a comment from Jack / September 9, 2013 at 01:24 pm
Do you not find it odd that the Sun is not getting raked over the coals right now but your beloved Star is?

Running any story based on a single source is a breach of responsible reportage. Running a single-source story accusing a sitting mayor of criminal behaviour, especially one against whom the media outlet has had a long history of personal attacks, smacks of the worst abuses of yellow journalism.

Of course, this is the Star, and their partisan attacks on anyone right of centre are obvious and routine; they just don't care to apply common journalism standards to themselves.
IP Check replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 01:34 pm
No, only the really dumb points are Dave.
Logan replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 01:57 pm
Press privileges and responsibilities go hand in hand, and in this case the Star jumped right across the most basic rule of journalism by publishing without corroboration.

Having done so, the Star has gone from their standard leftist agenda-journalism to propaganda in one easy step.
Jack replying to a comment from IP Check / September 9, 2013 at 02:02 pm
Adam H. replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 02:12 pm
Dave, the Sun isn't up in front of the OPC because they quit that particular body and have decided to forego accountability.
Dave replying to a comment from Adam H. / September 9, 2013 at 02:20 pm
If you can't see the leftist slant of the media which is unionized then that is your problem not mine. THe NDP violarted their electon spending limit by $300,000 and all the papers could write about was Rob Ford and the $3,000 he raised for his charity with an accidental letterhead which he was cleared of.
The reporting does not go the other way. Read anything nice about Harper vs the adulation for Trudeau which is daily fodder.
Logan replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 02:30 pm
Yes, especially Royson James and the two "award winning and reputable journalists" who claimed they had seen the video. The news rag (Star) and their people, cheered on by activists and leftists have been thinking they are almighty for too long.
Sigh replying to a comment from Linda / September 9, 2013 at 03:01 pm
From the Ethics Guidelines for the Canadian Association of Journalists: (

"We normally identify sources of information. But we may use unnamed sources when there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity, the material gained from the confidential source is of strong public interest, and there is no other reasonable way to obtain the information. When this happens, we explain the need for anonymity."
Linda replying to a comment from Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 03:03 pm
Just because the Mayor didn't respond to the Stars so called 14 chances , doesn't make him guilty of anything.We all know and it is a known fact that the Toronto Star has had it in for Mayor Ford from the beginning.They have constantly made up stories about the Mayor in order to try and make him look bad.The Star is guilty of this and should be held accountable.This smear campaign that the Star has waged against the Mayor needs to stop. The two reporters who claimed to have seen this alleged video lied about the whole thing. The Star needs to come clean about this.
Alex replying to a comment from Linda / September 9, 2013 at 03:17 pm
What smear campaign? They've just been reporting what he's been doing. By that logic they've been running a smear campaign against the Provincial government because of all their ORNGE, Gas Plant, Seniors Care Facilities, and OLG investigations (and those are just the ones I can remember). Were they running a smear campaign against Giambrone when they reported how he cheated on his girlfriend and made him drop out of the race? Were they running a smear campaign when they kept running stories about the various illegal/immoral activities of that guy who ran ORNGE?
Sigh replying to a comment from Linda / September 9, 2013 at 03:28 pm
There's a reason I use the name Sigh here. Your response clearly illustrates that.

What does the Mayor's lack of response to the story prior to publishing have to do with the statement I posted from the Canadian Association of Journalists regarding the use of anonymous sources? It's a totally different thing. My post did not imply in any way, shape or form that the mayor was guilty or not guilty, just detailing the CAJ's Ethic Guidelines around unnamed sources, something you were derying as shit journalism in your post, which I was responding to.

Start responding to what was actually said to you and not what was not said.

In short, you claimed journalists are to never use unnamed sources, I provided existing guidelines with the CAJ that says when and where they can and exactly how they should handle it.

The rest of your hysterics don't even warrant a response at all. Stick with the discussion at hand.

Shirley replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 03:28 pm
WOW what a way to spew a bunch of nonsense and avoid the topic all together. Good job Dave.
To Dave/Logan/Linda and any of his other personalities I missed replying to a comment from Linda / September 9, 2013 at 03:31 pm
No different then what the Sun did to Miller, including making him in a Hitler cartoon. Sun & Levy went after Miller for years, but now it is time for a right winger get chased around by the press and they are all up in arms. Suck it up Buttercup.
Linda replying to a comment from Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 04:12 pm
Why isn't the OPC releasing the names of its members? And who really believes that the Star and the Globe aren't in ecstacy over this "investigation" by a council of lefties and former union leaders. How else can they continue to promote their agenda without being liable for a lawsuit? So don't be fooled - this is just a sham - and again, who is going to investigate this Ontario Press Council? Who pays them? Surely not us, the overworked least I hope note.
Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 04:40 pm
You do know that OPC has a website, right? Type Ontario Press Council in the magic Google bar and enjoy.

But I should also point out, again, that your response to me HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I ACTUALLY SAID YOU FREAK SHOW.

Speak to me about what I actually posted regarding unnamed sources in journalism, not about hysteric claims of evil leftist agendas and precious taxpayer dollars.

You made a claim about the use of unnamed sources in journalism, I posted factual information regarding the use of such and the guidelines. You have yet to actually speak to that.

Dave replying to a comment from To Dave/Logan/Linda and any of his other personalities I missed / September 9, 2013 at 04:40 pm
You guys really slay me. You compare one cartoon that a freelance cartonnist drew for the Sun and the barrage of attacks that the left wing press has push on Ford as equivalents?
What a joke.
PS: I am a singular personality. If you think that I could write in so many different styles you must think that I am the most talented guy in the room.
But with that said, I am the most talented guy in the room.
So, Thank You. I will give myself a huge pat on the back. LMAO
Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 04:43 pm
hint - OPC is voluntary. No waste of extra special, super duper taxpayer dollars worth more than gold itself!

Seriously, fucking address what I original said above about unnamed sources or find someone else to annoy.
Alex replying to a comment from Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 04:50 pm
Hmm, Dave might be Linda based on the style of post. Dave is a paid shill and that's why he usually just posts unrelated things as a "rebuttal", and it looks like Linda is using the same tactic. Best to just ignore him/her if they just want to post unrelated conspiracy theories.
Linda replying to a comment from Sigh / September 9, 2013 at 04:52 pm
The Ontario Press Council? Another bunch of self serving journalists who pretend that they are upholding journalistic standards by being anonymous and unaccountable.
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 9, 2013 at 04:58 pm
The Sun had it in for Miller throughout both his terms, and Levy still can't get enough of criticizing him for, of all things, his hair colour.

Donato is not freelance - he still has a contract with the Sun. They paid $400 for his feeble premise that since Miller did not want to re-open the debate on re-appointing Fantino (consult Google for the background on the PSB and Norm Gardner's conflict of interest), well, then Miller must be at least as bad as Hitler! Exaggeration, much?

'Linda' is either you or someone who does a very good imitation. The former seems more likely, given your habit of changing usernames on Torontoist.

Most talented guy in the room? Most pompous ass, maybe.
Dave replying to a comment from Däve / September 9, 2013 at 05:25 pm
Wrong yet again. You are just a lab rat that I continue to experiment with. On Donato's own website, he states he is a freelance cartoonist for the Sun. Lets face it you are so beneath reality.
This is too easy.

Logan / September 9, 2013 at 07:14 pm
Attacking someone based on 30 year old allegations made by some anonymous drug dealers. A new height in Thomson Globe journalism.

Stackhouse got rightly reamed out by Howard Kurtz on CNN Reliable Sources in June for using such unreliable sources. Oh, but we "even had our lawyers sit in on some of the interviews" chirped boy-editor. You could see Kurtz's eyes roll with that one. The Globe went quiet after that interview. The press council is too easy an out for Stackhouse. Thomson is rightly embarrassed and should fire the fool, and Creepy with him.
IP Check replying to a comment from Logan / September 9, 2013 at 08:20 pm
Seriously, IP Check on Dave/Logan/Linda etc.

Or just get disqus already.

I thought BlogTO had appointed a community manager?
Matt replying to a comment from IP Check / September 9, 2013 at 08:47 pm
Does it matter that much? Considering BlogTO has at least one "Writer" using 5 plus different names, who cares?
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 10, 2013 at 09:15 am
You're too stupid to be allowed in the lab.

If he were truly freelance he would be drawing cartoons for publications other than the Sun. I bet you can't name one.

The whole freelance/contract basis thing is just a way to say retired but still working, or semi-retired. Most likely some kind of tax thing.
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 10, 2013 at 09:27 am
And that's not 'his own' website, but not surprising you're not smart enough to realize that.
Sigh replying to a comment from Linda / September 10, 2013 at 09:37 am
You are an idiot. A complete and total idiot.
Mississauga Phil replying to a comment from Sigh / September 10, 2013 at 10:25 am
He is....he really really is
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