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Morning Brew: Operation Traveller warrants stay secret for now, Ford takes credit for unemployment drop, city asks for subway cash, and judge to rule on Ikea monkey

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 13, 2013

toronto courierIt could be a while before the police search warrants issued for the Project Traveller raids see the light of day. A judge yesterday said he wouldn't release any information before Sept. 20, if at all. Lawyers for eight media organizations are fighting to have the warrants released to see whether there is evidence Rob Ford is linked to members of the Dixon City Bloods gang. Lawyers for the defence are worried releasing the details could prejudice potential jurors.

Rob Ford is taking credit for a drop in Toronto's unemployment. The monthly, seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was 7.1% in August, down from 10% at the same time last year. Ford said the drop was "proof that my administration is on the right track" but didn't point to any specific policies that may have caused the change. Cllr. Adam Vaughan accused Ford of taking credit for policies created before his term.

The city has submitted papers requesting $660 million from the federal government for the Scarborough subway extension. City manager Joe Pennachetti sent the letter yesterday morning and a detailed report is due Oct. 4 in time for the Oct. 8 city council deadline to secure funding for the subway. If the money isn't found in time, or other forces derail the project, the line will revert back to an LRT.

A woman accused of throwing a cup of juice at Rob Ford at the Taste of Little Italy Festival is due to appear in court today. Twenty-seven-year-old Shannon Everett is charged with assault over the incident that allegedly took place with the mayor was walking among a crowd.

A judge will also decide the fate of Darwin the Ikea monkey later today. Owner Yasmin Nakhuda has been arguing for months that she should be allowed to retain custody of the little snow macaque, which made headlines during an escape in December. Darwin is currently being looked after at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland.

Cllr. Adam Vaughan wants Toronto to set up its own version of the Ontario Municipal Board for minor variance issues. Currently, the provincial body has authority over small issues in Toronto. Vaughan says a recent case in Harbord Village that went against the city was the final straw. A section of the City of Toronto Act would allow the proposed change.

A G20 police officer has been found guilty of assaulting a protester. A judge ruled Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani used excessive force arresting Adam Nobody on June 26, 2010 at the Ontario legislature, tackling and striking him repeatedly with a baton. "A police officer is not entitled to use unlimited force to effect an arrest," Judge Louise Botham said in her ruling.

Some good news for the TTC. Its renovation of Victoria Park station, which features a green roof, bike parking, and barrier-free entrances, won an Urban Design Award for public buildings Wednesday. Awards aside, the interior tiles still say "CTORIA PARK" where the new windows have been punched out.


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

Image: Andrew Badgley/blogTO Flickr pool.



Stu / September 13, 2013 at 08:24 am
Drug dealer bursts into your home and threatens to kill you: You ask that they be set free.

Yoga instructor throws juice at you in Little Italy: You press charges.

Doesn't make sense to me, maybe I'm missing something?
David Miller's Legacy is STILL being felt / September 13, 2013 at 08:32 am
Dear David,

Thank you for creating such a vibrant city and local economy that Toronto weathered the 2008 recession better than most cities around the world, and carried that momentum through to where we are today. You put us in such a rock-solid standing that even a monkey could have piloted the city since you left and we'd still be going strong and picking up new jobs. So credit where credit is due, my man...good work!
Dave / September 13, 2013 at 08:45 am
It is clear that Ford's policies are working, those same people reaching for straws and proclaiming this to be a benefit of Millers legacy negate to point out how unemployment is only starting to come down. The city is becoming vibrant again albeit slowly. Taxes are lower, the city is safer and cleaner since Rob Ford came into office.
Kudos to you Rob.
Dear Project Traveller Judge / September 13, 2013 at 08:46 am
Dear Your Worship,

Thank you for stalling on Project Traveller and letting our Mayor be Mayor a little bit longer. He means well, and he's kinda a good guy, but we don't really have anything else for him to do, and you know how excited he gets about wearing the mayoral chains and sitting behind that big desk and playing with the ceremonial pens all day. He also really likes fire engines and choo choo trains, but I digress.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is if you could drag your feet just a wee bit longer, we'd all really appreciate it here. It's gonna be SOOOO hard when we tell the Big Guy we aren't allowed to sit in his big leather spinning chair anymore, so if you could wait until winter arrives, maybe then we can distract him with snow forts and hot chocolate.

Most Sincerely,
The Mayor's Closest Advisors
David Miller's Legacy is STILL being felt replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 08:51 am
Nope, sorry Dave. Yer fulla sour grapes this morning, and wrong from head to toe. Again. Must be bitterly hard to accept the reality that much like Harper surfing the benefit of Martin's shrewd stewardship for 3 years, Ford owes literally all his success in office so far to one David Miller. Full stop.

We can't help it if you're so myopic that you can't see it. You have our pity though, so that's something, right?
matts replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 08:54 am
I like to think the sun rises each day because of Rob and each morning I thank him profusely.
G20 Cop Beats Someone and Gets Charged?!?! / September 13, 2013 at 08:56 am
Am I in Wonderland? Or maybe Oz? Is this Upsidedown Day?

How could it be possible in Toronto that a cop beats someone senseless and actually has to atone for his crime? What is this city come to...I don't even recognize it anymore. certainly couldn't have been Rob Ford's doing...he bends so regularly for the Toronto Police Services you'd think he was origami.
Adam Vaughan -- our new hope? / September 13, 2013 at 08:59 am
Brilliant idea of the day award goes to Adam Vaughan...why didn't someone think of it sooner to create a made-in-Toronto version of the OMB??? Someone give that man an election.

Seriously though, this city has been screwed by the OMB for two decades (minimum), and no one is happy with them. If we're big enough to be a city-state, then we're certainly big enough to separate from the province where planning decisions that affect us directly.
Dana replying to a comment from Stu / September 13, 2013 at 09:08 am
seriously, eh? either his priorities are dramatically different than most folks or, more likely, we don't know the whole story, and the dirty details will all come out in the wash. it's all so gross.
rm / September 13, 2013 at 09:16 am
Dear Dave,

Please find some gainful employment other than being on your knees in front of our mayor in service to him 24/7 (although the lies that he continually speaks seem difficult to swallow) Apparently, considering the lengthy time you spend commenting on BlogTO pieces tells me that when it does come to occupations, swallowing what the mayor spews out seems your top priority each day.
CW / September 13, 2013 at 09:26 am
The unemployment rate should really be broken down by FT and PT at the least.

As it is, a 0-hour contract is considered employed.
Michael replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 09:26 am

Every day I eat a bucket of chicken in the hope that one day I can be just like Rob Ford!
Dave replying to a comment from Dana / September 13, 2013 at 09:51 am
So, when Ford is exonerated because your so called details do not exist, will you believe it or will you still think it is a conspiracy?
the lemur replying to a comment from Stu / September 13, 2013 at 09:59 am
Charges dropped. Defendant denies accusation, Ford not pursuing it.
the lemur replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 10:00 am
No, because Ford will not be exonerated. The details do exist. The cops have Ford on tape and it is very incriminating. Just a matter of time.
Dave replying to a comment from the lemur / September 13, 2013 at 10:11 am
The whole reason that nothing has surfaced is because there is nothing to surface. I laugh hard everytime I hear these George Noory type conspiracies surface. Remember the loud moan that we all heard in the city when no video ever came to light?
The same moan will occur when this whitch hunt ends in its inevitable failure.
Thank you for this mornings comedy blurb.
mike / September 13, 2013 at 10:14 am
Conflict of interest trials, substance abuse and public intoxications putting Toronto on the map since 2010!
Dave replying to a comment from mike / September 13, 2013 at 10:24 am
Due these stories that the Star continues to fabricate without any substance (pun intended), the Star actually reduces their losses in the past year. It leads you to believe that garbage journalism does sell.
tommy / September 13, 2013 at 10:29 am
Can someone tell me what policies Ford implemented to lower unemployment? I can't think of anything, and assume it was just because the market as a whole has been recovering - nothing specific to Toronto. This kind of BS rhetoric is why people are so disillusioned with politics.
the lemur replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 10:34 am
No, it's because the investigation is not over yet.

I have no idea who George Noory is, nor do I care.

There was no loud moan, because the video has not surfaced yet. It will. The noose is tightening.
the lemur replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 10:37 am
The fact that even the Sun agrees that Ford's issues and staff turnover are a distraction and that he needs to shape up tells you that they know something is up, but they're not in on the story.
Jahn replying to a comment from tommy / September 13, 2013 at 10:45 am
You are correct, joblessness has fallen in most cities in Canada, regardless of who is in the Mayor's chair. In our case, an empty Mayor's chair with a deep indent from the weight of whoever sat in it last. Bottom line: Ford can not claim any responsibility for the new employment rate.
Dave replying to a comment from the lemur / September 13, 2013 at 10:47 am
The further away from the initial accusations, the more the uneducated masses are starting to understand that the Star story was nothing more than a story.
The public wants to know why the Star keeps fabricating these stories and how they can afford a hired staffer to follow him 24/7.
Me replying to a comment from Stu / September 13, 2013 at 10:49 am
Nope. You got it right. Cops kill wannabe Gangbanger asshole and people protest for the punk's "rights" Sad society when threatening people with a knife is "expressing oneself". And of course if anyone had kicked the shit out of the scum, THEY'D get charged with assault.
Bit of a tempura in a teapot, if you ask me / September 13, 2013 at 11:07 am
Uh, Dave...I think you mean George NORI, inventor of the toasted seaweed wrapper.

And WHO CARES what he thought about anything, the man smelled like fish!

(my work here is done)
michael / September 13, 2013 at 11:35 am
LOL watching Ford's little speech about the employment numbers you could tell even he did not believe what was spewing out of his sweaty man baby pie hole
the lemur replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 11:36 am
No, there's more to it than what people think the Star story is. It's about more than the crack video now. The Star didn't fabricate anything - it's all there in the police evidence files - and they don't need to hire someone to follow Ford. Ford does a pretty good job of visibly incriminating himself, including blurting out, in a meeting, the hitherto unknown address of the place where the supposedly non-existent tape could be found.

You think it's just about a video, but there is now also audio of Ford conspiring to commit a crime.
Daves Mom / September 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm
It was really Dave that spilled the drink on Ford and they blamed the nearest lady who was walking by. This is why the charges did not hold up in court.
Todd replying to a comment from Me / September 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Well, a derp-a-derp-a-derp to you too.

The Velcro on your sneaker is unfastened. You should take a few minutes to correct it and leave conversations for those of us who don't drool when The Rock's theme music starts.
Me replying to a comment from Todd / September 13, 2013 at 01:33 pm
What's this Rock? Some Hip Hop person you kids like?
Dave replying to a comment from the lemur / September 13, 2013 at 02:10 pm
Prove that the Star did not fabricate the story. The FACTS as we know it are, Star makes up a story about a video, Star cannot validate its story, Star gets called on ir reporting ethics.
If I missed something, please let me know. Until then if you honestly believe that Ford is on tape conspiring to commit a crime, you are on the crack that you accuse him of smoking.
Chief Blair would have brought tampering charges against Ford if there was any evidence of him breaking any law.
Geoff / September 13, 2013 at 02:13 pm
Come election time, nobody is going to want to be affiliated with Ford, either to finance or campaign for that lazy, lying crackhead. It's all gonna break before the next election. Trust.
the lemur replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 02:52 pm
It's not a 'fact' that the Star made up any story about a video. There is a video, it was offered to several media outlets, it is being kept safe.

I already told you: the police have audio evidence from their wiretap operation. It's about drugs, but not about using.

So that's two pieces of evidence that the cops have. Not things you think the Star made up.

Tampering charges have nothing to do with it.
Dave replying to a comment from Geoff / September 13, 2013 at 02:58 pm
I am not sure if gullible or stupid fits you better.
Geoff replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 03:25 pm
Neither fits, I am a critical thinker.

Posters to this site shouldn't suffer personal attacks when you disagree with them, though it's a sign of your weak-mindedness.

BlogTO should ban abusive posters.
Me replying to a comment from the lemur / September 13, 2013 at 03:37 pm
And seeing this written as "fact", how do you know these things? Read it on BlogTO?
Dave replying to a comment from Geoff / September 13, 2013 at 03:48 pm
I will lead on the side of gullible for you but anyone who calls someone a name like "crackhead" is not a critical thinker. It seems you are lead by the uninformed masses.
Snowball's chance in a G20 Cop's Heart / September 13, 2013 at 04:36 pm
Hey Dave...

Curious what you had to say about Matt Elliott's piece on Ford's chances: (

I know you hate to read, so the jist of it is that in recent polls by Forum Research, Ford’s downtown support in hypothetical races against a variety of opponents was universally bad. His best showing is 22% support, but he only gets to that level in a hypothetical one-on-one race against arch-conservative Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong. That would be kind of like an inverted Sophie’s Choice for a lot of voters.

His worst showing comes in a poll about a hypothetical four-way race between Ford, Olivia Chow, John Tory and Karen Stintz. In that configuration, Ford only manages to get 12% support downtown.

Universally folks would agree these are terrible numbers, and they make Ford’s path to victory much harder than it was in 2010. Except Dave. He's still playing Charlie Brown to Lucy Van Pelt, still trying to kick the football, and always landing flat on his back, muttering "wait'll next year...".
Dave replying to a comment from Snowball's chance in a G20 Cop's Heart / September 13, 2013 at 04:52 pm
Is that the same Matt Elliott who attempted and failed at challenging the $1 billion dollars Ford has saved Toronto.
I know that recollection for you is challenging but if you can dig really deep you will know that Ford did not have much support from the South of Bloor. There was not much of an expectation that it would change in 2014.
With articles like that it appears Matt Elliott is doomed to be stuck writing for low level rags. Maybe the Star can find a position for him as that appears to be his life goal.
PS; polls mean nothing at this point, they are only made to get the weak minded like you excited....LMAO
Dr. Acula replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 04:58 pm
Dave, I know you've been done work for an hour, but I have to point out a slight inconsistency with your moral judgement. Here's a couple of your quotes that stood out as quite hypocritical.
Dave Replying to Geoff...
"I will lead on the side of gullible for you but anyone who calls someone a name like "crackhead" is not a critical thinker.

Six comments before, you had this to say.

Dave Replying to Lemur...
"If you honestly believe that Ford is on tape conspiring to commit a crime, you are on the crack that you accuse him of smoking."

Although you don't use the phrase "Crackhead" technically, it would be parsing words to say you weren't implying the same thing you apparently detest.

I don't expect a response from you, but hopefully this will help you stay on message.
Part of me thinks you're getting tired of this. I know taking $126,000 of the taxpayers money can't be easy for you to justify, and you've never earned that much in your life. You attacked your new vague position with the determination (And intellect) of a pit bull, but your bite has weakened amigo.

I say take two weeks off (For real, not like when you were suspended), and after that decide if you want to be a troll. I don't think anybody here would object to you taking a break for a while. Just tell your boss you were combative, insulting, and difficult all day, It's not like Doug Ford reads this blog anyway. Thoughts?
Dave replying to a comment from Dr. Acula / September 13, 2013 at 05:08 pm
By implying that a person has consumed an illicit drug, is not the same as labeling a person as an addict. I know that to differentiate is difficult for you to do, but you do call yourself doctor.
Regardless of "what you say", this blog needs a voice to represent the truth.
To conclude, I appreciate your advice doctor, but you really are coming across as quite a quack.
Nick replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 05:24 pm
It's not only Matt Elliot who's questioning Ford's $1 billion fantasy claim. It's Marcus Gee at the Globe and Mail on July 1st, and City council itself. Further, Ford lies about having reduced the City's debt when he's actually increased it, @Dave. Look it up. But go ahead and continue to believe you're right.
Dave replying to a comment from Nick / September 13, 2013 at 05:51 pm
Nick, I realize that it is a simple concept, but did you not even realize that not ONE economist challenged Ford's claim? When I interviewed Kory Kroft and asked him directly about Ford's statement, he assured me that he did not do the exact math, but the claim is about accurate when you take in all the parameters involved. A bit of research would not hurt you.
Tempest in a double-breasted, methinks replying to a comment from Dave / September 13, 2013 at 06:43 pm
Uh, Dave...I think you meant when you "interviewed Korry's Clothiers", purveyor of fine menswear.

And WHO CARES what they think about anything, they advertise on that fossil 102.1 The Edge, fer cryin' out loud.

(my work here is done)
Me replying to a comment from Tempest in a double-breasted, methinks / September 13, 2013 at 07:33 pm
True. What they think is about as relevant as what BlogTO says.
Obvious Question of this Young Century replying to a comment from Me / September 13, 2013 at 09:02 pm
Then why are you even commenting? Or reading. Or even here?

No matter how you reply, you've painted yourself into a corner, and have demonstrated yourself to be a profound moron. And I didn't even have to lift a finger.

(my work here is done)
Matt replying to a comment from Obvious Question of this Young Century / September 13, 2013 at 09:54 pm
Because it's entertaining to see how stupid people are, such as yourself.
Matt = Me = Dave (= Boring) / September 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm
Don't you have better things to do on a Friday night? I'm serious. What with TIFF or Beer Week or the Ukrainian Festival or god knows how many other amazing things there are to do in this amazingly vibrant city of ours.

Hell, I HAVE no choice in the matter to troll this site so late on a Friday, what's your excuse??
Tim replying to a comment from Matt = Me = Dave (= Boring) / September 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm
I usually come on here check out the posts just killing time, its abit early. Then around 1-2am Friday when the bars have got out I go onto the chat lines or call a phone chatline.
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