Morning Brew: All eyes on Rob Ford amid stunning new allegations, no charges yet, scandal biggest Canadian story this century, and Kelly wants to wait on island jets
Toronto is still digesting the latest round of revelations from that damning police ITO last night. Among them, reports Rob Ford was blackmailed and allegedly offered $5,000 and a car in exchange for the crack video. In another incident recorded by police, people close to Ford traded 1.5 kgs of pot for the safe return of his stolen cellphone. The mayor has not responded to the latest allegations, none of which have been proven in court.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Bill Blair is still refusing to say whether the allegations in the ITO are enough to charge the mayor with a crime. Councillor Adam Vaughan said Blair needs to say why there appears to be "two sets of rules" in the case. Speaking yesterday, Blair said the decision to lay charges lies with the investigators.
Once a stalwart supporter of Ford, the Toronto Sun's editorial this morning is evidence of the mayors dwindling number of backers. "What it all suggests, at a minimum, is that Ford no longer deserves to be the mayor of Toronto. Not now. Not ever," it reads. And yet he remains.
Toronto's biggest political scandal is also the biggest Canadian news story this century, according to new media-monitoring figures. Ford's screen time, calculated in terms of ad space, was worth $1.1 billion globally, says Influence Communications. "It became a social phenomenon.... It's truly exceptional in terms of coverage," the company president told the Canadian Press.
Rob Ford's public apology for smoking crack is No. 2 on Time magazines top apologies of 2013. Paula Deen's mea culpa for using a racial slur is top.
Before the latest documents dropped, Rob Ford met with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly for the first time since council voted to take away many of his powers. The pair discussed Porter Airlines' plans to fly jets out of the island airport. Kelly is in favour of waiting until January to make a final decision while Ford wants to push ahead.
Front Street is so called because of its former location on the Toronto waterfront. Over the decades, the shoreline has shifted south with infilling. This great little graphic, shared on Reddit, perfectly illustrates how Toronto's waterfront has moved since 1818.
Finally, in case you want to hear Rob Ford talk NFL predictions, the mayor will be on on Sports Junkies, the morning show on Washington D.C.'s 106.7 The Fan around 8:40. Ford is a life-long Redskins fan, and no, he doesn't think the name should be changes just because it's a racial slur.
- TTC chair urges fare deal for riders also using GO [Toronto Star]
- Rob Ford-themed Christmas cards sent out by Toronto law firm [Globe and Mail]
- Jeffrey Baldwin's grandmother denies responsibility in his death video [CBC News]
- Three suspects sought in Rexdale murder investigation [Global News]
- Pedestrian killed near Yonge and Steeles [CBC News]
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.