Jameson Avenue Toronto

Morning Brew: Rob Ford kicks off his campaign, mistrial declared in Jordan Manners case, Pan Am Games another Transit City cuts victim, Daniel Katsnelson sentencing hearing, why do the Leafs play so well in March?

Rob Ford kicked off his mayoral campaign last night with a party in Etobicoke attended by approximately 1600 supporters. But that's not what Ford would have you believe. According to his version of events, 5000 people packed the Toronto Congress Centre to hear him deliver his platform and criticize David Miller. His brother Doug, who's managing his campaign, had the number at around 3000. There's no doubt Ford brings some spice to the race to be Toronto's next mayor, but it seems he's having difficulty with accuracy and playing by the rules.

A mistrial has been declared in the Jordan Manners murder case. With reports coming yesterday that the jury was deadlocked, the judge decided to release them after four days of deliberation. Numerous reasons have been offered as to why the jury could not reach a verdict, including two key witnesses changing their testimony.

Another victim of the recently announced cuts to Transit City funding is the Pan Am Games. Organizers, you will recall, were promised that all venues would be accessible by rapid transit. And with Vancouver coming off what's been widely considered a successful Olympics, the worry is that, as provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath puts it, Toronto's moment on the international stage will be known as the "Gridlock Games."

One of the more horrifying quotations to be found in the news today comes courtesy of Daniel Katsnelson, a former York University student convicted of raping two female students in 2007. Already an emotional day on account of the young women reading their victim impact statements, the courtroom was shocked to hear what Katsnelson told a probation officer in an interview prior to his sentencing hearing. According the officer "[Mr. Katsnelson] states he hopes some day the victim will be able to take away something positive from this, as he has...maybe she will know to keep her doors locked." I don't think any pithy comment from me is required to confirm how problematic and depressing such a statement is.

We're nearing the end of March, and as has become tradition, the Leafs are playing great hockey. And though it's mostly for nothing, both supporters and critics seem to be optimistic about the future and Dion Phaneuf's role in leading the team to respectability. Chris Bosh, on the other hand, is feeling the heat. But, hey, there's always more pressure when you're team is actually in a fight for the playoffs.

Photo by arcticlamb, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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