Toronto news

Morning Brew: TIFF has a bedbug problem, Candidates debate Toronto's heritage, Rocco's broken blender, Record heat today?

Rocco Rossi railed yesterday against the "four-year blank cheque" that is the current system for electing municipal officials. Rossi says that, if elected, he plans to institute a so-called "voter recall" system, citing his disappointment at the difficulty of disposing of "rogue politicians" in contrast to the relative ease with which one may "get rid of a broken blender." Rossi has lagged at or near the bottom of the polls; it remains to be seen whether promising voters that they can change their minds will convince anyone to take a chance on him. No word on what, if anything, broke Rossi's blender.

Torontonians got the "opportunity" (oh, joy) yesterday to hear the city's major mayoral candidates outline their plans for protecting Toronto's heritage. The debate was notable for including lower profile race-runners like Rocco Achampong, who argued that "spending is not the problem; priorities are." Moderated by former chief planner Paul Bedford, the debate saw Rob Ford reiterating his position that Toronto cannot afford "another million people," Joe Pantalone calling himself Toronto's "deputy mayor of heritage," and Smitherman pushing his newly-announced heritage platform, which includes what we've all been clamouring for - "heritage shopping districts." No doubt onlookers left inspired.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is investigating claims that it is the next high-profile victim of Toronto's bedbug problem. A movie-goer tweeted about a friend suffering bites to his "back, bottom, thighs" after a screening at Scotiabank Theatre. Festival co-director Camera Bailey responded by tweeting "Before bedbugs becomes today's meme: we're on it, we're talking to Cineplex & are planning for an itch-free (festival)," Cineplex says it is investigating the claim.

In Brief:

Monday was the hottest day of the year so far, but today could break a 37-year heat record if temperatures top 33.3 degrees. An extreme heat alert remains in effect.

Women's College Hospital will stop birthing babies in two weeks, when the last babies will be transferred by police-escorted motorcade to Sunnybrook. WCH is being overhauled as an ambulatory care facility, meaning outpatient treatment only.

Writing my Matthew Wooley. Photo by dzgnboy on Flickr.

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