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Morning Brew: Boardwalk Pub owners sue Rob Ford, Smitherman's 40 Tories, new G20 suspect photos released, McCallion inquiry hears new evidence, Bautista ties home run record

The Foulidis family, owners of Tuggs Inc. and operators of the Boardwalk Pub, is taking Rob Ford to court. George Foulidis and his family found themselves at the heart of a core election issue after they secured an exclusive 20-year contract to continue operating their establishment in the Beaches. Ford's now-infamous comments included saying that the contract "smacks of civic corruption" and telling reporters, "I wish you guys knew what happened behind closed doors." Seeking an apology and an admission from Ford that these allegations were baseless, Tuggs will sue for damages should he refuse. The family is holding a news conference outside the restaurant this morning and has challenged Ford to attend with evidence. Rob Ford? Attendance? Evidence? I'm going to say... nah, not gonna happen.

Nearly forty Conservatives, both provincial and federal,nhave signed their names to an open letter entitled "Why We Support George," an endorsement of mayoral candidate George Smitherman. It's a pretty loud move by Smitherman's camp - at least it's intended to be - since he is a Liberal and all the signatories are, well, Tories. The letter tries to use the ideological difference to great effect, opening with the statement "We're conservatives. He's a Liberal," and saying of Smitherman, "He's tough. But he's fair." It goes on to say that he "is the only candidate who has said it's the mayor's job to create the climate where businesses will thrive and jobs will be created right here." I mean, let's face it - no doubt many of us (perhaps dozens even!) have just been waiting for someone from Mike Harris' government to weigh in on this election.

CTV reports that new photographs of suspects wanted in connection with the G20 protests have been released by Toronto police. The CTV article also rather confusingly says that although some photographs show suspects whose names have already been released, "investigators are still requesting the public's assistance in identifying them." In any case, the pictures can be seen (as a PDF) here. There always seems to be something alluringly strange about these photo arrays: So few are captured in the moments of reckless violence we expect to see. The contemplative melancholy of Unknown #14; the hard, disembodied, bizarrely plastic wrapped face of Unknown #17. Er... Maybe I just need to stop staring at them.

New testimony in the McCallion inquiry was heard yesterday from Murray Cook, a shareholder in Peter McCallion's development company, which contradicts evidence already presented. Cook told the inquiry that, to his knowledge, Mayor Hazel McCallion did not help push the $14.4-million land sale, and had no involvement in the business of her son's company. Cook called the mayor's role that of a "peacemaker" who simply helped facilitate the city's plans for a hotel complex on the land. "Was the mayor involved in the purchase agreement?" the inquiry asked Cook. "(There was) no involvement," he said.

In Brief:

Jose Bautista tied the Jays' club record for home runs last night, making it his 47th home run and bringing Toronto's streak to 17 consecutive games with at least one homer.

A Rexdale public school, Elmbank, went from 26 per cent of Grade 3 students achieving a passing grade in provincial math tests to 86 per cent in just one year; reading, 32 per cent to 59 per cent; writing climbed to 76 per cent from 44.

Richard Peddie, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, wants Toronto's next mayor to give citizens a new vision for the city - "something seen in a dream."

Photo by Brian.Nguyen in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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