Queen Street Toronto

Morning Brew: Ford would "manage tax dollars best," Hamilton defendant in Bubbles lawsuit speaks up, Peel officer released on bail, construction union supports Smitherman, man charged with stealing election signs

CP24 released further results today of a poll it conducted that show Toronto voters believe Rob Ford is the mayoral candidate who can "manage tax dollars best." Ford received 39.5 per cent of the vote in the poll commissioned by CP24, CTV and The Globe and Mail. The poll also showed Ford leading in this regard in every area of the city. Smitherman trailed Ford at 24.4 and Pantalone at 12.3 per cent. Asked if they were willing to pay more taxes for improved services, a majority said they were not, but the numbers were closer among Smitherman and Pantalone's supporters than among Ford's. CP24 claims the poll is the "most comprehensive in the election so far," with a sample size of 1000.

The Star has spoken with Todd Mara, one of the 24 people who commented on YouTube cartoons ridiculing Officer Bubbles and a defendant in the $1.2-million lawsuit filed by Const. Josephs over the "false and devastatingly defamatory" cartoons. Mara, a 33 year old father from Hamilton, says he stands by his comment that "officer bubbles probably looks at himself in the mirror a lot" and that he had forgotten about Bubbles until he received the statement of claim from Google, YouTube's parent company. "Now all of a sudden, Officer Bubbles is back in my life ... It's ridiculous." Josephs' lawyer says the officer and his family have received threats as a result of the cartoons; he added that the lawsuit's main aim was to have the videos and comments removed, and he doesn't know whether they will pursue the matter further.

Peel Police officer Sheldon Cook will avoid more jail time for now until his lawyers finish re-pleading his case in appeals court. Cook was granted bail yesterday after spending four days in prison. The suspended officer was released after spending the weekend in custody pending the outcome of his appeal of Friday's sentencing. Cook was sentenced to five years, eight months on several charges, including for fake cocaine being used in an RCMP drug sting. The fake drugs were traced to Cook by GPS. Cook has maintained his innocence, saying he has been setup by other officers.

The Central Ontario Building Trades, the union who represents about 60,000 construction workers in Toronto, announced it is supporting George Smitherman in the election. Joe Pantalone has traditionally been the labour candidate in this race, but the union felt that Smitherman had the best chance to be elected - the best chance to beat Rob Ford. Ford's promise to end Toronto's fair wage policy doesn't align with labour objectives, to say the least. "It would set us back a decade," says James St. John, business manager for the union. This seems to be just another development in a trend toward so-called "strategic voting." It remains to be seen if Smitherman can sway more of Pantalone's support and swing the election firmly in his favour.

A 29 year old man, Devon Shane Scott, is being charged after he was caught by police stealing 41 election signs for Trinity-Spadina Councillor Adam Vaughan from front lawns in the Dundas and Huron area just after midnight Monday. Police would not say which candidate the signs belonged to, but Vaughan confirmed they were his. He says he's not sure why he was targeted.

Photo by Jason Allies in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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