News November 16 2010

Morning Brew: Ford wants more police, G20 constitutional challenge, Blair wants CCTV, charges dropped against printer

Mayor-elect Rob Ford reaffirmed his commitment to hiring 100 more police officers in Toronto, saying, "You really can't have enough police," in his first public comments since returning from a family vacation in Florida. He goes on to say that he's going to "turn over every single rock" to squeeze dollars out of Toronto's $9.2 billion operating budget because "the first thing I want to do with that money that we find is hire police officers." I wonder if there's any money to be "found" under those rocks for the TTC.

Jaggi Singh, a Montrealer and one of dozens of community organizers arrested even before last summer's G20 protests even began, has launched the first constitutional challenge against his bail conditions amid his co-accused. Singh's conditions for release include, amongst others, the inability to use any wireless device. Singh argues the arbitrary interpretation of his conditions, saying: "The transmitter on top of Mount Royal is the ultimate wireless device. Am I allowed to use a laptop with wireless Internet?'' I hate to kick a man when he's down, but I'm pretty sure the CN tower outranks Mount Royal.

And you can thank the G20 for another helping of Big Brother, and I don't mean the weird TV show. If you live on King West, then all eyes will be on you as Police Chief Bill Blair wants to acquire some of the CCTV equipment purchased for the G20. He cites the Entertainment District as a possible candidate for the electronic eyes on the street.

A lack of court resources has forced charges to be dropped against a former Toronto printer accused of bilking dozens of investors out of $27 million. Tzvi Erez was charged with fraud last year, with a receiver's report alleging forged invoices and orders, while the police claimed he was simply running a Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors said they risked prolonging the prosecution of violent cases if they were to pursue this complicated case. Note to white-collar thieves: the more "tricky" the case, the better chance you have getting off scotch-free.

Headlines glare that the Toronto Maple Leafs have" hit rock bottom". They're the middle of a losing streak, lines are being shuffled, players are being called up from the minors to shake things up, and management openly discusses about swinging a trade. This isn't now. It was then: 1967, in the midst of what would become the Leafs' last Stanley Cup-winning campaign. So there's still hope. Right?


Writing by Brianne Hogan. Photo by x3nomik in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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