Toronto News

Morning Brew: Rob Ford names arts advisor, cats rescued from the home of a Toronto Humane Society board member, Mike Colle has a new bed bugs plan, principal of Africentric on leave pending investigation

As the December 1 swearing-in of mayor-elect Rob Ford nears, municipal politics once again takes the lead in Toronto news (it's been a while it seems). Some of the more recent developments: although not yet formally announced, Ford has now selected most of his team, which features a number of right-leaning, suburban councillors (with the notable exception being Karen Stintz as the TTC chair). Also newsworthy is that the mayor-elect named Jeff Melanson, executive director of the National Ballet School, as his special adviser on arts and culture. And the Globe's Kelly Grant offers a glimpse at what may go down at the first real council meeting on December 16, which may include "axing the vehicle-registration tax, slashing councillors' office and staff budgets and possibly asking council to support "flat-lining" next year's budget."

More good press for the Toronto Humane Society comes in the form of news that about 50 cats have been rescued from the Hamilton home of one of its board members. The whole story is actually rather bizarre, with Ferne Sinkins (the board member in question) having made an arrangement with a 69-year-old retiree, Robert Gould, to take care of the cats in exchange for free accommodation. Apparently the relationship between the two deteriorated in May, which has led to the gradual decline in attention to the cats needs.

Liberal MPP Mike Colle has a new plan to battle bed bugs. Colle originally tabled a private member's bill requiring landlords to disclose infestations to prospective renters, but after getting feedback from the bed bug summit held in late September, he doesn't think this strategy is enough. Yesterday he unveiled a 20-point plan for dealing with these annoying little blood suckers that would see the problem tackled in a much more comprehensive manner. Plans like this are surely a necessary step in dealing with bed bugs, but funding needs to be secured to take concrete measures, and that's been hard to come by.

The principal of Toronto's Africentric school, Thando Hyman-Aman, has gone on leave while the TDSB investigates allegations against her. Although no details have been made public about the nature of the investigation, there's speculation that parents are concerned about curriculum and disciplinary matters at the school.

In brief:

Photo by Sally Hunter (gingermaddy) in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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