Toronto News

Morning Brew: The Panda saga continues, no charges for G20 police, Business Development Bank scam, Wellesley fire victims to be compensated

The "dream" of bringing two giant panda bears to the Toronto Zoo is closer than ever -- as long as the zoo can find a partner willing to chalk up between $8 million-$10 million. That's how much it would cost to design, build, and finance a panda exhibit. The board of management of the Toronto Zoo voted unanimously to Thursday to find a private partner to cover the costs of the pandas. However, they also gave themselves a three month deadline; meaning if the attraction doesn't find the money in time, the city could be on the hook for an $850,000 loan.

The Special Investigations Unit announced that police officers will not face criminal charges in connection with six men who were injured during the G20. However, there were "reasonable grounds" to believe the police used excessive force in two incidents that resulted in a man's broken nose and another who sustained a fractured bone under his eye. Though the SIU are unable to lay charges in these cases because the police officers couldn't be identified. Wearing a mask, a shield, and oh yeah, no name tag (which is supposed to be mandatory) makes that process a little difficult.

A senior loan officer for the Business Development Bank of Canada was part of a conspiracy that saw $16 million in loan money ripped off by a group of Toronto-area con artists, according to allegations filed in court. The loan officer in question, Paul Kirchner, was a vital piece in a scam that had at least 35 separate loans from the Crown corporation approved from 2006 to 2008. The loans were all bogus, according to a statement of claim the BDC has filed in civil court in an attempt to recoup money from Kirchner. Kirchner said he could not discuss the case, but that the federal bank was a "crazy place" and "there's a lot of messed up things happening there." Like trips to the French Riviera and tax havens in Caribbean.

In Brief:

Photo by Ian Muttoo in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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