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Morning Brew: Doug Ford says big cuts coming in 2012, the province doesn't want the TTC, Pride needs to cut costs, Gretzky turns 50, and the Leafs lose again

Forget the 2011's operating budget -- Doug Ford's all about 2012. Smarting from criticism over Rob Ford's bulking up the civic work force, he says the city should "outsource everything we can," in 2012. "I probably had 10 times as many calls and emails saying, 'You haven't cut enough,'" he said. "'You're still hiring people. Where are the cuts?'" His answer to this: just wait. As soon as this budget is done, a thorough review of city spending will, with the help of outside experts, expose fat and services ripe for contracting out, he said. Oh, goody.

Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig confirms that the Ford administration has suggested the idea of "giving" the perennially cash-strapped Toronto Transit Commission to the provincial government's transit agency, but said it's not on the table. "Everybody is searching for different ways to try to achieve the end goal, which is achieving regional and local transit objectives and avoiding financial impact on the province," Mr. McCuaig said in an interview. "This has been one area that has been raised and our response back, after having consulted with the province, is we don't have a mandate to consider an upload at this time." So it's true: nobody wants to deal with the TTC's headaches.

Toronto's Pride parade is under pressure to cut costs. Pride Toronto's audited financial statements, released Tuesday, show the organization incurred a budget deficit of more than $430,808 for the year ending July 31, 2010, and burned through accumulated surpluses from previous years (which totalled $322,407), leaving it $109,401 in the red and reliant on bank credit to stay afloat. Although federal funding was cut, the organization's expenditures jumped as well. The need to get the books in order is made even more important by World Pride, a global festival Toronto is set to play host to in 2014.

The bizarro news story of the day comes from Barrie, where police found woman barefoot and pregnant, crying on her front porch beside a kitten with its head stuck in a can of Beefaroni. Officers took the kitten to the Ontario SPCA where the can was safely removed and the kitten is doing well. An 18-year-old Barrie man faces assault charges and police say the woman didn't require medical attention. I'm hoping the kitten willingly stuck its head in that can; otherwise being forced to eat Beefaroni is just cruel.

IN BRIEF:

Photo by MrDanMofo in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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