Rob Ford Pan Am

Morning Brew: Funeral today for Sgt. Ryan Russell, Ford wants no more surprises from Pan Am Games, Chinatown thief sentenced, and the growing market of unpaid interns

An estimated 8,000 police officers and hundreds of residents are expected to fill the Metro Toronto Convention Centre today for the funeral of slain police officer Ryan Russell. A procession of officers and emergency personnel will begin marching southbound on University Avenue from police headquarters at 11 a.m., with the funeral cortege following half an hour later. The march -- led by Chief Bill Blair -- will slowly snake its way through downtown streets, arriving at the centre around noon (follow the link above for a diagram outlining the route). Lower Simcoe between Front Street West and Lakeshore Boulevard, along with Bremner Boulevard between York and Rees streets, will be closed in both directions all day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Toronto's contribution to the 2015 Pan-Am Games is now estimated at $96.5-million - up from $49.5-million in February, 2009 - and construction hasn't even started. But Mayor Rob Ford warned Toronto won't pay any more "surprise" costs for the Games, and the city's bill doubled only because "we had a gun put to our head" regarding losing the coveted swimming venue to the city of Markham. The Pan Am Aquatic Centre, which will be located partly atop the city's old Morningside dump next to the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. An old city dump--really? Would it really have been that bad to lose to Markham?

Remember the so-called Chinatown thief? The one who initially stole a flat of plants from the Lucky Moose grocery store in 2009, left, and then came back to steal again, only to be held and tied up by the store owner and two employees? Well, he was finally sentenced to four months in jail and barred for three years from the city's main Chinatown and Kensington Market (i.e. the area bounded by Queen Street West in the south, College Street in the north, Bathurst Street in the west and Beverley Street in the east).

The Canada Revenue Agency has yanked the charitable status of Toronto-based organization Operation Save Canada's Teenagers after an audit found "serious non-compliance with the requirements of the Act." The organization reported expenditures of $654,000 in 2006 and about $1 million in 2007, but the audit was unable to confirm if any of that money was for charitable activities. According to its website, the group was founded in 2004 and operates "a multicultural organization helping teens from different communities and background (and it) exists to assist teens not to fail in life by offering them an opportunity to fulfill their dreams in song writing, drama, rap/R&B dancing, sound controlling and DJs." Well, whatever it is, it sounds like one heck of a block party to me.

In this week's EYE, Leonarda Carranza explains why there is another reason to be paranoid about those pesky private settings on Facebook: identity theft. "Facecrook" reports on a Toronto woman whose identity was stolen via Facebook by her online doppleganger.


Photo by Bryan Guest in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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