Toronto Mural

Morning Brew: Ontario budget offers little for Toronto, pop cans stay in vending machines, Doug Ford rips on the Star, and the Leafs slim playoff hopes are still alive

There wasn't much for Toronto in Ontario's newly announced budget, but City Hall was content that little was cut. No city-centered programs were lost and, most importantly, transit funding didn't take a hit. There was, however, one cut Toronto-specific cut worthy of mention: the cancellation of construction on a $181-million Toronto West Courthouse slated for the old Westwood Theatre--a site the province purchased from the city, promising a criminal court would go up in five years.

Councillor Doug Ford had a busy day yesterday. First, he consumed a lot of sugary beverages, including a Coke and then a Pepsi to make his point that a government should not be telling people what to drink. "Once you get rid of all the sodas and the water, are you going to go after my butter tarts downstairs, too?" he asked members of the government management committee. Apparently, butter tarts are a beverage. Well, his talk of "socialism" and "big brother" worked anyway because the committee rejected the proposed ban of soft drinks in parks and recreational facilities.

But Doug Ford wasn't finished. Speaking at the city's government management committee, questions over possibly restricting journalists' access to City Hall got personal when he ripped the Star and their "ruthless" reporting tactics. He blasted the newspaper for filing what he deemed too many freedom of information requests and for what he called "stalking" his 76-year-old mother for a story. The committee was discussing a change in which accredited media, who rent offices in City Hall, would sign in like the general public and be escorted to councillors' offices.

Plans for an Africentric school at Oakwood Collegiate have been postponed due to outcry from the community. At a special meeting with both officials from the Toronto District School Board and members of the community, much public feedback was given about the new school. Many said the plan would segregate the school, while others liked the idea to combat the high drop-out rate for black students. But the board decided to defer a decision until the public could be consulted further.


Photo by Dwallis in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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