Toronto City Park

Morning Brew: City to shut down 21 citizen-dominated committees and the a la carte program, Doug Ford calls Waterfront Toronto a "boondoggle," Charlie Sheen's tour hits Toronto, and the Raptors go out with a whimper

It was a busy day yesterday at City Hall. First, the Ford administration pushed to to scrap 21 citizen-dominated committees that advise city council on cycling to pedestrians to tenant defence. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said the advisory committees are too expensive for Toronto to handle in light of next year's $774 million budget deficit. But critics are accusing the City of making an undemocratic move of shutting out people who disagree with their politics since the committees in jeopardy are made up of volunteers and have no budgets.

In other shutdown news, senior City staff also recommended to council that Toronto's "a la cart" program should kick the bucket immediately, mostly because it failed to "meet its program's objectives." It concludes the troubled program that was launched in 2009.

And, in case you haven't gotten your fill, Doug Ford has a few more sound bites this week. The Etobicoke councillor called Waterfront Toronto "the biggest boondoggle" that the federal, provincial and city governments ever created. It seems the Ford administration is sticking to their guns about selling some of the city-owned land that was tasked to the agency. "You don't subsidize the most valuable property in Canada, to a tune of $10-million an acre. You let the private sector buy it and let them develop it," said Mr. Ford. In another interview, Waterfront CEO, Joseph Campbell, hit back by saying "what I find amusing is that people say we're going too slow, but damn it, you got to do this right. You've got to do the proper procurement, you can't just call somebody up and say start digging the hole."

He's here, the Winning Warlock himself. Charlie Sheen's "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour hits Massey Hall tonight, where he's expected to appear onstage with his "goddess" girlfriends, followed by what he calls a "Sheen-ius" after-party at the club Muzik. Talking to KiSS 92.5, Sheen also said he will honour a request from a North York widow Wendy Newman, who asked on Facebook if her favorite actor would raise a glass to honour her husband if she brought his ashes to the show Thursday. Sheen said "that has to happen." Tickets are sold out tonight, but there are some available for tomorrow's show if you want to witness the train wreck in person.

Maybe some would call it Playing Devil's Advocate, but in this week's EYE (soon to be called The Grid), Josh Dehaas presents an argument favouring Ford's plan to extend the Sheppard subway with private money by comparing the success of other slick railways in Vancouver and Taiwan that profited from the private sector.


Photo by Schemering in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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