Toronto news

Morning Brew: Audit ordered for Ford's financing, Ward 9 will have by-election, school cafeteria food goes local, two TTC buses collide, BIXI Montreal gets bail-out, and the Jays beat the Twins

Looks like we're finally going to get to the bottom of Rob Ford's campaign financing as a full audit was unanimously voted Friday by a three-member city panel in response to an application by Toronto residents Max Reed and Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler. The request for the review focuses on Ford's family company, Doug Ford's Holding Inc., and whether any provincial laws were broken when the company paid more than $77,000 in campaign expenses. If an audit finds any wrongdoing, the committee ca ask the city to prosecute, resulting in penalties ranging from a fine to a removal from office. Ford's lawyer, Tom Barlow, says it's possible the mayor could ask the courts to overturn the committee's decision.

No big surprise here. The city said Friday it will not appeal a court-ordered by-election for Ward 9, and therefore might gain another ally in candidate Gus Cusimano, who the Mayor is supporting. His opponent, incumbent Maria Augimeri, had no comment. Councillor Adam Vaughan, on the other hand, thinks Elections Canada should run the by-election instead of the city clerk who he believes may have been "pushed around" by the Mayor's office. The by-election is to be held July 25.

School cafeteria food just got a whole lot tastier, thanks to chef Jako Lokker. The chef, who oversees Chestnut Residence at U of T, has converted 65 per cent of the food in his kitchen to nutritious local fare despite the budgetary constraints of a student's meal plan. By doing so, he is not only supporting Ontario farmers but he is changing the way institutional chefs create their menu. And apparently the kids love the healthy food and aren't missing their poutine either.

It seems his family situation stress is the reason why Vakhtang Makhniashvili stabbed three people last year. Mahkniashvili, the father of Mariam Makhniashvili who disappeared in September 2009, pleaded guilty earlier this week to three counts of aggravated assault. He will be in court on July 26 for a sentence hearing.

The BIXI bike-sharing program in Montreal has just received a bail-out of $108 million. Although the program is popular, the company was discovered to be running a $31.7 million deficit after a city-led audit in 2010. What this means for Toronto — if anything — is unclear, but should our bike share program run into similar trouble, one doubts that the City would be eager to fork over bail-out money.


Photo by Roger Cullman in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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