Toronto Environmental Alliance

Morning Brew: Toronto Environmental Alliance says City won't save much with private garbage collection, questions surround Ford's wine and cheese event, the Taliban releases video of captured Toronto man, and are Toronto cops worth it?

The Toronto Environmental Alliance will release a report today that says the city is overestimating the savings from the privatization of garbage collection. The fittingly-named report, "Look Before You Leap," argues that the proposed 4.2 per cent of the new contract that would be spent on supervision and administration isn't enough. The group says, "academic studies show governments should spend about 20% of the cost of a private contract to properly monitor the company and ensure it delivers the promised services," adding that to achieve the level of savings claimed by the city is to cut down on monitoring costs, which "could put our service at risk."

There's some controversy brewing over Mayor Rob Ford's "complimentary" wine and cheese party that was held a week prior to his announced mayoral bid. The event was billed as celebration of his ten years in public service, but turned out to be a kick-off ceremony to his campaign, where people were urged not to just volunteer but to contribute cash via sign-up sheets on their way out. Ontario election laws give Toronto mayoral candidates a $1.305-million cap on what they can spend on their election campaign, exempting fundraising events. However, the event must be billed as a fundraiser in order to be exempt. The donations for the wine and cheese party were excluded from Ford's total campaign spending. So the question is: was this really a campaign event or a fundraiser?

This week's political panel over at the National Post discusses Toronto Police's new contract and big raise, and asks some tough questions like: was it right that the CIty remained quiet about the raise, and maybe most importantly, are they worth it?

The Taliban has released a video of captured Torontonian, Colin Rutherford. The former University of Toronto student says that he went to Afghanistan to visit historical sites, but was quickly captured by the Taliban as a spy. In an email accompanying the video, the Taliban threatened to put Rutherford on trial for espionage if Canada does not meet its demands. Rutherford was captured in February. It's unknown when the video was shot.

IN BRIEF:

Photo by MSVG in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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