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Morning Brew: Artist says his City-commissioned mural was painted over, former Humane Society president is defeated, City Council votes to restrict pet shops from selling "puppy mill" animals, cab drivers are upset, and our summer forecast doesn't suck

Looks like Mayor Rob Ford's "war on graffiti" misfired with this one. Artist Joel Richardson says a mural he was paid $2,000 by the City to paint has now been painted over. The popular mural on Dupont Street apparently was targeted because it was thought to be "unauthorized, uncommissioned, political and may have referred to (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper," said a city spokeswoman. Richardson claims that then-councillor Adam Giambrone asked him to paint the mural on the south wall of the underpass west of Lansdowne Avenue. Richardson had already spent 30 hours on the mural and had 10 more to go when he learned his art had been painted over.

That was a close one. Former Toronto Humane Society president, Tim Trow, and some of his associates were defeated from reclaiming control of the organization at a crowded annual general meeting last night. They were opposed by a slew of current board members, including president Michael Downey. Reporters were banned from the meeting, but apparently Trow and his team were booed when they stood up to speak. After the meeting, Downey said, "The membership spoke loud and clear tonight. They voted for the future and not for a return to the past."

Another pet cause created a stir yesterday when a Toronto committee voted unanimously to restrict pet shops to selling dogs and cats acquired only from shelters, humane societies and certified breeders. It's hoped that the move will restrict the number of animals raised by "puppy mills." The decision goes to a full council vote on June 14 and if approved, Toronto would become the second Canadian city to pass such a motion on pet stores.

The Toronto taxi licenses debacle got heated yesterday as angry drivers got into shouting matches with city councillor, Denzil Minnan-Wong (who was also apparently chased down a hall) at a meeting of the licensing and standards committee yesterday. The Ambassador drivers no longer want a two-tier system and have requested that the city to convert their licenses to Standard plates, but Minnan-Wong said they knew what they were getting into when they signed up for the Ambassador program. City staff have been requested to provide a format for public consultation on the reforms by the licensing and standards committee.


Photo by Christopher Brian's Photography in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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