Postal Strike Toronto

Morning Brew: Ford's missing expenses, City takes over Casa Loma, McGuinty wants a refund for late GO trains, David Miller lands a new job, and Canada Post is on strike everywhere

Being frugal is one thing; acting fishy is another. An investigation by the Globe and Mail of Mayor Rob Ford's office budget has found discrepancies in official expense disclosure documents that raise questions as to how Ford pays for his routine expenditures, including office supplies and his mobile phone. A section of council's expense policy clearly indicates councillors are to publicly disclose such expenses, but it doesn't make the clear distinction between a councillor and a mayor. For Ford's first three months in office, he apparently only spent $1,700 in expenses, also reporting he hasn't used any personal funds to cover further expenses.

Not surprisingly, the Ford brothers think the renaming of TTC stations is a good idea. The mayor says he supports it, and councillor Doug Ford went so far as to quip: "If it brings in revenue, I honestly don't believe anyone cares." TTC chair Karen Stintz said it's still unknown what possible partnerships with corporations would look like but that it's unlikely a station's name would be replaced with a corporate entity, and the name would have to make sense with its location. That's a relief. But try telling that to councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong who thinks putting Cadbury and Sugar Beach together is a good idea.

The city has officially taken over Casa Loma and is now considering its options for the majestic castle, which include putting it up for sale. After council mutually agreed to transfer management to a city corporation, Mayor Ford said, "I think Casa Loma is something that we eventually have to sell." The trouble is, despite its $20-million renovation, the old castle is still, well, an old castle, and not the hot tourist spot of its heyday.

This sounds nice. Premier Dalton McGuinty is suggesting that GTA commuters could get a $20 refund if their GO train is more than 20 minutes late. Sure, McGuinty is floating around this $7-million idea in anticipation of the upcoming provincial election but a service guarantee would be appreciated by the thousands of people who rely on it everyday.

After you run the city of Toronto, where do you go? Back to school, of course. Former Toronto mayor David Miller has been named Future of Cities Global Fellow at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, a small engineering school in Brooklyn, an off-shoot of Manhattan's NYU campus. Miller's duties will include lecturing, course design and "strategic" roles in course study involving city infrastructure and economic, environmental and social sustainability. Despite his new job in the Big Apple, Miller intends to remain in Toronto full-time.


Photo by AshtonPal in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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