Kensington Market Toronto

Morning Brew: Ootes wants to sell off 900+ single-family homes, G20 police officer identified, councillors walk out of zoo board meeting, and Air Canada employees threaten to strike

Case Ootes really wants to go out with a bang. Ootes, who is set to leave his post as the lone TCHC ranger next week, has recommended to Mayor Rob Ford that he sell off all the agency's single-family homes to help solve an estimated $650-million repair backlog. Ootes estimates the sell-off could raise more than $400-million. But apparently Ford thinks the money could be spent elsewhere, like, say, the city's looming $774-million deficit. The mayor did concede that "some" of the money could go to repairs, but that they'd "have to see." Ford's comments and Ootes' proposal sets the stage for what critics have long feared and predicted: the eventual dismantling of the affordable-housing agency.

The Star reports that the police officer who allegedly hit G20 protester Dorian Barton with a riot shield and baton, has been identified as Constable Glenn Weddell. Weddell, who works out of 11 Division in the west end, is the officer at the centre of a Special Investigations Unit probe which has been a source of a public feud between the Toronto Police and the civilian agency.

Talk about having an elephant in the room. Two city councillors walked out of a zoo board meeting yesterday over a dispute on how to evaluate new homes for Toronto's elephants. Councillors Gloria Lindsay Luby and Paul Ainslie refused to vote on a motion that would have allowed Councillor Raymond Cho to go on an all-expenses paid trip to PAWS, an elephant sanctuary that's not accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, in California. Lindsay Luby argues they should pay their own way; Ainslie is afraid Cho will be lobbied. Sounds like they're just jealous.

Air Canada customer service and sales staff are threatening to strike Monday night if the airline doesn't make key concessions, such as a change to pension plans for new hires. For its part, the airline says it will implement a contingency service to minimize the impact on customers if the two sides fail to agree.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is certainly the case for Richelyn Tongson, the ex-nanny of former MP Ruby Dhalla. A judge has told Tongson to accept the $5,000 settlement--the same deal she rejected a year ago because of a gag order. Tongson accused Dhalla and her family of abuse, a battle that began two years ago. Under the deal, Tongson cannot talk of her three-month experience as a nanny in the Dhalla household.


Photo by yedman in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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