Morning Brew: KPMG says get rid of pet licensing and business permits, Doug Ford accused of bullying, the Toronto fire department doesn't get many calls about fires, Ontario has new divorce rules, and get ready for a hot and humid week

They're really getting down to the nitty-gritty in the fifth report reviewing the city's core services. Next on the chopping block: sacking business permits that "do not clearly serve a public service" (so looks like no more ping pong clubs and bowling alleys) and getting rid of pet licensing, as well as delaying response time for emergency animal rescues, which is just plain cruel. The remaining reports will be released over the next three days. Look for the most contentious one to come out on Thursday.

Well, I can't say I'm all surprised about this. City Coucillor Doug Ford is being accused of bullying and intimidating library board vice-chair Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, whose complaints regarding the campaign expenses of Councillor Ford and three other city councillors will be reviewed by the City's compliance audit on Wednesday (an audit of Mayor Ford's election expenses has already been ordered). Chaleff-Freudenthaler alleges that Ford said he "should be careful because what goes around, comes around." If we're using irritating cliches, how about: can't we all just get along?

The city's fire department attends more medical calls than fire emergencies. Last year, only 1 per cent of about 150,000 recorded incidents were fires, compared to a half-century ago when 50 per cent of calls were fires. Nowadays, fire trucks are attending more medical calls and are usually first on the scene. How these stats will play out when it comes to the recent suggestion that fire and ambulance services should amalgamate remains to be seen.

Starting today, those looking to get divorced in Ontario must attend an info session on alternatives to going to court and will even have the option of having a mediation session before getting divorced. Who knows? Maybe after all that togetherness, people will wind up staying together. Or not. At least you won't be burdening the court system, which is the province's goal.



An earlier version of this post indicated that the City's compliance audit committee had ordered an audit of Doug Ford and three other councillors' campaign expenses when in fact the committee will convene on Wednesday to decide whether to proceed with such action.

Photo by louise@toronto in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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