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Morning Brew: Council OKs 2% property tax rise, Ford votes against own budget, TTC fires 8 enforcement staff, going for mid-rise, and taxpayers' group Twitter pulled

The first round of budget votes at city council took a bizarre turn yesterday when Rob Ford voted in favour of a motion that contradicted his own budget plans. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti's motion to freeze property tax rates and build a floating casino to make up the lost revenue garnered a "yes" vote from the mayor whose budget called for a 2% increase. The motion died, though, with only Ford, Frances Nunziata, and Glenn De Baeremaeker voting with Mammoliti. What are your thoughts on the tax increase?

The TTC has fired eight enforcement officers who it says issued false offense tickets for panhandling, loitering, and other offenses to members of the public with no fixed address. Five of the workers face criminal charges for obstruction of justice and fabricating evidence as a result. The fake tickets were likely a smokescreen for skipped shifts.

Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat says Toronto needs more mid-rise apartment buildings in all of its neighbourhoods rather than a cluster of extra tall condos in the downtown core only. In the latest in a series of articles from the Toronto Star, Keesmaat says 5-10 storey buildings are key to the city's success. Do you agree?

A Saint John man is angry with Air Canada over a Christmastime incident that resulted in his13-year-old son being left alone at Pearson for six hours. The airline put the plane's other passengers in a hotel for the night when after flight was turned back due to bad weather.

The Toronto Taxpayers' Coalition, a group advocating for a downtown casino to fund subway expansion, had its Twitter account suspended yesterday, possibly for faking a verification mark on its page. Metro's Jessica Smith noticed yesterday that a blue check mark reserved for major corporations and celebrities appeared on the group's Twitter account shortly before the micro-blogging site suspended access.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "Jesus Geese" by DdotG/blogTO Flickr pool.

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