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Morning Brew: Ford audit expected today, mayor asks staff to sign in, Ikea monkey ruling due, rat infested store to re-open, watering the plants, and a Robocop sale

Rob Ford (and the rest of us) may find out the results of an audit into his campaign finances today. If the document finds Ford broke the rules during his successful run for mayor in 2010 it will be down to the city's compliance audit team to decide whether to pursue non-criminal charges against the mayor. Down the road, if it's proved Ford breached the Municipal Elections Act in court, he could - yep, you guessed it - be removed from office.

Also in Ford, it turns out the mayor has been asking his staff to sign in to work since the summer. As Don Peat at the Toronto Sun says, Ford's policy for his thirteen-member team came into effect just weeks before the mayor was criticized for skipping out of an executive committee meeting to coach his high school football team. The sheet explains signing in will help Ford's executive assistant know "where staff may be during the business day."

So yeah, the Ikea monkey lady is still kicking around. Yasmin Nakhuda is fighting the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland for custody of the rhesus macaque that she says she was mislead into handing over. In court yesterday, Nakhuda's lawyer called a witness that could "speak macaque." A judge will rule on the case today.

Looks like someone expects the Ikea monkey to make a run for mayor when his court case is done, according to a sticker seen by Reddit user RaffyGiraffy.

Two Kensington Market stores closed due to severe rodent infestation will be allowed to re-open shortly. Wanda's Pie in the Sky and New Seaway Fish Market were closed by Toronto Public Health after a Reddit user posted a photograph of three rats busily chewing through a food package in full view of customers. The market received a conditional pass at its last inspection but had failed to prevent the infestation spreading.

You may remember during the last civic election that Rob Ford repeatedly cited the cost of watering the plants at city hall as a major cog in the so-called gravy train. Turns out, not so. The Grid's David Topping has dug up the dirt (sorry) on the real cost of keeping City Hall verdant.

GO transit riders will be a little lighter in the pocket this morning. A new year fare increase of between 35 and 55 cents came into effect today, though the rise will be lower for Presto users.

Finally, today is your last chance to snap up Robocop movie memorabilia at Pinewood Studios. A team of movie industry workers who didn't want to see the props from the recent Toronto-shot remake end up in a landfill are selling the items off at 225 Commissioners Street today. A second Total Recall event will take place on Feb. 13 to 15. Cash only.


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

Photo: "Masts" by Empty Quarter/blogTO Flickr pool.

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