Morning Brew: First transit tax vote due today, RCMP busts alleged terrorist plot, city throws away $500K in sanitizer, saving the Bluffs, and a Rob Ford cartoon
Rob Ford's executive committee will consider a report calling for several new transit taxes later today, but it's expected the mayor and several of his closest allies will reject the idea. If the report fails to pass the executive level it could be shelved indefinitely. Is it the group's duty to kick the discussion up to city council?
The RCMP has foiled a plot to blow up a GTA-bound Via Rail train and arrested two people, one who was living in Toronto. Mounties say a specific route - possibly between New York City and Toronto - had been targeted by terrorists but not a specific train. The Toronto suspect, Raed Jaser, is originally from the United Arab Emirates and living in Canada legally, according to The Canadian Press. He's expected to appear in court later today.
The city spent $53,750 washing its hands of $500,000 worth of expired sanitizer this year. The product was meant to be used with other emergency medical supplies in the event of a viral outbreak, but it expired in 2012. Other cities used up their stockpiles to prevent wasting money. What could the city have done with the expiring antibacterial product?
The city is busily propping up a large stretch of the Scarborough Bluffs in an attempt to prevent the geological wonder from crumbling in to Lake Ontario. The city paid $6.5-million for the beach at the foot of the bluffs and promised to build erosion defenses to help the homes above. Access could be several years away, though. An two-year environmental assessment needs to be completed first.
Toronto's job scene is in rude health, according to the city's latest Economic Dashboard report. The jobless rate is at its lowest level since 1990, and that's without casinos. Hooray for jobs.
Also in good economic news, the city's film industry is posting record numbers. That's right, Toronto is so good at pretending to be cities in the United States it's now a billion-dollar industry. Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim was the biggest film to be partially filmed here in 2012, topping Total Recall from the year before.
Finally, Rob Ford is now a metaphor for poor career moves. Job listing site Workopolis is running a cartoon of Toronto's gaffe-prone mayor piling face-first into a CityTV camera on its latest set of newspaper adverts. Ouch.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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