toronto store

Morning Brew: Rob Ford defends casinos in open letter, Pebbles the dog saves doctor, Little Italy shooting tied to Vancouver hit, more CCTV, and pesky beetles are dead

Rob Ford has released an open letter advocating for a casino in Toronto, calling the chance to build a major gaming facility a "golden opportunity." The letter, which starts "Dear Friends," was released this weekend ahead of a report by city manager Joe Pennachetti. Ford says the casino could create thousands of jobs and that "this opportunity shouldn't be judged on emotional or partisan rhetoric, but on facts."

He concludes saying the "$150 million" he expects for the city could be used for transit. The subways planned for Toronto typically cost between $1-3 billion. Is Toronto really missing a trick?

The Toronto senior doctor plucked from a ledge in an Arizona canyon this weekend says the experience was "quite an adventure." Dr. Elise HĂŠon, the chief ophthalmologist at Sick Kids, became trapped while on a hike without warm clothes or water. Her cries were heard by a local dog named Pebbles, whose owner called for help. HĂŠon says she didn't bring her cellphone because she thought she wouldn't have reception.

The Star has an interesting feature on a long-lost study into the effects of marijuana that never saw the light of day. In 1972, a group of 20 young women were thoroughly analyzed while smoking the drug at a downtown hospital in an attempt to determine the long-term health effects. So far, the report hasn't been released.

Looks like there could be a link between last summer's Little Italy shooting and a similar mob hit in Vancouver. Police believe both shootings were organized by 25-year-old drug lord Rabih Alkhalil who is wanted across Canada. Alkhalil is currently in jail in Greece awaiting extradition.

There will be more eyes on the streets of Weston in the coming months now Toronto police have confirmed they'll be installing two new CCTV cameras at Lawrence and Jane and Weston and Pine. The cameras are the first to be installed outside the core since 2007. Does more surveillance reduce crime?

The Asian long-horned beetle, terrorizer of maple, birch, elm, poplar and willow, is toast, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The invasive creatures damaged trees in Toronto and Vaughan and were the subject of a years-long eradication scheme that involved cutting down more than 30,000 trees across Canada. The pests were last detected in 2007.

IN BRIEF:

FROM THE WEEKEND:

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

Image: Jared Krause/blogTO Flickr pool.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in MB Toronto

Morning Brew: Councillors say Fords are in conflict over sewage spill, PCs pitch relief line, TTC driver under fire, Presto likely delayed, and local moonshine hits LCBO

Morning Brew: Daniel Dale libel suit to proceed despite apology, communication system hobbled TTC Monday, more snow is due, and Ford (plus council) dances again

Morning Brew: Daniel Dale to proceed with libel action, fresh snow makes for sloppy roads, Mammoliti billed $25K for office renos, and council meeting ends in chaos

Morning Brew: Karen Stintz to step down as TTC chair, Rob Ford busts a move in church, Conrad Black hits out, and effigy burnt in protest at Queen subway shooting

Morning Brew: Doug Ford sorry for handing out cash at TCHC complex, Rob Ford silent on Daniel Dale libel suit, and NDP leader calls for Nelson Mandela station

Morning Brew: Integrity commissioner declines to probe crack scandal, reporters, a few councillors attend Ford's xmas party, and motion could re-open subway debate

Morning Brew: Mammoliti event under investigation, Fords should leave police budget talks, report calls for GO trains over relief line, and Rob Ford claymation

Morning Brew: Ford says Bill Blair politically motivated, cop sentenced for G20 assault, TTC free on NYE, tears at Const. Zivcic memorial, and a Winston Churchill statue