Morning Brew: Rob Ford was briefed on Porter's plans, weather is bad, more "no" casino votes, Wynne hints at transit tax preferences, and Toronto gets virtually nuked
Rob Ford was briefed on Porter's airport expansion plans several months before this week's official announcement, but the meeting was not recorded on the lobbyist registry, according to the Globe and Mail. The "high level" meetings with Robert Deluce, the airline's CEO, in February and March covered the company's plan to run jets out of Billy Biship. Porter Airlines said the fact the meeting wasn't reported was an "administrative oversight."
The wild weather is here. Last night there were power outages in the northwest of the city between Bathurst and Keele and the Scarborough RT was temporarily closed (full service has now resumed.) The weather is expected to stay ugly through today but flights and schools are running as normal.
Coun. Gloria Lindsay Luby says she'll vote "no" on a Toronto casino, bringing the camp against a major gaming facility close to a majority. Luby, who represents Etobicoke Centre, says she's listening to the opinion of her constituents by throwing her support behind an expansion of the Woodbine Slots. Is there a chance some of the other Etobicoke councillors - the Fords, Doug Holyday - are ignoring some of their residents?
Though it might be moot, Oxford Properties has made its case for a casino at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The group delivered a presentation package to members of city council yesterday, outlining how their proposal is the best way for the city to add convention space, something it apparently lacks. The group also says its proposal will add more jobs than a casino at the CNE. Given the choice, is this the better option?
Premier Kathleen Wynne is hinting she might not be behind a property tax hike to pay for the $2 billion of new transit needed in the GTA. In an interview with the Canadian Press, Wynne said the property tax base cannot pay for all of the transit infrastructure that's needed in the GTHA ... we need a dedicated revenue stream other than that." Should transit taxes target road users only?
For the masochists among us, here's a chance to see the Toronto skyline getting nuked in simulated 8-bit glory courtesy of Ubisoft's new shooter Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. The game, developed in Montreal, opens with a nuclear disaster befalling the continent with Hogtown firmly in the epicentre. Ouch, guys. [via Reddit]
Finally, the Toronto Sun's Mike Strobel isn't pleased about all those darn cyclists riding around the city now the weather's improving (today excluded.) He complains, trolling of course, that the city is building a "spa" for cyclists, later invoking George Orwell's 1984. The brainless rant caught the attention of UK Guardian writer Oliver Burkeman for its lack of original gripes. He's got a few new ones the anti-bike lobby can use.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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