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Morning Brew: Police met with Ford staffer over alleged tape, Fords blast media, Chow keeps poll lead, Metrolinx readies transit tax report, and Toronto wants bike lanes

There's been a new twist in the tale of Rob Ford's alleged drug video. The Globe and Mail is reporting Toronto police spoke with a senior Ford staffer away from city hall over the possibility the alleged tape could constitute evidence in a murder case, and that it "originally belonged to an individual who may have been killed for its potentially valuable contents."

A photo published with the Gawker story appears to show the mayor with murder victim Anthony Smith. The Globe's source also claimed to know where the video was being held.

Rob and Doug Ford hosted their first weekend radio show since separate drug allegations published by two Toronto newspapers forced both of them to make statements this week. Rob Ford called the local media "bunch of maggots" over their reporting of his alleged drug video, claiming "journalism has sunk to an all-time low." How do you think the press has handled the Fords?

Meanwhile, Gawker's "Crackstarter" campaign is just $17,000 away from its goal with just under 24 hours remaining. The site has expressed fears they may not be able to purchase the tape even if they raise the full $200,000. The owner of the tape has "gone to ground," they say.

Say what you like about Rob Ford, the guy's practically Teflon - nothing sticks. A new poll shows despite allegations of drug use, the mayor's prospects at the next election are unchanged from several weeks ago. The latest figures show he'd still lose in a two-way race with Olivia Chow by around the same margin (roughly 20% of the vote.)

Metrolinx will release its final report on transit taxes later today, recommending the province adopt a 1% sales tax, 5-cent/litre gas tax, and a 25-cent-per-day non-residential parking levy. There would also be a 15% rise in development charges. The taxes would cost the average household $477 each year. The province needs to raise $2 billion each year to finance new transit and relieve crippling congestion.

Finally, 70% of Ontarians think the province should invest in more bike lanes, according to a new survey. The Share the Road Cycling Coalition found 71% of Torontonians would like Metrolinx to include funding in the Big Move for active transportation, like cycling and walking. Should the province raise funds for new bike lanes?



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

Image: Dominic Bugatto/blogTO Flickr pool.

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