Morning Brew: The Ford plot thickens, a birthday cake protest, options for council, Don flood shuts down DVP, meet Peter Russell, and another weird Taiwanese video
Rumours continue to circulate this morning about alleged behind the scenes moves in Rob Ford's office in the hours after the Gawker story broke. It's reported David Price, the mayor's "logistics" manager (and high school football coach,) "hypothetically" asked now-fired chief of staff Mark Towhey what the team should do if the location of the alleged video showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine became known. It seems at this point Towhey called the cops.
Yesterday was Rob Ford's birthday. He got a bunch of flowers, some cards, and a cake frosted with a call for him to resign. A group of protesters sang "happy birthday, please resign" while the mayor was in a meeting of his executive committee. "I am not in agreement with the way Mr. Ford is running the city," said Jennifer Capraru, a demonstrator. "This is a performance intervention. We're polite."
During that meeting, the executive decided to indefinitely defer discussions on a 1-metre passing rule for cyclists. Also in bikes: new bridges for Don Valley cyclists.
In case you're wondering, city council does have some power to intervene in the ongoing Ford saga. According to the Toronto Star, a little-known rule allows council to call a judicial enquiry in to the matter. A judge would investigate, call witnesses, and then make a recommendation. There's no power to remove the mayor from office, though.
Watch out if you're taking the DVP downtown this morning. Police have closed a large section of road between Bloor St. and the Gardiner due to some spectacular flooding from the Don River. The water level rose significantly during last night's downpour and has blocked all lanes in both directions. The bike path is also underwater.
Toronto has something of a knack for electing bombastic and bizarre civic leaders. The trend started back in 1796 (yeah, we've been at it for a while) with Peter Russell. Writer Adam Bunch has a great history of Russell's bumblings over at Spacing.
The Town Crier family of local newspapers is, sadly, no more. Multimedia Nova, the parent company, has entered receivership in part due to the loss of a grant normally made by the Italian government to one of its sister publications, Corriere Canadese. All the company's staff are being laid off.
For the second time in less than a month the mayor has got the bonkers Taiwanese video treatment. This time Ford is inexplicably pantless and swallowing glass pipes in alleyways. Then something about a baby, pirates, a giant boot, and the Matrix. Yeah, I don't know... check it out below.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Image: Che.Pei.En/blogTO Flickr pool.
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