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Morning Brew: Electoral reforms move closer, Ford allies stay distant, no women, no problem, Ikea monkey hangs on judge's verdict, and the city talks Railpath expansion

Toronto moved a step closer to using ranked ballots and allowing permanent residents to vote in municipal elections yesterday. City council voted to ask the province to allow both electoral system modifications, possibly opening the door for other cities to do the same. Premier Kathleen Wynne says she is watching the situation closely.

Rob Ford will have to find a new campaign team unless his health improves. The Star says both Nick Kouvalis and Richard Ciano, the managers behind Ford's successful 2010 run, will not return unless he clean up his "health and well-being." Could Ford have a hard time attracting allies when it comes time to vote in 2014?

Also in Ford, the mayor isn't worried about the lack of a female representative on his executive committee because there are plenty of other women in other roles at the city. Ford said TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Speaker Frances Nunziata were two he'd personally "put there." Coun. Jaye Robinson was removed from the Ford's inner circle earlier this week for urging the mayor into rehab.

Just for laughs, coun. Giorgio Mammoliti tabled a motion at yesterday's council meeting requesting the city south of Davenport revert to horse and buggy for transportation. The chair ruled the motion, which came up during a debate about congestion and also called for period costume, out of order.

A judge will soon decide the fate of Darwin the Ikea monkey (remember this?) Owner Yasmin Nakhuda, who calls herself the animal's "mom," is suing the sanctuary where the rhesus macaque is being held, claiming it was taken away "unlawfully." Darwin was found wandering around the parking lot of the home decor store in a shearling coat in December. The city forbids monkeys being kept as pets.

Finally, the West Toronto Railpath could be extended south to Strachan Ave. and the Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge if a new study gives the green light. The first consultation on extending the popular biking and walking trail south the Martin Goodman Trail is on June 26 on Bloor West. Is this a vital missing link in our bike/walk network?

IN BRIEF:

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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.


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