toronto tiff

Morning Brew: City planner says Scarborough subway is risky, Star and Globe to defend Ford stories, mayor used city staff to grab sports gear, and Sam sign maker speaks

Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat is worried the province's Scarborough subway plans don't fit with the city's broader transit plans. Speaking to the Globe and Mail, Keesmaat said the plan was simply a way to create a subway - any subway - from a limited set of funds and risks underserving customers with a limited number of stops. Is her assessment accurate?

The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star will defend their reporting of the Rob Ford crack tape story and an article it spawned before the Ontario Press Council today. The Star's original reporting of the attempt to acquire the alleged video and the Globe's profile of Doug Ford's as a hash dealer in the 1980s are the focus of the hearings. The mayor and his brother were asked to speak at the hearings but neither has responded. The council has no legal authority over the newspapers.

Rob Ford isn't happy about the upcoming appointment process that will replace former deputy mayor Doug Holyday. On his Sunday radio show, the mayor said it was "absolutely insane" that council opted not to hold a byelection in Ward 3. "This whole process stinks. I don't like it, I don't feel comfortable with it," he said.

Also in Ford, the mayor's office staff have taken back the football equipment his foundation tried to donate to the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The taxpayer-funded convoy grabbed the gear from Don Bosco this week, but spokesman Amin Massoudi said the staff were "volunteering."

The maker of the Sam the Record Man sign and the computer system that controls the lights on the outside of Honest Ed's says he is sad the famous neon records are is stuck in limbo. Jack Markle is one of 1,000 people who have signed a petition calling on the city to hold Ryerson to its end of the deal and hang the $16,000 sign on its new Student Learning Centre. "It would be a pity and a shame to have (Sam's sign) come down," he told the Star.

The Toronto MPP who claimed a $20,000 allowance for a second home in Niagara has quit as the PC's finance critic. Peter Shurman said his annual salary of $112,500 prevented him affording both homes without claiming the Niagara property as his primary address. PC leader Tim Hudak said Shurman didn't break the rules but expected "a higher standard."

Some nasty soil on the site of a proposed hotel at the CNE grounds is causing some trouble. An excavation found "petroleum hydrocarbons, volatile and semi-volatile compounds, and inorganics" that could cost up to $5 million to clean up. Festival Plaza is expected to be open in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games.



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

Image: mooncall2012/blogTO Flickr pool.

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