Morning Brew: Tax hike needed to cover subway costs, Toronto split on Island jets, Ford's approval rating is up, Mammoliti wants back in, and ESPN says Leafs suck
The city will need to find around $745 million to fund the Scarborough subway extension, which could mean a property tax hike of around 1.6%, according to city manager Joe Pennachetti. Rob Ford says he would prefer a raise of 0.25% a year spread over four years but that may not be enough. Some of the tax money would be used to keep the SRT running. The tax hike assumes funding of $1.48 billion from the province and $660 million from Ottawa.
Toronto residents seem to be split on whether or not to allow a runway extension and jet service at the Island airport. 47% of those polled over the phone by the city supported the expansion while 45% were opposed. Residents that live close to the lake were (perhaps not surprisingly) most likely to be opposed, often citing environmental concerns.
Meanwhile, David Miller has thrown his weight behind the NoJetsTO campaign. In a letter, Miller says jets and runway expansion "would violate the idea of a clean, green waterfront that Torontonians have embraced."
Also in polls, Rob Ford's approval rating is up, according to research carried out on behalf of the Toronto Sun. 49% of those surveyed approve of the mayor, 51% disapprove. A 1,000 people were contacted via telephone.
A Toronto Police Services Board consultation heard fears yesterday that giving cops tazers would present more opportunities for use of force. Community advocates argued police should receive additional de-escalation training instead of new weapons.
Rob Ford's executive committee have voted in favour of a 70% hike in development charges, rejecting a call for discounts on priority streets. The hike will bring in an extra $250 million a year if it gets the approval of city council.
The doctor who lead Toronto through the SARS crisis had left a heart-wrenching video calling for a change in Canadian assisted suicide laws. Dr. Donald Low died from a brain tumor eight days after the video was made after suffering problems with his vision, hearing, and strength. "I know it's got to end; it's never going to get better. I'm going to die. What worries me is how I'm going to die," he said.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (remember him?) wants back in Rob Ford's inner circle. The mayor's one-time political foe quit his seat on the executive committee the same day Ford was removed from office for violating the municipal conflict-of-interest act and has been on the sidelines since suffering health problems this year. Mammoliti put his name on a list of councillors willing to fill a vacant seat on the committee, according to a staff report.
Something's wrong with the Maple Leafs when the Ottawa Senators are ranked 100 places higher on a list of North America's best sports teams. ESPN calculates the Sens are the 9th best team on the continent in terms of ownership, coaching, affordability and bang for the buck. The Maple Leafs came in 119 and the Blue Jays 100 in the list of 122 franchises. Brutal.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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