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Morning Brew: Norm Kelly defends his budget, city manager denies $1 billion savings, Ford porno sequel

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly doesn't think there's any "gravy" in the city's new budget despite Rob Ford branding the $9.6 billion spending blueprint "the gravy train all over again." Since Ford lost many of his mayoral powers, drafting the city's spending plan is now Kelly's responsibility. "If you really think the gravy train has returned then give me one example of gravy in this budget," he said.

Whoops. Toronto's city manager says between $200 and $500 million of Rob Ford's much-touted $1 billion in savings is not made up of actual spending cuts. Joe Pennachetti told the Star that up to half of Ford's figure is comprised of financial tweaks that did not result in a reduction of spending.

Drug scandals might just be Toronto's biggest export of 2013. Florida's Bradford County Sheriff recently arrested the mayor of Hampton, Fla., Barry Layne Moore, on drug charges. "This isn't Toronto," Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith said in a statement. "We will not tolerate illegal drug activity."

The Toronto Public Library is set to open its 99th and 100th branches next year at Bathurst and Bremner near Fort York and the Scarborough Civic Centre. Not bad for a library system that not long ago was at the centre of a major strike. The TPL says it will spend $18 million on new books, CDs, and DVDs in 2014, says the National Post.

Meanwhile, Steven Temple Books on Queen Street West is closing after 40 years in business. The bookstore is the last surviving piece of Booksellers' Row, a well-known stretch of bookstores that ran from Simcoe to Spadina. The news comes as the World's Biggest Bookstore announced it too is shutting up shop.

Finally, the guy who made a spoof porno starring Rob Ford isn't ruling out a sequel. Lee Roy Myers told the Sun the reception to the movie has been "absolutely insane." "I would not say that it is not possible that a celebrity sex tape is in the future of Rob Ford," Myers said. Yikes.

IN BRIEF:

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

Image: Gail at Large/blogTO Flickr pool.


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