toronto snow

Morning Brew: Councillors say Fords are in conflict over sewage spill, PCs pitch relief line, TTC driver under fire, Presto likely delayed, and local moonshine hits LCBO

Two councillors say Rob and Doug Ford's involvement in the aftermath of a sewage spill by one of their company's clients is a conflict of interest. The brothers assembled top city staffers, including the city manager and head of Toronto Water, to help Apollo Health and Beauty Care, a soap and shampoo maker that uses the Ford family labels. Councillors Adam Vaughan and Denzil Minnan-Wong both spoke out yesterday. Doug Ford called the idea of a conflict of interest "a bunch of nonsense"

The province's Progressive Conservatives say they would freeze expansion of full day kindergarten and sell off unwanted government buildings to fund a Downtown Relief Line if they are elected, according to a white paper released yesterday. "Building Great Cities" also envisions thousands of public service job cuts to help pay for the much-needed subway without raising taxes.

A TTC streetcar driver is coming under fire after he allegedly refused to help a lost child. Eight-year-old Josh Parker became separated from his group while on a field trip Wednesday. He told the driver he was lost and needed assistance, but the nameless employee refused to help or stop his vehicle. The TTC says it's conducting a full investigation.

The TTC is unlikely to have full Presto integration in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games, as originally promised. "It's unlikely that we'll meet our commitments," said TTC chair Karen Stintz after urging the various companies involved, including Metrolinx, to work faster. It's not clear how many of the streetcar, bus, and subway system will have fare card integration by 2015.

Rob Ford's second round of bobblehead dolls will go on sale today (not yesterday like I said before - oops) in benefit of the Canadian Cancer Society. The Robbie Bobbies will cost $20 and be available in the City Hall rotunda at noon. A strict one-per-person limit will be enforced, the mayor's office says. The last batch of dolls raised $12,000 for the United Way.

Get ready for a messy weekend - freezing rain and snow is on its way. Environment Canada says a large portion of southern Ontario (including Toronto) will see freezing rain giving way to normal precipitation starting this morning. The worst of the weather is expected to arrive Saturday night into Sunday morning, with as much as 5 mms of ice build-up expected.

Finally, yokels rejoice! Toronto moonshine is now available in the LCBO. The Toronto Distillery Co. has released its first batch of Organic Ontario Wheat Spirit (un-aged whiskey) this week. The company is the first distillery to open in Toronto since the 1930s.


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

Image: Empty Quarter/blogTO Flickr pool.

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