toronto subway

Morning Brew: Doug Ford sorry for handing out cash at TCHC complex, Rob Ford silent on Daniel Dale libel suit, and NDP leader calls for Nelson Mandela station

Doug Ford has said sorry if he offended anyone by handing out $20 bills in a Toronto Community Housing building earlier this week. "If I offended anyone, I apologize. I'm just trying to do some good for people," he said. Ford initially said he didn't see the difference between handing cash to voters and giving out Tim Hortons gift cards. He said he would stick to coffee cards in future. Here's a GIF made by Reddit user "okaybudday."

Rob Ford has yet to publicly respond to Daniel Dale's notice of libel action, which was served on behalf of the Toronto Star reporter yesterday. The document accuses Ford of "vicious libel" and names ZoomerMedia, the company that edited the show, for failing to remove the material from the final version of the program. Read the full text of the notice here.

ZoomerMedia, however, has issued a statement that says it won't be making a statement "until such time as we can consult with our attorneys."

A grilling interview between the CBC's Carol Off and Conrad Black, the disgraced media baron who was interviewing Ford when he first made the Daniel Dale comments, is attracting plenty of attention. Off took Black to task for failing to question the mayor's claims. A full transcript here.

Could there be a "Mandela" station in Scarborough's future? In a surprise motion before the Ontario legislature, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked that the first stop of the new subway extension into Scarborough be named after the late anti-apartheid leader and received unanimous support. The TTC usually names stops after streets.

Also in transit, TTC officers are getting their special constable status back. Toronto Police removed the special designation, which includes the power to make an arrest, in 2011 after it was claimed officers overstepped their bounds. Roughly 40 transit enforcement officers will receive the new powers in the next months, down from 100 in 2011.

Finally, the TTC is also seeking an additional $27 million from the city for its 2014 operating budget, an increase 4.1 per cent over what it currently receives. CEO Andy Byford said the subsidy freeze that's been in place the last two years has left the Commission struggling to keep up with increased ridership. The TTC announced a 5-cent fare hike last month.


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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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