Morning Brew: Mammoliti event under investigation, Fords should leave police budget talks, report calls for GO trains over relief line, and Rob Ford claymation
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is under investigation by the city's integrity commissioner over a $5,000-a-table fundraiser held for his benefit. Council rules prohibit members receiving benefits related to "the performance of his or her duties of office." The investigation was triggered by a complaint Toronto attorney Brian Iler. According to the CBC, several hundred people, including lobbyists, attended the event at the Royalton Banquet Hall in Woodbridge.
Some councillors think Rob Ford should bow out of police budget discussions since he's the target of one of their investigations and he keeps accusing Chief Bill Blair of playing politics. Ford suggested his suggested 10 per cent cut to the police budget two years ago is the reason cops initiated Project Brazen 2, the investigation that turned up new allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, in an interview with Conrad Black that aired Monday night.
When he wasn't defending controversial remarks he made about a Toronto Star reporter yesterday, Ford said he and budget chief Frank Di Giorgio would be aiming to cut the land transfer tax by 5 per cent in the next budget. "It's tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend," Ford said about the current atmosphere at City Hall.
Before making the land transfer tax announcement, Ford toured City Hall inviting councillors to a Christmas party as his mother's house tonight. The mayor's office emailed an invitation to all members of council but Ford also went door-to-door to confirm. It's not clear how many people will attend the event. Ford declared "outright war" on council when he was stripped of powers last month.
Metrolinx could use GO Trains to relieve the Yonge line instead of building a $7.4 billion subway, a new report suggests. Michael Schabas, the author, found "[the relief subway] will not provide enough benefits to offset even half of its $7.4 billion cost," The Star reports. Should Metrolinx consider converting part of the Lakeshore line?
Finally, Rob Ford is the star of a brand new stop-frame clay animation by the award-winning Cuppa Coffee Studios. In Fordtacular Spectacular, the mayor flies around his City Hall office, dodging all manner of obstacles and controversies. There is no dialogue, only sight gags. President and Executive Producer Adam Shaheen told Global News said he wanted to explore the circus around Ford while avoiding anything "mean-spirited." Check it out here.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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