Archive for May, 2012

Pan Am Games not a B-team event: Grimes

- May 12th, 2012

Pan Am Games

Toronto is set to host the Pan Am Games in 2015.

Most people have heard of the Olympics. Most world cities, including Toronto, want the Olympics. But Toronto has never won a bid to host the Olympics and we did, like it or not, win a bid to host the Pan Am Games.

Councillor Mark Grimes couldn’t be happier about the Pan Am Games coming to town.

Grimes is the chairman of the Mayor’s Pan Am Secretariat and is a big booster for the games. Speaking at a Pan Am update (story on that update here and here) on Friday, Grimes was adamant “this is not a B-class event.”

Asked if he truly believes Toronto residents will turn out to watch the 10,000 athletes expected for the Pan Am Games, Grimes was confident the city will be there.

“Toronto has got to take their head out of the sand and stop looking at this as a B-class event,” Grimes said. “This is going to be the biggest sporting event this country has ever seen.

“Toronto wants the Olympics, these are the events we have to support to get the infrastructure to get the big Olympics.”

Meet the Happy Mayor

- May 2nd, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford

Most of the time when we see him at Toronto City Hall, Mayor Rob Ford doesn’t look very happy.

The photo above is when Ford was scrumming about labour issues. Often in council meetings he’s frowning more than smiling.

But get him out in Scarborough with an over-sized cheque from his Rob Ford Football Foundation and put him on a football field with some high school players, and suddenly, you’ve got a happy mega-city mayor.

Sun photographer Craig Robertson was at Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School on April 3 for the cheque hand-off. Ford’s football foundation donated $5,000 to the school’s team, the BMT Titans. You may recall donations to Ford’s football foundation got him in trouble with the city’s integrity commissioner and then led to council voting earlier this year to reverse a decision demanding Ford repay some donations to the foundation. That vote, which Ford took part in, is now at the centre of the conflict of interest application trying to oust Ford from office (story here).

But back to the field at Blessed Mother Teresa.

When it came time to get a photo, Ford ran several plays with the students while Robertson snapped away and believe it or not, the mayor looks happy here.

Here’s some of the shots from the day:

Mayor Rob Ford with the BMT Titans

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_03TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_04TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_08TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

 

Does Josh Matlow have a political death wish?

- May 2nd, 2012

Councillor Josh Matlow

Councillor Josh Matlow (Toronto Sun files)

Leading the charge in Toronto’s latest road toll debate is Councillor Josh Matlow (see story here).

Road tolls have been “political kryptonite” in Toronto politics for years but the rookie councillor seems hellbent to put the pedal to the metal on this idea.

I asked him if he’s thought about the fact his road toll stand could be political suicide.

“I’ve thought about it,” Matlow said.

“I’d rather do what I know is right than be so careful that I’m not doing what I ran to do which is to reflect my community and help build my city.”

“I’m well aware that toll roads have been a very taboo subject for a long time.”

We’ll find out in the next few weeks if it is going to remain a taboo subject for a while longer.