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John Tory vs. Raccoons?

- August 20th, 2014

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John Tory hasn’t had a run-in with a raccoon lately.

Toronto politicians have been recounting their face-offs with the masked critters all week after the licensing committee voted to have  staff report back on ways the city could deal with its raccoon population.

The report request came from Councillor David Shiner who argued the city’s raccoon population was “exploding” and becoming more troublesome.

Since then both Mayor Rob Ford and mayoral candidate Olivia Chow have admitted they’ve had their battles with raccoons. Ford had reporters cracking up with stories of his “standoffs” with fearless raccoons outside his Etobicoke home.

On Wednesday, Tory said he hasn’t had to stare down a raccoon lately.

“I live in a condo so I don’t have any standoffs with raccoons that I can recite to you,” Tory said. “I think we should try and deal with them humanely.”

The mayoral candidate said he did have one encounter with a raccoon in the past.

“I once had a raccoon in my house many years ago, we had somebody come and they trapped it and took it away and released it somewhere,” he said.

But Tory argued the raccoon headlines are one of the many “distractions” from the real issues facing the city.

“It is an issue for people and I don’t diminish that but I think we’ve got a lot of things we should be discussing and getting some action on in terms of getting this city back together and getting it back on track,” he said.

“That’s what I’m going to be doing when I get to be the mayor.”

Mayor Ford joked about the ongoing raccoon discussion Wednesday.

“No raccoon questions,” Ford quipped before taking questions from reporters.

Rob Ford on the death of Robin Williams

- August 13th, 2014
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Mayor Rob Ford says the death of Robin Williams is “sad.”
Williams, 63, was found dead from an apparent suicide on Monday.
Ford was asked about the death of the comedian and Oscar-winning actor on Tuesday.
“It’s sad,” Ford said. “My condolences goes out to Mr. Williams and his family, it’s sad.
“When anyone dies it’s sad.”

Quote of the Day: The hardly humble Rob Ford

- August 8th, 2014

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“People like the way I’m running the city. I’m not going to speak for the other candidates. I know what Rob Ford’s doing and I know what is going to happen on Oct. 27. Let the people talk about that.” 

- Mayor Rob Ford on the “very positive response” he’s getting on the campaign trail

Quote of the Day: Rob Ford sort of endorses Karen Stintz

- August 6th, 2014

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“Karen and I disagree on transit, obviously. But to be quite frank, I trust Karen more than I would ever trust Olivia Chow or John Tory. At least she comes out, you know where she stands.  The other two, I wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw ‘em. That’s the bottom line. (Stintz) is right on a lot of stuff, we’ve agreed on a lot of stuff.” 

- Rob Ford talking about mayoral rival Karen Stintz today in Scarborough

Quote of the day: The Fords vs. The Globe and Mail

- July 29th, 2014

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“They’ll be held accountable, I can assure you, 100%. I’ve never been more passionate about anything in my entire life than this.” 

- Doug Ford on Monday when he vowed to “absolutely” take legal action against The Globe and Mail (fully story here)

Was Ford Fest a campaign event?

- July 27th, 2014

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Mayor Rob Ford leaving Ford Fest on Friday night (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)

Ford Fest came and went on Friday night (story here) but there is still an unanswered question around what it was exactly: Was it a campaign event, a councillor event or a family barbecue?

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford have maintained it was a family barbecue for the community – a long-held tradition started by their father, Doug Ford Sr.

The city granted the permit to hold Ford Fest in Thomson Memorial Park on the belief it was an event similar to the more than 100 other events hosted by other members of council.

Rob Ford’s mayoral rivals maintain it was an election event – part of the mayor’s re-election campaign – and should not have been allowed in the park (city rules prohibit candidates from holding campaign events on city property).

Making things more complicated still, Mayor Ford put out a robocall inviting people to Ford Fest earlier this week and asking those receiving the call to indicate whether he can count on their “support.” (story here)

And then Doug Ford claimed the event will be an election “turning point” while still denying it was a campaign function (story here).

The city had bylaw officers at the event on Friday night and found the conditions of the permit were met (story here).

That would seem to close the book on Ford Fest.

But wait, there’s more.

As the fog of Ford Fest lifted on Saturday, Mayor Ford used his official Twitter account to direct people to fordfest.ca to see photos of the event.

To view the photos on the website you need to give your name, phone number and e-mail.

(I’m not sure why you have to do that, who is collecting the information and where it goes but I offered up my contact information to get a look at the website)

And what’s at the bottom of the Ford Fest page? This contact phone number: 416-751-3673 or 416-751-FORD.

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That’s the same phone number for Mayor Ford’s re-election campaign office.

Ford Fest and the Ford re-election campaign – together at last.

Andy Byford: Time Traveller?

- June 12th, 2014

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The TTC issued a statement from CEO Andy Byford Wednesday in the wake of Toronto Police announcing it had charged six people in connection with Project Rocket (story here).

In his statement, Byford promised swift action would be taken in the wake of several current and former TTC employees being arrested on theft and fraud charges.

But there was one problem.

Byford’s memo was dated July 11, 2014 – a month from now.

Is Byford a time traveller? Not likely.

Is it a typo? Of course.

Did The Sun run a photo of the memo in today’s newspaper and were people quick to notice the wrong date? Absolutely.

Thanks to the readers for emailing me today pointing out the memo had the wrong date.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross acknowledged the date was wrong on the memo.

“We fixed and reissued to staff immediately,” Ross said today (Thursday, June 12, 2014).

Who’s who on the Sony Centre board?

- June 4th, 2014

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Who is on the Sony Centre board?

The Sony Centre board has been in the spotlight since the auditor general’s report on the theatre’s redevelopment was released (story here).

Auditor General Jeff Griffith’s review focused on the Sony Centre interior renovations during the period from 2008 to 2011.

Now council is about to consider a request from the audit committee to dump the current board. (story here)

But who was on the board in the past and who is on the board now?

Here’s a rundown of the councillors and the citizen members who were on the board and when:

 

Councillors on the Sony Centre board

December 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008

Councillor Michael Feldman

Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby

Councillor Howard Moscoe

 

January 1, 2009 to November 31, 2010

Councillor Michael Feldman

Councillor Howard Moscoe

Councillor Bill Saundercook

 

December 8, 2010 to December 31, 2012

Councillor Paula Fletcher

Councillor James Pasternak

Councillor David Shiner

 

January 1, 2013 to November 30, 2014

Councillor Paula Fletcher

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (replaced Pasternak)

Councillor David Shiner

Councillor Gary Crawford (Mayor’s designate)

 

May 11, 2014 to November 30, 2014

Councillor Pam McConnell (replaced Fletcher)

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio

Councillor David Shiner

Councillor Gary Crawford (Mayor’s designate)

 

Citizen Members

2006-2010:

Murray Makin

Andrew J. Laffey

Giles Meikle

Walter Oster

Michael Pittana

Karen Shaver

Wayne Squibb

Edgar Ware

Lewis Reford

 

Here’s the current list of citizen members – most of whom were appointed by city council at the October 24/25, 2011 council meeting:

Ronald Forbes, Chair

Sharon Groom, Vice-Chair

Caroline Abela (replaced Luigi Ferrara in November 2013)

Chester Cheang

Brian Cheng (replaced Kelvin Browne in May 2013)

Dustin Cohen

Ihab Khalil (replaced Ingrid Walter in November 2011)

Gail Matthews

Chief Financial Officer [non-voting member] – the City representative is Judy Skinner

10 questions waiting for Rob Ford

- June 2nd, 2014

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Mayor Rob Ford has spent the last month – he claims – in rehab in Muskoka and hopes to be back by July 1 (story here).

Ford left a number of questions unanswered when he took his leave of absence for a “problem with drinking” on April 30 and a few more questions have popped up since his exit.

Now Ford probably hopes these questions are forgotten by the time he cruises back into the city and campaigns for re-election. He also likely hopes he can dismiss questions about incidents before rehab as being part of a “past” that he now doesn’t have to answer for. 

Here’s a rundown of 10 questions that will be waiting for Ford when he comes back from rehab:

10) Do you have anything to say to Councillor Karen Stintz about your comments made in a bar about wanting to “jam” her? (story here)

9) Do you have anything to say to the people who were offended by the racial slurs, homophobic remarks or sexist comments that have been attributed to you over the last few months?

8) Why did you decide to set the return date for your rehab on the day after Toronto’s Pride week ended?

7) Why did you threaten City Hall security staff for reporting your past bad behaviour? (story here)

6) Who were the two strangers you brought back to City Hall after a Toronto Maple Leafs game? (story here)

5) What substantial changes have you made in your life to ensure you won’t have another “minor setback,” be caught on camera “extremely, extremely inebriated” or in a “drunken stupor“?

4) When you took a leave of absence you admitted you have a “problem with drinking” but didn’t mention your admitted drug use. Do you recognize now that you had a drug problem or do you still deny that you have a drug issue?

3) Why did you not enter the U.S. when you flew to Chicago on May 1? If re-elected, could you still travel freely to the U.S.? (story here)

2) You’ve refused to listen to advice from your staff about entering rehab (story here). Why did you decide to enter rehab when you did?

1) Why was Lee Anne McRobb driving your Cadillac Escalade allegedly impaired in Muskoka? (story here)

Quote of the Day: Doug Ford on where Mayor Rob Ford lives

- May 21st, 2014

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“Rob lives in a suit.” 

- Doug Ford on why Mayor Rob Ford is wearing a suit in rehab.

Mayor Ford was wearing a suit when he was spotted in Bracebridge last Friday and dropped one suit off at a dry cleaner in Gravenhurst (see story).

Doug Ford, the mayor’s campaign manager/brother, also likened Rob Ford to Elvis on Tuesday:

“You’d think there was a sighting of Elvis Presley,” Ford said on the reaction to the mayor being spotted out of rehab and in Muskoka.