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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.

 

Toronto Councillor Mike Layton cheers for Habs

- May 14th, 2014

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Councillor Mike Layton brought a Montreal Canadiens jersey to Wednesday’s public works committee.

The hockey sweater created a stir at the start of the meeting with Councillors Mark Grimes and Denzil Minnan-Wong both voicing their objections – as loyal Toronto Maple Leafs fans – to a Habs jersey being displayed in the heart of Toronto City Hall.

Tonight, the Canadiens face off with the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series.

Grimes jokingly asked if Layton could be ordered to turn the sweater inside out.

Public Works chairman Minnan-Wong continued the jokes by suggesting they should move a motion so councillors who are Canadiens fans don’t get projects approved in their wards.

Layton took to Twitter to stress he is a Leafs fan (this is important in an election year) and explain his support for the Canadiens:

Nothing like the clash of politics and hockey.

Only in Canada.

Mayor Doug?

- May 6th, 2014

Mayor Doug

 

Doug Ford in Mayor Rob Ford’s chair at city council on Tuesday (Michael Peake/Toronto Sun)

Doug Ford won’t say if he’d run for mayor of Toronto if Rob Ford drops out of the race but he’s not ruling it out either.

Councillor Ford came out Tuesday at City Hall repeatedly claiming that Mayor Ford is in rehab but refusing to talk about why his brother didn’t enter the U.S. last week (story here).

There is another thing Doug Ford won’t talk about – whether or not he would run for mayor if Rob Ford drops out of the race.

“I have no comment on that,” Doug Ford told the Sun last Friday.

“Our family is committed to serving the people.”

That’s a “never say never” answer if I’ve ever heard one.

Asked again on Tuesday if he’d ever consider jumping into the mayor’s race if his brother dropped out, Ford repeated his “no comment” answer.

“I have no comment about that,” Doug Ford said Tuesday.

That’s definitely not a “no.”

And he wouldn’t even have to reprint the Ford campaign bumper stickers:

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Doug Ford … definitely not running in this provincial election

- May 2nd, 2014

Councillor Doug Ford confirmed Friday he definitely won’t be running in this provincial election.

“100% I’m not running provincially,” Ford told the Sun.

Back in February, Ford publicly stated he wasn’t going to be running provincially for the Progressive Conservatives this year because he was too busy managing Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election campaign.

Now with the mayor in rehab and the campaign on hold comes news that the province is going to the polls.

But Doug Ford said Friday he’s standing by his decision not to run this year for the Ontario PCs this time.

“I wish everyone all the best,” he said.

Doug Ford on Mayor Rob Ford going to rehab

- May 1st, 2014

Here’s Doug Ford’s full statement delivered Thursday on his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, entering rehab:

I can tell ya this is one of the toughest days of my life.

In saying that, I also have a sense of relief. As an older brother, I am relieved that Rob has faced his problems and has decided to seek professional help.

This is not an easy thing for anyone to do especially when you’re the mayor of this city.

I encourage my brother to take this time for himself and for the sake of his family. 

Many people believe they can handle any problem by themselves, however, sometimes you need the help of your family, your friends and professionals. 

Rob was very emotional when he told me the hardest thing about this is he knows he let people down – he let his family down, he let his friends down, he let his colleagues down, he let his supporters down and the people of Toronto.

I told Rob that everyone knows someone who has faced these challenges and I know they will wish him well (and) a speedy recovery.

I also believe this, that even people that may not have the same political stripes as Rob does.

I love my brother.  I’ll continue to stand by my brother and his family throughout this difficult journey.

Please join me and keep Rob and his family in your prayers.

In the interest to Rob’s family, I ask the media: Please respect his privacy.

Thank you. 

Mayor Rob Ford’s leave of absence statement

- April 30th, 2014
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Rob Ford touring school kids around City Hall earlier today (Don Peat/Toronto Sun)
Here is the statement Mayor Rob Ford’s campaign issued tonight:
For Immediate Release
 
April 30th, 2014
 
Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto.  It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
 
Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
 
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year.  I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right.
 
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.  
 
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.
 
Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.  
 
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement.  I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
Mayor Rob Ford

 

Giorgio Mammoliti running for re-election

- April 30th, 2014

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Giorgio Mammoliti is giving a thumb’s up to running for another term on city council.

Mammoliti told the Sun he plans to register to run for re-election representing York West (Ward 7) on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

“The cutting at City Hall isn’t finished and while nobody is really talking about it in the mayoral race – they all just seem to be talking about how to spend money – there is $100 million or so that we could probably save the first year in amalgamating our housing offices,” Mammoliti said Wednesday.

“I need to stop the LRT on Finch Avenue … and try to get Finch designated for a future subway line and bring on busing lanes in the meantime.”

The controversial councillor – and one-time NDP MPP – was one of Mayor Rob Ford’s council allies at the start of this term although he later jumped off the mayor’s executive committee (and eventually came back after a few months).

But will Mammoliti support anyone for mayor? He says he may end up backing Ford.

“At this point the only one talking about keeping the agenda going … seems to be Mayor Ford,” Mammoliti said. “Unless he does something outrageous and crazy it looks like my community (and) myself may be supporting him.”

Before making a formal endorsement, Mammoliti said he plans to have a meeting with his “advisors” ahead of Election Day.

“It will be about 200 people that will tell us, me, where Ward 7 will be throwing their support in in the mayoral race,” Mammoliti said. “We’ll probably be inviting all the mayoral candidates to prove to them that it is them that should be elected in Ward 7.”

The veteran councillor is still facing problems from his 2010 election campaign.

He’s facing five charges of violating the Municipal Elections Act. Those charges were brought by a special prosecutor appointed by the city’s compliance audit committee.

Mammoliti maintained the allegations are “frivolous.”

“I’m going to take it as serious as I always have,” he said.

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