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news

Newsstand: November 2, 2012

¡Hola, Toronto! In the news: LRT agreement ratified, death doctors duke it out, Rob Ford takes a vacation from council, train suit gets classy, law firm wants employees' fingerprints, and the mayor’s list is actually kind of weird.

Signed, sealed, delivered, LRT is yours. Well, that’s how things seem to be going (you can never really be sure with these things). Yesterday, council voted in favour of ratifying its $8.4 billion agreement with the province for four new LRT lines. Sure, the plan was first agreed upon nearly a year ago and TTC Chair Karen Stintz was warned that the provincial money would no longer be available if council imposed a veto clause on their end of the contract, but that didn’t stop some members of council from trying to delay this even more and impose a veto clause. Rob Ford’s groundbreaking speech included the line “it’s absolutely appalling that we can bring this to the floor of council and disrespect every taxpayer in the city.” However, giving up $8.4 billion from the province seems pretty disrespectful, if you ask us.

The struggle between two sides, at war over who gets to touch dead bodies the most, is coming to a head. Coroners in Ontario are getting worried that an upcoming KPMG report that looks for “efficiencies” is actually a power grab by their (presumably) arch nemeses, forensic pathologists. The main difference between the two roles seems to be that coroners have more experience working with the public and visit the scene of the death. If forensic pathologists were to take the lead on death investigations, that job would be assigned to civilian examiners.

In a strong demonstration of leadership and respect for taxpayers, Rob Ford spent over two hours of yesterday’s council meeting at a football field in Etobicoke. The game Ford was attending ended after a fight between the opposing team’s coach and a referee. When the police arrived, they called to request a TTC bus to transport Ford’s team back to Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School. Ford said yesterday that he made a commitment to coaching the team and that he is not going to change. Considering that he skipped out on council for this, does that mean he didn’t make a commitment to being the mayor?

A class action lawsuit has been certified in the case of the VIA Rail train that derailed from its CN Rail rails last February. The locomotive was headed for Toronto at speeds over 100 km per hour when it crashed in Burlington on a section of track with a speed limit of 24 km per hour. Three engineers were killed in the tragedy and 45 passengers were injured.

A Bay Street law firm is making it mandatory for employees to give them the finger at least a couple times each day. Starting in a few weeks, as workers come and go from the offices of McCague Borlack LLP, most of them (but not some lawyers) will be required to clock in and out via fingerprint scanner. Howard Borlack, a founding partner, claims that some employees have been taking extra-long lunches, but that the system was mostly intended for security purposes. This sounds like a great idea for building employee morale, fostering innovation, and increasing productivity at whatever firm McCague Borlack LLP’s employees go work at after they quit.

As a quick update, some of the people on Rob Ford’s list of preferred candidates for city boards made donations to his mayoral campaign. Collectively, that comes to the tune of $11,000 according to Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina). But that really doesn’t mean that it was all conservative cronies or that these people even knew they were on the list.

CORRECTION: November 2, 2012, 10:20 AM This post’s initial paragraph, about the $8.4 billion LRT agreement, was added after publication.

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/jpaterson1 James D Paterson

    I still don’t understand how the lead actor of the 1958 movie, The Blob, became mayor of Toronto in the first place.

    He leaves council meetings, or flat out plans to skip them (according to his variety radio show), he continuously insults staff and the public, and when confronted with obvious truths about things (such as the candidate list), he still flat out denies or eventually comes around, but blames everyone else.

    He’s nothing but an incompetent buffoon, and if the only way someone will fill in for his coaching is if he “is hit by a car”, then please, good and noble citizens of Toronto, take aim with your vehicle next time you see him.

  • Anonymous

    Why hasn’t Ford been tossed out of office yet?

    • Anonymous

      Maybe the judge is just making sure he has enough rope…

    • http://www.facebook.com/jpaterson1 James D Paterson

      Too heavy?

  • Anonymous

    Nothing but questions…

    How is he getting away with this shit while I get the stink eye for being 5 min late back from lunch?

    How did Team Donny Brasco get to the game in the first place? And why did the police deem “weather Conditions” harsh enough to transport them back using a TTC bus? Who paid for that driver’s overtime?

    This mayor shits gravy.

    • Anonymous

      Ohhh I get it. Right winged twitter personalities are spinning the decision for the TTC bus as one of safety, to break up a fight, ignoring the police statement to the Star. Riiiiight.

  • Anonymous

    “it’s absolutely appalling that we can bring this to the floor of council and disrespect every taxpayer in the city.”

    How can he say this with a straight face, he has not done much public consultation since become mayor. The one did was time waster he did not even listen he pushed these citizens (taxpayers) aside as not worthy enough to have a voice, He has not visitedinto most of the wards and the ones he has was for photo ops.

  • bo ngan

    Clogged traffic threatened the life of toronto much like a clogged coronary artery that precipitates a heart attack. When councillors assembled yesterday to decide on the fate of 8.7 billion dollars to be spent on mass transit to ease traffic congestion in our city and Mayor Ford skips out to play/coach football, he is irresponsible. He showed that he does not take care of the well being of this city. He still insist on doing this again. He should not be mayor. This city needs to set up an impeachment process. He conducts private pursuits while taking on public salary. This is not possible. This is gravy that has to be wiped off from the city government.

  • Anonymous

    Ford is unbelievable. While braying about taxpayers in council, he skips out of the meeting, somehow ropes the police and TTC into his damn high school football game — and the taxpayers are on the hook for this nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    “…that job would be assigned to civilian examiners.” Does that mean it’s done by the military now?

    • Anonymous

      Coroners and forensic pathologists operate under the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The CBC article states that if the FPs take over, they would outsource some of the work to non-Ministry – therefore civilian – specialists.

      • Anonymous

        People who work at the Ministry *are* civilians.

        • Anonymous

          2. Informal. anyone regarded by members of a profession, interest group, society, etc., as not belonging; nonprofessional; outsider

          • Anonymous

            … while the general definition is “not a member of the armed forces”. Using “civilian” in this context is just plain confusing!

  • Jessica Klein

    Howard Borlack, founding lawyer-partner of McCague Borlack LLP, is subject of a complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada, re allegations that he lied about his fingerprinting system and made inappropriate (“sexy”) remarks to the CBC RADIO the Current program with Anna Maria Tremonti. Read about it at http://www.Fingercampaign.com