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Weekend Newsstand: November 24, 2012

You've waited for it all week, and now here it is: Saturday! The most glorious day of all. Today: The mayor (once again) blurs the line between his political and personal life; Deputy Mayor Holyday comments on what will happen should Mayor Ford lose his job Monday; Gregory Alan Elliott is out on bail (though don't expect to see him back on Twitter anytime soon); fears of radioactive dust; and that other falling stuff: snow.

At the urging of the mayor, Toronto Water’s top bureaucrat, Lou Di Gironimo, attended a meeting with a cosmetics company that was under investigation for alleged problems with its sewage discharge, a meeting that was also attended by Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North). Why might the mayor urge a senior City official to get involved in a sit-down with a corporation? Well, it just so happens that Apollo Health and Beauty Care, the company in question, is a client of Deco Labels and Tags, the Ford family business. While not in violation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, which only applies to votes and speeches at council, this does seem like yet another example of how the mayor tends to use his political power to aid in his personal affairs.

Speaking of conflicts of interest in which Mayor Ford is involved, Toronto’s deputy mayor Doug Holyday says that if Mayor Ford does in fact lose his job on Monday, the City will hold a by-election, rather than just have council appoint someone to the top job. Holyday, who doesn’t believe that Mayor Ford will be stripped of his title Monday, says Ford has been “unorthodox” in his methods but that he continues to support him, though he wishes he would do things in a “more usual manner.” Don’t we all, Dougie, don’t we all.

Graffiti artist and Twitter-frequenter Gregory Alan Elliott, who was charged this week with criminal harassment and breach of a Peace Bond, has been released on bail. He has been ordered not to tweet or access Twitter, have a smartphone, or use a computer with internet access. He also can’t have contact with accuser Stephanie Guthrie and must stay away from her home, workplace, and events at which she is expected to attend.

A former radium dial painting factory has been taken off the demolition block due to concerns over the possibility of radioactive dust sprinkling down over the Yonge and Dundas area. That’s right, radioactive dust. This interferes with development plans to build a 39-storey mixed residential-commercial development, which has been in the works for at least five years. The plan had been to preserve and incorporate the historical structure of 258 Victoria Street.

Looks like it really is November. While we city folk are likely to have a grey weekend, many areas around the GTA will be in for a white one. Snow squall warnings are in effect for Newmarket, northern York region, Barrie, Midland and Collingwood, Perth, and London.

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