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Newsstand: May 12, 2014

Yesterday, 101-year-old Kitty Cohen threw the opening pitch at the Mother's Day Blue Jays game. May we all be as dextrous (and alive) at 101. Some more news: the Fords may be involved in corruption in addition to everything else, the King of Kensington has been defaced, and the Law Society of Upper Canada defends its tight-lipped media relations.

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Mayor Rob Ford and his brother and campaign manager Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), appear to have lobbied extensively on behalf of a business with commercial ties to their family business without disclosing this association. Apollo Health and Beauty Care, which has done business with the Fords’ Deco Labels and Tags Inc. for more than 10 years, has received significant help from both brothers in its attempts to secure a special property tax break. The Globe and Mail‘s investigation also found that business between the two companies increased after Rob became mayor and Doug succeeded him as councillor in 2010.

A statue of Al Waxman, the “King of Kensington,” has been defaced in Kensington Market’s Bellevue Square Park. The statue was given a blue shirt, green jacket, red lips, and white face, giving him a distinctly Joker-esque look. The sculptor herself was unconcerned: Ruth Abernethy said her works “are created for public space and they are created to be shared—there is no greater purpose for them.” She even mentioned a past instance when the statue’s nails had been painted. Other residents and workers in the neighbourhood had differing views, though Abernethy’s calm acceptance of the vandalism as a part of the neighbourhood’s culture seemed to be prevalent among many.

In the wake of news that the self-governing Law Society of Upper Canada doesn’t report law-breaking members to the police, it seems members of the society have been instructed not to speak with the Toronto Star. The society’s spokesperson told the Star that the reminder was related to specific questions about the society’s disciplinary process, adding that benchers are “free to express their personal views, as they regularly do.” However, an email to members from society CEO Rob Lapper included the admonishment: “There is a chance that one or more of the reporters working on the story will approach you…. I would ask you not to respond to any media inquiries.” The society says it doesn’t report members who break the law to the police, generally, because it would breach solicitor-client privilege. However, law societies in other provinces do typically report law-breaking members to police.

Comments

  • SonuvaScrimbro

    After everything else, it’s almost quaint to see the Fords involved in some good old-fashioned palm-greasing.

    Best part of the Globe article: the head of Apollo is quoted as saying (re: the Fords’ efforts to intercede with city staff on their behalf): “Nobody asked them to be involved and it has never been contributive or positive in my opinion.”

    Pretty much sums up their entire political careers in one statement, doesn’t it?

    • Notcleverguy

      “I’ve saved Apollo a billion dollars” – Rob Ford

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Just like the good ol’ days — you can rage about the Ford’s abuse of power rather than Rob hanging out with criminals and boozing it up. Takes me back to 2012.

    • http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/05/09/rob_ford_one_wild_night_in_march.html Bumbaclot

      You’ll never find the Fords in a scandal involving money — at the Air Canada Centre!

      • Notcleverguy

        Or at Muzik, Robbie’s money is no good there.

    • AboveTheCity

      “Absolutely ridiculous” – Doug Ford. Is that the stock Ford family response to everything?

      While Doug may think it “ridiculous”, and Ford Supporters will be all up in arms about the media conspiracy to get the Fords, like ALL, Rob or Doug Ford incidents and antics, you don’t have to go far to start connecting the dots, and looking at the repeat patterns of behavior to see that this is plausible. That there is a very good chance that it really did happen.

      Finally, if indeed it is “ridiculous”, and the media are making this all up – that they are lying, then where is the lawsuit and legal action from the Fords. The Fords talk about this, but never, take the action. What does that mean?

      The only one time that there has ever been any legal action in this area, was ironically when a member of the media, took legal action against Rob Ford, who then, and only then admitted he was wrong, had been lose with the facts, and apologized ( for the 285th time)!

      • Notcleverguy

        I think all the legal action threats come from when they were kids, I can just picture it, “my father is rich, and we’re going to hire lawyers and sue you”. I bet they yelled that a million times as a hollow threat when they didn’t get their way as children.

  • OgtheDim

    That Law Society is a piece of work, eh?

    • dsmithhfx

      Seems a mandatory reporting law is going to be required. Shame.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        That would only lead to rich people getting charged with crimes, which is a crime itself.

    • Notcleverguy

      Lawyers policing lawyers.

      I mean no disrespect to the profession, but an outside body really needs to be doing the oversight.

      • dsmithhfx

        That “outside body” would be police, charging lawyers with crimes.

        • Notcleverguy

          Police do charge lawyers with crimes, but this is about crimes that lawyers commit mostly by shady practices in hiding evidence, not reporting certain financial info about clients to the CRA, which they by law are compelled to do, things of this nature that the police may never be privy to, but other lawyers and legal professional who understand the law are.
          Up until now it’s been up to other Legal Society members to turn in such findings, and apparently they haven’t been.

    • iguana

      Wolves guarding the wolves.

    • Alceste

      I disagree with the Star’s take on this. Members of the public harmed by lawyers can and should complain to the police. The Police themselves can read Law Society discipline decisions and take whatever steps they think they should.

  • iguana

    I love the last part of the srticle where the Apollo ceo says, the issue, *if* there’s an issue, is with the politicians’ side of things, not private business’ side. (Is that what Robbie boy would call being thrown under the bus?)
    Of course buisness men known nothing about influence peddeling and conflicts of interest and disclosure, those issues are only for the public sector employees. No rules in the business world is there? LOL….
    Yup, he’s a Ford associate alright. Deny any wrong doing until your are caught red handed, and then apologise out of ignorance, or drunken stupors, tell folks you’re not perfect and “move on”.

    • SonuvaScrimbro

      And this is the true “magic” of the Ford brand. For all we know, this Apollo guy is a straight arrow (and not in the Lisi sense) and only did what he thought he was allowed to do within the system — but because the Fords were advocating on his behalf (and likely didn’t know or care what the rules were concerning conflict of interest), he’s now picked up the stench of low-level corruption that follows those two everywhere like Pigpen’s dust cloud.

      Bottom line: anyone who deals with the Fords or counts on them for anything is going to get dragged down into the slime with them. There must be a way we can fit that sentiment on a bumper sticker…

      • Dee

        Not plausible. This guy is as shifty as Ford.