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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.

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