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Newsstand: May 16, 2014

One year ago today, news broke of a tape showing Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack. What a wild and crazy ride it's been since then. Here's some news we probably won't be talking about for the next year straight: pet alligators were rescued from a Stouffville home, Toronto might open a supportive housing unit for human trafficking victims, and the provincial privacy watchdog doesn't want police accessing TCHC cameras without a warrant.

matt newsstand bikelane

Happy anniversary, Toronto! It’s been a full year now since Gawker broke the Rob Ford Crack Tape Scandal, and while disappointment in local politics may be at an all-time high, we’ve made it here together. Take a moment to celebrate with whomever you happen to see today.

Two American alligators, one male and one female, have been rescued from the Stouffville home where they were being kept. The alligators were locked in a shed but were evidently being properly looked after. They are now being cared for at Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo in Ottawa, and will be moved to a new facility once one is found. When the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came to investigate a tip regarding the alligators, the man who was keeping them acknowledged that he could no longer care for them.

As part of its 10-year affordable housing action plan, Toronto Community Housing might open up a housing unit specifically for victims of human and sex trafficking. The measure was passed unanimously by city council’s affordable housing committee; it will go to the executive committee on May 27 before council has final approval in mid-June. Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18, Davenport), chair of the affordable housing committee, said, “The reality is that the home will be just the beginning for these victims to start the healing process and to start integrating in a community. And that’s what we want to facilitate.”

Ontario’s privacy watchdog faced down an attempt to recommend the police be given unfettered access to Toronto Community Housing unit cameras. The recommendation was modelled on a similar agreement between police and the Toronto Transit Commission, though critics say the two situations are very different. Buses and subways are public spaces with much lower expectations of privacy, according to Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner—but what the law “doesn’t allow for, and shouldn’t allow for, is warrantless routine access by the police” of surveillance footage of residential areas.


  • HotDang

    news broke of a tape showing Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack

    I’ve seen allegedly used twice in this context this morning. (Also on the screens in the TTC station.) Why are people still writing allegedly? Hasn’t it been quite thoroughly confirmed at this point?

    • Dawn Poplar

      John Cook, Robyn Doolittle, Kevin Donovan saw it as was confirmed by William Blair. I really liked how the SUN and Conservative Talk Radio defended Ford like Holyday suggested that it was a fake…

      Those TCH residents thought Ford was going to shake things up but alas things have gotten worse!

      P.S. Maybe someone was going to make some shoes:)

      • TheSotSays

        “Those TCH residents thought Ford was going to shake things up but alas”

        Ford is the only guy who CAN clean up the mess at TCHC. It’s an NDP administered rat’s nest and we’ve now seen the NDP uproar that takes place when someone makes a serious effort to fix it.

        I’m tired of watching NDP hangers-on making a rich living out of keeping disadvantaged people heaped in filth and cockroaches.

        If a re-hab Rob Ford comes back still wanting the job of battling people out trying to turn Toronto into a Detroit; I’m voting for him.

        • dsmithhfx

          Ford has done about as much for TCHC as he has for transit: zip, nada, zilch.

          Sure he gave away a lot of fridge magnets on his drug-buying excursions, campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime instead of doing the job he was elected to do.

          Better you waste your vote on crack boy than for another right-wing idiot (like Tory), who at least has some chance of winning.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Well, at the time it was ‘allegedly”. Ford hadn’t made his famous “drunken stupor” admission. What I’m wondering is why everyone refers to a high def recording done on an iphone as a tape.

      • torontothegreat

        Our age is showing?

  • Notcleverguy

    He admitted to smoking crack, and isn’t up on any charges (yet), so as it is not a matter for the courts you do not need to use “allegedly”.

    • torontothegreat

      However he didn’t admit to smoking crack in the tape – that’s a huge difference.

  • quidnunc

    The same police force that has finally had their “profiling” wings recently clipped and haven’t been able to nab NoRulesRobbie for DUI or drugs now want warrantless access to TCH security cameras.. Put the dots together. Cops are looking in the wrong place. Trust me, its never about the safety of the vulnerable.