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Councillors to hold 2 special meetings to limit Ford’s powers

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 15th, 2013

Toronto city council has passed two motions that will limit Mayor Rob Ford’s powers.

In the first of two special sessions on Friday, councillors voted 39-3 in favour of a motion that limits Ford’s power on committees.

He can no longer remove the deputy mayor or take councillors off committees, including members of the executive committee.

Ford said Friday he will challenge the ruling in court.

Responding to questions about a legal challenge that arose during the city hall debate, the city solicitor said that, while “one never knows what a judge will do…we feel confident in our ability to defend council’s decision in this circumstance.”

While council has had this power, it is first time it has taken such an action, Anna Kinastowski said.

Ford, his brother Coun. Doug Ford, and Coun. David Shiner were the only three who voted against the motion.

The motion was proposed by councillors John Filion and Paul Ainslie.

The second motion, to strip Ford of emergency powers, passed 41-2. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will now assume responsibility in the face of an emergency.

The mayor and his brother voted against the motion.

During the debate, Doug Ford fought back against the proposal, saying that “folks here don’t have the moral authority to be doing…what they’re doing here today.”

He later added that there will be two courts that will be looking at Friday’s decisions: The legal court and the court of public opinion.

In contrast to his brother, Rob Ford said he had to defend himself, but understood why councillors were taking action to strip him of powers during an emergency.

“I’m not mad at anybody,” adding if another mayor did what he did, he would support councillors.

The second motion was also proposed by Filion.

Both motions will remain in effect for the rest of Ford’s term.

The proposals come a day after Ford used graphic language on live TV and admitted he may have driven drunk. In the past weeks, he has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, refused to speak to Toronto police about an ongoing investigation, and a swarm of media – both international and local – descended on city hall.

Ford’s locker room vulgarity also drew wide condemnation from fellow councillors, who literally turned their backs when he spoke during the day’s various debates.

And Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she could intervene if council made it clear it could not function as a result of the Ford scandal, but would consult opposition parties before doing so.

The crush of media clamouring for news of Ford prompted city staff to declare city hall unsafe for children on Thursday.

School tours next Monday and Tuesday will be going to the Toronto Archives instead, a spokeswoman said.

A third motion to be debated on Monday would see Ford’s office essentially moved to the control of the deputy mayor.

With files from The Canadian Press

Remembrance Day events in the GTA

Winston Sih | posted Sunday, Nov 10th, 2013


Every year on Nov. 11, Canadians pay tribute to those who served the country during times of war and peace. Below is a list of Remembrance Day ceremonies in the GTA.

Breakfast Television will have extensive coverage of events happening during the morning, including a live stream of the sunrise service at  Prospect Cemetery from 7 to 9 a.m.  Follow along with us using the hashtag #BTremembers.


Scarborough Civic Centre
Address: 150 Borough Drive, McCowan and Ellesmere
Time: 2:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m.

Fort York
Address: 250 Fort York Boulevard
Time: 10:45 a.m.

Swansea Town Hall Community Centre
Address: 95 Lavinia Avenue, Windermere and Bloor
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Address: 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Yonge Street and Mount Pleasant Road
Time: 10:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m.

East York Civic Centre
Address: 850 Coxwell Avenue, Coxwell and Mortimer
Time: 10:45 a.m to 11:45 a.m.

North York – Toronto Centre for the Arts
Address: 5040 Yonge Street, Yonge and North York Blvd.
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Old City Hall
Address: 60 Queen Street West, Bay and Queen
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

York Civic Centre – York Memorial Collegiate Auditorium
Address: 2690 Eglinton Avenue, Eglinton Ave. W and Keele St.
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


City of Mississauga Remembrance Day Ceremony
Address: 300 City Centre Drive, Confederation Parkway and Burnhamthorpe Road West
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.


Memorial Square Cenotaph, City Hall
Address: 2 Wellington St. W.
Time: 10: 45 a.m.

DMG Chinguacousy Park
Address: Queen St. E. and Central Park Dr.
Time: 10:45 a.m.


Woodbridge Cenotaph
Address: on Wallace Street, south of Woodbridge Avenue
Time: 10:15 a.m.


Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph, City Hall
Address: 426 Brant St., Brant St. and James St.
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Oakville Legion
Address: 136 Church St. at Navy
Time: 9:00 a.m.

With files from 680News.com

EXCLUSIVE: Broker of Rob Ford crack video breaks silence in CityNews interview

CityNews | posted Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013

The man who says he attempted to broker the sale of the Rob Ford crack video ended up fearing for his life and lying low for months when the scandal exploded in the media.

In an interview with CityNews reporter Avery Haines, Mohamed Farah, 33, said he was approached by a friend in the Somali community who asked him to help sell the video — hoping initially to garner $1 million for the damning footage.

Farah said the friend wanted to use the money to move out of Toronto and start a new life with his girlfriend.

“It’s not personal (against Mayor Ford),” he said. “It was a video that had monetary value.”

Farah agreed to help, but says he personally didn’t stand to make any money off the potential sale.

“Originally he thought he was gonna get a million dollars,” Farah said.

“I told him, ‘Look, you won’t even get $10,000 for the video.’ But I said, ‘Look, I’ll try my best.’”

Farah said The Toronto Star offered him $40,000 and later contemplated going as high as $80,000. Gawker offered $15,000 before eventually raising $200,000 through crowd-funding efforts.

By the time the money was raised, however, the story was making international headlines, and the source went underground.

Farah followed suit, realizing that Ford’s political career wasn’t the only thing on the line — so was his life.

“There was a lot of threats related to the (video) and I didn’t know who to trust,” he said.

Farah said he’s seen the video and it contained what was described in the media. He also adds that multiple copies were made.

“The mayor is kind of leaning back, smoking crack from a crack pipe,” he said.

Farah said the video also shows Ford talking about the conflict-of-interest case involving his football charity and making “derogatory” comments about Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with broker of alleged Rob Ford crack video

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 8th, 2013

In a CityNews exclusive, the man who says he attempted to broker the sale of the alleged Rob Ford crack video breaks his silence.

In a sit-down interview with Avery Haines, Mohamed Farah, 33, reveals what he has seen, why he got involved in the proposed sale, and the potentially dangerous repercussions it has had.

Watch the extended interview on City at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Catch the live stream at www.citynews.ca/live or on the CityNews app for iPhone and iPad.

Week of Nov. 11, 2013

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 8th, 2013


It’s quite the lineup on next week’s Breakfast Television!

Crooner Matt Dusk performs live in studio.

Plus, Coronation Street’s Marc Baylis will stop by to visit.

And, Toronto’s own Blue Rodeo will be here to rock the house!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca/live, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app!


VOTE NOW: Buffalo Bills Anthem Contest

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 8th, 2013

You’ve heard them online, and now it’s time for you to vote for your favourite!

The winner will sing the Canadian national anthem at Rogers Centre, Dec. 1 for the Bills vs. Falcons game, plus have Sean Jones as their mentor!

Voting closes at 8:55 a.m. ET, Nov. 8, 2013.

Poll is now CLOSED. Thank you for your interest.

Congratulations to Darryl Casselman!

New Rob Ford video surfaces: ‘I need f—ing 10 minutes to make sure he’s dead’

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013


The Toronto Star has published a video that shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford making death threats.

“I need f—ing 10 minutes to make sure he’s dead,” Ford can be heard saying on the video, which was posted to the Toronto Star website on Thursday.

Ford immediately responded to the video at city hall on Thursday, saying he was  “very, very inebriated” and he hoped none of the reporters had ever “been in that state.” He did not say what that state was or offer any explanation.

“Again, I’ve made mistakes…it’s extremely embarrassing,” he said.

Toronto police tell CityNews they have handed the video over to their investigators.

The context of Ford’s outburst is unknown, who he is threatening, who he is speaking to or who recorded the video.

Click below to watch the video:

In the video, Ford can be heard saying, “I’m gonna kill that f—ing guy. I’m telling you, it’s first-degree murder,” the Star reported.“I’ll rip his fucking throat out. I’ll poke his eyes out. . . . I’ll make sure that mother——’s dead,” he reportedly said.

On its website, the Star said it offered to show the video to members of the mayor’s inner circle on Wednesday. As of Thursday, no one had taken them up on the offer. The Star then posted the video online.

Earlier this week, after admitted he smoked crack cocaine, Ford famously said he had “nothing left to hide.”

The Toronto Sun posted a five-second clip about half an hour before the Star published its article.

The new video was “this week being shopped around by someone looking to make thousands of dollars,” the Toronto Sun reported. While the newspaper did not purchase the video or enter into negotiations, the newspaper did received two clips “which appear to show the mayor impaired and in an apparent rage and in an inebriated state.”

Watch the Toronto Sun video below:

The Toronto Sun said that “a source close to the mayor” confirmed it was Ford in the tape and that it “looks a lot worse than it is.”

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, a former Ford ally, said in a statement Thursday the mayor needs help.

“In light of the latest video that has surfaced…I have grown more concerned and fear for his health now more then [sic] ever. If it is in their power, the Mayor’s family needs to intervene and attempt to get him to a drug rehabilitation centre,” he said.

“I fear that if the Mayor does not get help now he will succumb to health issues related to addiction,” Mammoliti said, adding he would be supporting deputy mayor Norm Kelly and the executive committee for the remainder of the term.

CityNews asked Ford’s lawyer if it would benefit the mayor to take a break.

“Obviously it would benefit them if they needed to take a break,” Dennis Morris said.

“Let’s hope for the best in the future because he’s a fantastic mayor. We just need him to stay healthy in every way emotionally and physically and every way possible so he could be a good father, a good mayor and a good husband.”

Last week, police Chief Bill Blair said investigators had recovered another video — first reported in May — showing Ford apparently smoking crack cocaine.

Many friends and supporters have been urging Ford to step aside and seek help. Others have called on the mayor to resign.

Earlier in the day, a visibly upset Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a longtime friend of the Ford family, said the mayor had to make his own decision about what to do.

With files from The Canadian Press

Mayor Ford may be forced out if he won’t take leave: councillor

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013


Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong says he’s amending his motion proposing that Rob Ford take a leave of absence, and if the mayor doesn’t go council will petition the province to have him removed from office.

The proposed amendment came as the city’s top civil servant Joe Pennachetti cautioned all staff that the city was not in crisis — and to not let the drama at city hall distract them from their job.

Minnan-Wong said, “We have told him that he needs to find the exit. He doesn’t seem to be listening.

“If he can’t find the exit, I think we have to show him the door.”

He added he believes that it would be the strongest measure “we could take.” He said he hasn’t spoken to Premier Kathleen Wynne, who earlier Wednesday reiterated that she’s not intervening and letting the municipality, the police and the courts do their work.

Minnan-Wong and his colleague Peter Milczyn drafted the original motion moments after Ford made the crack cocaine admission on Tuesday.

The motion also calls for Ford to apologize to the city for “misleading” residents about the existence of a video, that Ford co-operate with Toronto police in their investigation, apologize for writing a letter of reference for accused drug dealer Alexander Lisi, and that he respond to council directly and not address them through the media.

The proposal will be considered at next Wednesday’s council meeting.

Hours after his stunning admission, Ford said he had embarrassed the city, was very sorry and had only himself to blame for the mess, but that he was staying in office and was in fact planning to run for re-election next October.

On Thursday, city manager Pennachetti sent a memo to all Toronto managers, saying the city is not in crisis.

“I know you are all aware of the recent media coverage regarding the Mayor. The situation that is unfolding is unfortunate. It has also resulted in some media reports that the City of Toronto is in crisis. This is not the case,” the memo stated.

“I understand that these issues have created some distraction…The best way for the Toronto Public Service to address this situation will be to continue our hard work and to continue to provide high quality customer service to the residents and businesses of the City,” he added.

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