David McKeown

The Informer

Politics

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Sorry seems to be the hardest word: four lame city council apologies

Given the number of times Rob Ford has had to say he’s sorry over his political career, it’s odd that he doesn’t yet have it down. This week, integrity commissioner Janet Leiper (whose job, incidentally, Ford has made noises about eliminating) slammed the mayor for his latest apology, which she says didn’t show enough remorse for some offside comments he made last spring. Of course, Ford’s not the only Toronto politician to issue a flimsy apology of late—we’ve counted four in the past month alone. Below, we break down half-baked mea culpas from the mayor, his brother Doug Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti and Gord Perks. 

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob and Doug Ford’s trash-talking may be reviewed by the integrity commissioner 

Rob Ford is facing another formal complaint over misconduct, this time for targeting Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. David McKeown, on his and brother Doug’s most recent radio show. After the brothers insinuated McKeown should be fired and talked about looking into the doctor’s “embarrassing” $290,000 salary, councillor  John Filion, who is also chair of the board of health, stepped in. Filion asked the Fords to apologize to McKeown by yesterday at noon—or else he’d take action against them. The Fords missed the deadline (the mayor was pretty busy) so now Filion will formally ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate. [Toronto Star]

The Informer

Politics

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Rob and Doug Ford gang up on Toronto’s chief medical officer

(Image: Christopher Drost)

Rob and Doug Ford may have gone too far in their war of words against the war on cars. On their radio show this week, the brothers targeted Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s medical officer of health, who last week recommended a city-wide reduction of speed limits (the board of health has since suggested pilot projects to reduce speed limits, but only in neighbourhoods that want them). The mayor called McKeown’s $290,000 salary “an embarrassment” and something he’d look into, while Doug—doing some long-distance bullying from Florida, where his daughter is competing in a cheerleading competition—questioned why McKeown even had the job. That speechifying caught the attention of health board chair John Filion, who promised to see how the board can respond. Apparently it’s inappropriate to publicly criticize an independent staff member for giving fact-based recommendations (NOW Magazine even interpreted the Fords’ comments as a precursor to a Gary Webster–style firing). Though we don’t dispute the Fords’ love of zooming down the freeway, we’re hoping the brash talk is just an attempt to pep up a less than electrifying radio show and not a plan of action. [Toronto Star]

The Informer

Politics

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QUOTED: Denzil Minnan-Wong scolds Toronto’s chief medical officer for wanting to cut speed limits

(Image: Christopher Drost)

—Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works committee, getting testy over Dr. David McKeown’s call to cut the speed limit in Toronto in a report released yesterday. Apparently, the rate of car collisions with cyclists and pedestrians is about twice as high in Toronto as in Montreal and three times as high as Vancouver. McKeown advocates cutting the citywide speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, and the limit on residential streets from 40 km/h to 30 km/h, writing that “small increases in traffic speeds results in a disproportionately large increase in pedestrian fatalities.” Faster than you can say “war on cars,” Minnan-Wong got territorial about what he saw as outside “meddling” in his department—not all that surprising given his previous mistrust of the pedestrian scramble at Yonge and Dundas. Still, even without he suburban councillor’s reaction, we’d bet the proposal to slow Toronto traffic would be a tough sell. [Toronto Star]

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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As health problems pile up, Toronto creates a new urban food strategy

Dr. David McKeown (Photo by Toronto Emergency Management Symposium)

The board of health is proposing a new food strategy that hopes to provide families across the city with better access to food. The public health department released its consultation paper this week and hopes to have some solid ideas presented to city council by the end of the spring. David McKeown, Toronto’s medical officer of health, told the Globe:

The food system that we have now, broadly, was developed in the postwar period and was really designed to keep prices low and maximize the amount of food that goes out there. But that food, despite the fact that food prices are relatively low historically, is still not affordable for people who are of low income.

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