David Miller

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David Miller and David Crombie hate the Island Airport, and so does the Board of Health

(Image: DearEdward)

(Image: DearEdward)

Monday was quite a day for Porter Airlines. The company’s bid to start flying jets out of the Island Airport not only earned rebukes from both Davids (former mayors Miller and Crombie, both of whom are opposed to what they see as runaway waterfront development), it also managed to draw official criticism from the city’s Board of Health, which voted unanimously to oppose the plan because of its possible negative impact on the wellbeing of residents.

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The Informer

Politics

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POLL: Who is your dream candidate for mayor?

mayoral-candidatesRob Ford says the 2014 mayoral election is going to be a “bloodbath” (which he, apparently, sees as a good thing). The prospect of a dirty fight hasn’t scared off TTC chair Karen Stintz or businessman David Soknacki, who have both already made their mayoral ambitions public. Who else should join them in a political death match? Choose your would-be candidates of choice in our fantasy ballot below. Your favourite candidate isn’t on the list? Let us know in the comment section.

Who would you most like to enter the mayoral race?

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(Images: Rob Ford, Blind Nomad; Olivia Chow, Andrew Rusk; Giorgio Mammoliti, Christopher Drost; Drake, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment; John Tory, Denis Drever)

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People

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Party Pages: Steven Page performs and David Miller makes friends with a bear at WWF Canada’s annual gala

Party Pages: Panda Ball 2013

While no actual furry animals attended the World Wildlife Fund’s Panda Ball at the Four Seasons on Friday night, there was a human-sized plush bear tottering about the pre-dinner cocktail to pose with guests. (Even former mayor David Miller cuddled up to the night’s mascot.) Elsewhere, the Barenaked Ladies’ Steven Page charmed Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, writer John Ralston Saul, while special guest Chris Hadfield revealed that the popularity of that “Space Oddity” cover has its drawbacks. “You become an engineer, a tactical fighter-pilot, and an astronaut, but nobody says anything,” he told us, “but you sing one song, and suddenly, that’s all everybody talks to you about.” The message: he’s much more than a one-David Bowie-hit wonder.

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The Informer

People

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David Miller lands a new high-profile job at WWF-Canada

“Don’t even think about eating non-sustainable seafood” 
(Image: Rokashi)

Former mayor David Miller is taking over as president and CEO of WWF-Canada (that’s the World Wildlife Fund, not the wrestling outfit) starting in September. Since handing the city off to Rob Ford more than two years ago, Miller has kept a low profile—most of the time—with gigs as Counsel for International Business and Sustainability at law firm Aird & Berlis and the Future of Cities Global Fellow at NYU. So, while the current mayor is fighting allegations that he smokes crack, the former mayor will be fighting to save Canada’s cutest and cuddliest.

The Informer

Features

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Philip Preville: A sober assessment of Rob Ford’s shining achievements

Ignore, for a moment, all the sideshow antics that have hijacked his mayoralty. Rob Ford has made some big changes at city hall that we’ll all feel, in a good way, long after he’s gone

Philip Preville: the flip side of Ford

You could be forgiven for believing that Rob Ford’s first two years as mayor amounted to nothing more than a riveting insignificance. He’s provided quite a spectacle. Talking on his cell while driving. Reading while driving. The Cut the Waist Challenge (and its dismal failure). The altercation with a Star reporter near his property. Allegedly flipping the bird to a kid and her mom. Calling 911 (three times!) to save himself from a Marg Delahunty bit. Yet none of these incidents tells us anything about his record as the city’s chief magistrate.

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The Informer

Politics

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QUOTED: Doug Ford sizes up Olivia Chow as a mayoral candidate

(Image: Andrew Rusk)

Olivia Chow would make David Miller look like a fiscal conservative … Olivia Chow is no Jack Layton, and if they want tax-and-spend government, they’re going to elect Olivia Chow.

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The Informer

Politics

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A forgotten audio tape could make or break Rob Ford’s libel suit

Rob Ford is in court this week over a $6-million defamation suit filed by Boardwalk Pub owner George Foulidis, a high-profile case in which David Miller,  Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy and deputy mayor Doug Holyday are all potential witnesses. Those big names, however, have been completely eclipsed by the appearance of a lowly audio tape otherwise forgotten in the home files of former Sun writer and editor Rob Granatstein. Until yesterday, everybody involved with the inquiry believed no recording remained of a pivotal 2010 meeting between Ford and the Sun’s editorial board—everybody except Granatstein, who left the paper last year. He had a copy all along and had been anxiously deliberating about whether or not to come forward with the evidence. (He catalogued his painstaking struggle to make a decision in a column for Canada.com that’s so heady it almost seems like it could’ve been ripped from the pages of a Dostoyevsky novel.) After talking it over with lawyers, he eventually turned the tape over to the Sun, and it’s scheduled to be played in court tomorrow. Sure, the whole fiasco isn’t on par with the Watergate tapes, but it does feel like a twist worthy of a courtroom TV drama.

(Images: Rob Ford, Christopher Drost; recorder, redjar)

The Dish

Food Events

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GALLERY: The Stop’s annual What’s on the Table fundraiser brought out Toronto’s top chefs—and their biggest fans

What’s on the Table 2012

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

For philanthropists with a gourmet bent, What’s on the Table, the big annual fundraiser for The Stop, is kind of a big deal. Every year, a slew of the city’s top chefs come out to support the community food centre and hobnob with some of their biggest fans. The 2012 edition, which took place on Wednesday at the Artscape Wychwood Bars, featured chefs from Beast, Cava, George, GwaiLo, Hooked, Nadège, Noce, Parts and Labour, Paulette’s, Pizzeria Libretto and The Harbord Room, among many others. We spied former mayor David Miller enthusing with Cava’s Chris McDonald over their shared love of Spanish cuisine, and GwaiLo’s Nick Liu politely fending off nosy questions about where his still-not-yet-open restaurant will be located. In the end, after two auctions (one live and one silent), The Stop came away with $270,000 to support their mission of increasing everyone’s access to good, healthy food. The 500-odd donors, meanwhile, left with full bellies and rosy cheeks, having kibitzed with their chef-idols for a few hours.

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The Informer

Politics

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Five reactions to Rob Ford’s football scandal: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance

The explosive allegations that Rob Ford has been using city resources and staff for the youth football team he coaches have kept Toronto’s columnists busy over the past week. While perusing the rants, accusations and commiserations, we couldn’t help but notice that they nearly all fell into one of five familiar categories: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In other words, the five stages of grief (we’ll leave it to you to decide what they’re grieving: Rob Ford’s persecution, his alleged misdeeds, or the fact that he’s mayor in the first place).


1. Denial: Rob and Doug Ford

As promised, the Ford brothers used their first radio show after a hiatus to launch a verbal attack on the city’s media in general, and the Globe and Mail in particular. Near the end of the show, a caller asked Ford to justify his use of city resources; Doug interrupted him, saying, “No, we haven’t—that’s a lie.” Rob tried to calm his brother down, and responded to the caller: “Okay, but it’s just not true, sir,” he said. “It’s not true. With all due respect, I haven’t been using my office resources. That’s where the misnomer comes in.”

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The Informer

Politics

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QUOTED: Is David Miller deliberately mocking Rob Ford?

(Image: Rokashi)

…I coach my daughter’s soccer team and I’m able to catch my son’s events as well, and that was something I couldn’t do as mayor.

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford’s allies fight Adam Vaughan in an epic battle of words, tweets and blurry photos

(Image: Twitter)

Rob Ford supporters clashed with Councillor (and likely 2014 mayoral candidate) Adam Vaughan yesterday, in an entertaining, though dishearteningly spiteful, war of words and tweets. Vaughan started things off by slamming Ford for shirking his mayoral duties—a charge that journalists and politicos have also made in the past. 

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford and Karen Stintz finally find something to agree on: free plastic bags

After a very public rift over transit, Rob Ford and Karen Stintz are back on the same side, and it’s all because of the plastic bag fee. The Toronto Sun reports that Stintz plans on voting with the mayor to kill the 5-cent plastic bag fee during Wednesday’s city council meeting (Ford vowed to scrap the fee last month). Not that Stintz will likely return full-time to her former place in the Ford fold—the fee is a smallish matter and one Stintz never liked in the first place, having voted against the so-called bag tax when David Miller introduced it in 2009. [Toronto Sun]

(Images: Karen Stintz, Mike Beltzner; Rob Ford, Christopher Drost; plastic bag, londonista_londonist)

The Informer

Politics

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QUOTED: Rob Ford opponent Shelley Carroll says she wants to see more of the mayor

(Image: Christopher Drost)

—Councillor Shelley Carroll, targeting Rob Ford for spending too much time gadding about instead of staying at his desk and building consensus with the rest of council. We’re not totally convinced that Carroll, a vocal critic of Ford, is genuinely interested in building a close working relationship with the mayor, and her examples don’t quite work anyway: Ford cancels nearly as many weigh-ins as he shows up to and does his dull and offensive radio show on the weekend. Meanwhile, Ford supporters, including Doug Holyday, pointed out the mayor conducts much of his city business outside the walls of city hall. More on the mark was Carroll’s criticism that Ford is focused on making promises for the 2014 election instead of working with council now. That said, Carroll, the budget chief during the David Miller years, has suggested she wants the mayor’s job come 2014—which would explain why it seems like Ford’s not the only one engaged in some pretty obvious (and early) electioneering. [Toronto Sun]

The Informer

People

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Gallery: David Miller, Jully Black and others share the one thing you should know before you die at the Top Ten Event

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Here’s the concept: nine notable Torontonians (chef David Rocco couldn’t make it)—or honorary Torontonians for the night—each get 10 minutes to share the one thing they think everybody should know before they die. Last Thursday, former Toronto mayor David Miller, singer Jully Black, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and others showed up at the Winter Garden Theatre to offer their collected wisdom at Stuart Knight’s second annual Top Ten Event in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. We showed up to receive said wisdom (and, of course, to fraternize with the bold-faced names at the exclusive after-party—Sandra Shamas now wants to be our Facebook friend. Just sayin’.). 

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Kristyn Wong-Tam brings the battle over the long-gun registry to Toronto

The recently cancelled long-gun registry has been a contentious issue in federal politics for years, but the next part of the battle could be fought in Toronto’s city hall. Following in the footsteps of David Miller, who was pro-registry, Kristyn Wong-Tam will introduce a motion at the next city council meeting asking Ontario to fight to maintain the data and allow it to be used by police, and the city’s lawyers to research how they could intervene. The Conservatives—who celebrated the registry’s defeat in February with a classy cocktail party—want to delete all the information collected by the registry since 1995. The Quebec government’s against the purge and Mississauga council already voted unanimously in favour of maintaining the records back in December (for which Hazel McCallion trotted out her fierce “tough on crime” face). It’s yet another example of Mississauga beating Toronto to the punch. [Globe and Mail]

(Images: Guns, simonov; Kristyn Wong-Tam, Christopher Drost)

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