Matthew Blackett

The Informer

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Confidence Man: how Glen Murray is positioning himself to grab the reins of political power

The famously gay former mayor of Winnipeg was lured to Toronto by a group of backroom nabobs and remade as an influential member of Dalton McGuinty’s inner circle

Glen Murray | Confidence Man

(Image: Markian Lozowchuk)

Glen Murray had never failed before. Here was a politician with an unblemished record of triumphs—elected three times as a city councillor in Winnipeg, twice as mayor. Then, in 2004, he lost his campaign for a seat as a Manitoba MP, a race he fully expected he’d win. The loss especially hurt because it was so close: by fewer than 1,000 votes.

That summer, happy to have the distraction, he agreed to travel across the U.S. and study regional economic development for the American State Department. The trip gave him time to work out his frustrations and reflect on the vagaries of political life.

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The Informer

Politics

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Can the Internet do a better job of managing Toronto’s transit system?

Is there any way to avoid this? (Image: Paul Sherwood from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

We know how much Rob Ford loves outsourcing. But how does he feel about crowd-sourcing? Given the recent confusion over the basic facts concerning Toronto’s transit system—for example, who’s paying for it and how much—we thought we’d scour the Interwebs for some enterprising local bloggers with new ideas on how to help the TTC make a little more financial sense. We highlight two such ideas after the jump.

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The Informer

Politics

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City recommends serial lawbreaking when it comes to street hockey

Whether or not Toronto should legalize street hockey has probably been our favourite debate in city politics this past year. Over the last several months, the city’s perhaps-to-be-shuttered Pedestrian Committee asked the city to look at getting rid of the law that currently bans the playing of any games in a city street. Back then, committee member and Spacing publisher Matthew Blackett told us that it was a “nice, non-ideological thing the city can pass.” Turns out, perhaps not.

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The Informer

Politics

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All hail our cyclist overlords! Jarvis bike lanes going in; bike racks colonize Spadina

Bike lanes are coming to Jarvis Street (Image: Bitpicture)

Most days, talk of Toronto’s “war on the car” seems like so much overheated rhetoric. The vast majority of roads have no bike paths, streetcars or pedestrian scrambles; parking in downtown remains expensive but ample. If this is a war, imagine what surrender would look like. But then some days, the headlines conspire to make it seem that Toronto will soon look like 1970s Beijing, dominated by bikes, with cars rare and/or spat on. Today is one of those days.

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