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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants’ Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants' Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

(Image: Paul Henman/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I rent the upper floor of my semi to a young couple and was dismayed to find an Olivia Chow sign on my front lawn. I’m ardently opposed to her politics, though I’ll spare you the ideological screed. My question: can they use my property to promote their views? If so, how might I persuade them not to, short of stealing the sign in the night?

—NIMFY, Roncesvalles

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Doug Ford made Toronto’s streets dirtier, literally

doug-ford-now-whatThe Toronto Star reports that a 2012 decision to sole-source the city’s purchases of aftermarket auto parts has resulted in the partial breakdown of Toronto’s once-proud fleet of “dustless” street sweepers. The parts supplier, UAP Inc., has reportedly been sending replacement equipment that is incompatible with the particular brand of street sweeper the city uses, resulting in dustier, more garbage-littered roadways. One of the politicians most responsible for the problem, according to the Star, is Doug Ford. In 2012, he was the city councillor who put forth the motion that led to the sole-sourced contract’s approval. This is particularly embarrassing for Ford because both he and his brother Rob have railed against sole-sourced deals in the past, and have often implied that such contracts are inherently corrupt.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Doug Ford closes in on John Tory in a new Forum poll

Yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll showed John Tory maintaining his commanding lead over both Doug Ford and Olivia Chow, but a Forum Research poll released today tells a much different story. The phone survey of 1218 Toronto residents shows Tory and Ford in a virtual tie, with Chow still trailing far behind. The disparity between this and the Mainstreet poll is beyond either one’s margin of error, so one or both of them could very well be flat-out wrong. (To be fair, any poll can be wrong; it’s an occupational hazard.) If other polls start to agree with this one, though, Ford followers may have something to celebrate. The rest of the city, not so much.

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Doug Ford has yet to prove that he has actually donated four years’ worth of salary to charity

doug-ford-now-whatDuring last week’s semi-disastrous Metro Morning interview, Doug Ford mentioned, offhandedly, the promise he made when he was elected councillor for Ward 2 in 2010: that he would donate his $105,000 annual salary to charity. (Ford is a rich conservative, so this makes for good optics.) Over at Spacing, though, John Lorinc points out that Ford has never, in four years, provided any evidence of these six-figure donations he has supposedly been making. Even more remarkable is the fact that Lorinc’s column is the first time (to our knowledge) that any well-known journalist has even raised the question. It may be time for the mayoral candidate to release some tax receipts.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

9 Comments

Doug Ford tries to appease Jewish people, offends them anyway

doug-ford-now-whatAt a mayoral debate hosted by two Jewish organizations on Sunday, lesser-known candidate Ari Goldkind, who is Jewish, raised a pertinent issue: mayor Rob Ford’s on-the-record use of an ethnic slur that is offensive to Jews. Doug Ford’s response to the jab was completely—almost beautifully—oblivious to 500 years’ worth of Jewish stereotypes. “You know something,” he said, according to the Star, “my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish”—at this point, he was cut off by booing and laughter. He finished with a nod to his family’s “utmost respect” for the Jewish community. Now, strangely, a day after the fact, Ford has begun telling reporters that his wife Karla is Jewish.

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Olivia Chow: “The ‘bottom line’ is where good government starts, not where it ends”

“The ‘bottom line’ is where good government starts, not where it ends.”

Olivia Chow, speechifying during the official release of her full mayoral platform earlier today. The increasingly progressive tone of her rhetoric as election day approaches has earned her renewed admiration from at least a few pundits.

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Olivia Chow absorbs a ridiculous amount of Facebook hate

1,756

—The number of “racist, sexist and other offensive posts” removed from the Olivia Chow campaign’s Facebook page since March 13, according to an investigation by the Star. The same investigation found that far fewer offensive comments had been removed from the other major candidates’ pages.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

23 Comments

A new poll shows Olivia Chow falling way behind

This latest mayoral poll from Forum Research, conducted on September 29 and released earlier this morning, contains no surprises. The survey of 1202 Torontonians puts John Tory right where he’s been for the past two months: out in front. Olivia Chow, meanwhile, doesn’t do so well. This is the worst she has fared relative to Tory in a Forum poll to date. These numbers are roughly consistent with the results of yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

8 Comments

Doug Ford gains on John Tory in the latest mayoral poll

A poll released earlier today by political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies doesn’t give John Tory quite as much breathing room as last week’s Ipsos survey, but the essential message is the same: Tory is still the frontrunner, and Olivia Chow supporters are still getting harder to find. Mainstreet’s robocall canvass of 2,409 Torontonians found that Tory’s support is especially strong among people 45 and older. Also potentially good for Tory: the people who told Mainstreet that they support him also tended to express certainty that they would actually cast a ballot on election day. Supporters of Chow and Doug Ford, meanwhile, were less sure they’d turn out to vote.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

4 Comments

Doug Ford pulls out of a debate, supposedly because “average, hardworking people” can’t get in

now-what-newAccording to the Globe, Doug Ford pulled out of a debate organized by the Empire Club today just 20 minutes before it was supposed to begin. The ostensible reason for his sudden change of heart, according to his campaign, was that the lunchtime event’s $80-per-person admission price was insultingly high. “Debates should be open events that any member of the public can attend and ask questions,” a press release said. So, $80 is too expensive for Ford, who has spent the past few days doing everything in his power to portray himself as an everyman alternative to John Tory (despite the fact that both men are millionaires). $750, meanwhile, is apparently just fine. That, according to Global News, is what a ticket to Monday’s planned Doug Ford fundraiser will cost attendees.

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Bailing out MaRS is going to cost Queen’s Park a fortune

$308,800,000

—The amount of money the cash-strapped provincial government has committed to bailing out MaRS Phase 2, an office tower at University Avenue and College Street. According to the Globe, the tower—built by MaRS, a publicly funded startup incubator—was supposed to pay for itself by attracting innovative companies as tenants, but high rents have left the property mostly empty and totally insolvent.

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Doug Ford’s downtown approval rating is ridiculously low

11.8%
—The percentage of people living within the borders of the pre-amalgamation city of Toronto who described their attitudes toward new mayoral candidate Doug Ford as “positive,” according to a recent poll conducted by Nanos Research for the Globe and Mail and CTV News. (Another 8.3 per cent were willing to go as far as “somewhat positive.”) By contrast, Ford managed a 25.7 per cent positive response in his native Etobicoke.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Yet another poll puts John Tory in the lead in the mayoral race

Like Sunday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll, this new poll of 1,000 Torontonians by Nanos Research, conducted on behalf of the Globe and Mail and CTV News and released on Monday night, shows John Tory exactly where he has been since at least the beginning of August: out in front of all his main rivals for the mayoralty. The difference? These numbers are Tory’s best to date—and they may be even better than they appear. When voters who have yet to make up their minds are filtered out, the former Ontario PC leader gets 49 per cent of the decided vote. A Forum poll, also released on Monday, shows Tory with a slightly more modest advantage.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

1 Comment

John Tory maintains his lead in the latest mayoral poll

With the municipal election now just a month away, John Tory remains comfortably ahead of both Olivia Chow and Doug Ford in the mayoral race, according to a new poll conducted on Sunday by Mainstreet Technologies. The survey was an unusually large one, with 2,469 respondents and a margin of error of ±1.98%, and was done by Interactive Voice Response (i.e. robocalls), which some pollsters aren’t fans of. That didn’t stop Mainstreet Technologies’ president Quito Maggi from drawing a conclusion or two: in spite of other polling that put Doug Ford’s support first at 34%, then at 28%, Maggi is quoted in a press release as saying that Ford “could threaten Tory before election day,” since “John Tory may have peaked too early and has little room to grow.”

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Politics

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Rob Ford has cancer

(Image: Christopher Drost)

(Image: Christopher Drost)

At a press conference held this afternoon, Zane Cohen, the Mount Sinai doctor who has been overseeing Rob Fords care, gave reporters the sad news they’d been awaiting since the mayor’s tumour diagnosis last Wednesday. Ford, it turns out, does indeed have cancer. Specifically, he has what Cohen called a “pleomorphic liposarcoma,” a type of malignant tumour that arises out of fatty tissue. Cohen said it’s a rare type of cancer, and a “very difficult” one. The mayor is expected to start the first of at least two rounds of inpatient chemotherapy within the next 48 hours. Cohen said other measures, like surgery, may be considered later, depending upon how the tumour responds to the treatment. There’s no official prognosis, but Cohen said he and others at Mount Sinai are “optimistic.”

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