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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Morning Brew: Mark Towhey confirms he called police, new rules for police, no byelection in Ward 3, Trinity-Spadina first for complaints, and remembering Sparkles

toronto constructionRob Ford's former chief of staff Mark Towhey says he contacted police at the height of allegations the mayor was filmed smoking crack cocaine. Towhey made the call to cops when he "came into some information that I thought may be useful to them," he told Newstalk 1010's Jim Richards yesterday. When asked, Towhey said he didn't know if a recording exists. Ford denies there is a video and says he doesn't use cocaine.

The provincial government will announce changes to use of force options available to police later today following the death of Sammy Yatim. It's likely the new rules will allow all officers to carry stun guns if their force permits it. Ontario's ombudsman and police Chief Bill Blair have launched separate investigations in to the shooting on board a Toronto streetcar last month.

The residents of Toronto's Ward 3 won't be going to the polls to replace former deputy mayor Doug Holyday. City council voted 22-11 in favour of appointing someone to fill the vacant council seat, despite Rob Ford speaking out in favour of a byelection. Did council make the right call?

Doug Holyday has already endorsed local Tory Peter Leon to fill the empty seat and former MP John Nunziata, brother of speaker Frances Nunziata, has also expressed interest in the appointment.

Residents of Trinity-Spadina filed the most complaints for noise, garbage, graffiti, and rooming houses, according to data published by the Star. The two wards, ranked first and second, submitted a total of 3,715 complaints to municipal licensing and standards. Etobicoke-Lakeshore came third with 1,309 while Don Valley East filed the fewest, just 134.

A Beck taxi driver says he was removed from duty for accepting Hailo and Uber smartphone fares. Sheikh Imran says the company cancelled his radio service, kicked him off the dispatch system, and refused access to his rented taxi. Company policy forbids drivers forbid fares from other sources. Should they?

Do you remember Sparkles, the nightclub at the top of the CN Tower? From 1979 to 1991 one third of the observation deck was turned into a shiny, neon dance club during the early morning hours. The Grid has excellent (and embarrassing) pictures from inside the club during its heyday. Think 80s leather and big hair.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Marika van Velsen/blogTO Flickr pool.

by Chris Bateman via blogTO

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