Monday, October 28 Commentary
This ever-expanding Senate scandal seems to be going from bad to worse for Stephen Harper and his Conservatives.
I don't think the Prime Minister could have been any clearer about what he wanted done with Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau when he spoke exclusively to NewsTalk 1010's John Tory on the Live Drive Friday.
But then we got wind of a deal being hatched by Harper's hand-picked leader in the Senate, Claude Carignan with Patrick Brazeau...to go easier on him. That was Friday.
On the weekend, Carignan indicated in an interview with Radio Canada that he'd be prepared to change his motions to suspend, to go easier on Brazeau and Pam Wallin but suggesting that because of Mike Duffy's combative nature in his speech last week that he would not get the largesse.
Carignan sits down in private with the other Conservative Senators this morning to discuss strategy and the Senate itself sits at 2 this afternoon.
There can be no doubt the 3 Senators need to be sanctioned in some way.
Beyond that, just what is going on here?
Has Stephen Harper lost control of the PMO and now lost control of his Conservatives in the Senate?
Is this some grand ruse to get Canadians so angry that if Harper moves to abolish the Senate altogether, Canadians will cheer him?
There are just too many weird things happening.
RACE FOR MAYOR
Toronto city councillor Karen Stintz has decided to declare her intentions early. She plans to run against Mayor Rob Ford a year from now on the premise that she agrees with Ford's fiscal approach. What will be different is that she'll be a "kinder, gentler" version of Rob Ford. In her words "if you like the policies but don't like the drama, I'm your person."
NewsTalk 1010's John Tory on with Moore in the Morning said those voters who want Ford defeated would stand a better chance if there were just 2 candidates in the race...beyond that it allows the incumbent to run with a core support while the rest split the vote.
Tory has admitted he is considering a run for mayor.
Some praise for Mayor Ford last night on NewsTalk 1010's Edward Keenan show from Toronto Star investigate reporter Robyn Doolittle.
Dolittle says in her conversations with potential mayoralty candidates she asks them if they intend to raise the so-called "distractions" during the campaign. She says "no one wants to do it."
One of those distractions is the fact that Ford's friend, Sandro Lisi has been arrested on drug charges.
We may find out this week whether police found anything of substance about the Mayor during the Lisi investigation.
The information sheets police used to get the search warrants will be provided to media lawyers today but we still don't know what, if anything, the judge will allow to be made public.
What we do know is that it was a mound of paperwork. Typically on a basic drug charge police submit a 3-to-4 page document.
In the Sandro Lisi case...4-hundred-80-pages. Is the mayor's name in there? What was the context?
One step forward, two steps back. The seems to be patter whenever we get into transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Every politician wants to stomp on the previous administrations decisions...setting back the planning and construction we so desperately need.
The Ontario regional transit authority Metrolinx, as you probably know, has developed a multi-billion dollar plan called the Big Move which still awaits Premier Kathleen Wynne's decision on how to fund it.
Now, PC leader Tim Hudak says if he wins the next election, he'd change the Big Move to save some of the 50-billion dollars.
Speaking to the editorial board of the Globe and Mail, Hudak says he'll expand on the strengths of the current system...beefing up GO trains and subways...but he won't be tearing up any streets to lay down track. He's promising a detailed proposal by the end of this year.
Well that didn't take long.
3 months after David Mirvish put up the for sale sign on the family properly in the Bloor-Bathurst area, he has a deal to sell to Westbank Properties, the Vancouver-based company that built the luxury hotel, the Shangri La on University just north of Adelaide.
Mirvish hopes to close the deal by the end of this year but the approvals process could take two to three years after that. In the interim, Mirvish says he'll keep Honest Ed's department store open. He'll just rent the space from the new landlord.
No one has put a price tag on this deal but it's obviously a prime piece of real estate downtown.
What will we do with the Honest Ed's signs? How about a sign museum. We can stick up the Sam The Record Man sign too.