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Time to Clean House at the Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Will the TCHC board do the right thing and show CEO Gene Jones the door?

Photo by Flickr user Padraic.

Tomorrow, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s board of directors is expected to respond officially to ombudsman Fiona Crean’s blistering report on human resources practices at the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. Will they have the courage and sense to fire CEO Gene Jones?

The highlights of the report have been well publicized. According to Crean, hiring for key roles was frequently done without holding competitions, promotions and raises were handed out to favoured staff without the required review and oversight, and long-time employees were fired abruptly without cause or explanation, potentially leaving significant knowledge gaps in the organization. In one particularly egregious case, Jones’ executive assistant was paid $107,000 in 2013 (more than the director of compliance and legal counsel), and an attempt was made to shift some of her overtime pay from 2013 to 2014 in what looks like a ham-handed attempt to keep her off of the Sunshine List.

Keep reading: Time to Clean House at the Toronto Community Housing Corporation



Get Your Own Toronto Street Sign

Next week, the City will start putting its decommissioned street signs on the auction block.

Photo by Marc Lostracco.

Starting April 28, you’ll be able to get your hands on some much-coveted Toronto mementoes: decommissioned street signs.

Whether you’re looking for street names with a nostalgic, personal, or humorous appeal, there’s a good chance the City’s online sign auction will have something for you: 1,750 signs will eventually be available for purchase, and between 200 and 300 signs will be added each year. (Odds are good that at some point, at least one of them will feature your name, or a very funny name, or the name of the street you grew up on.)

The City is partnering with Platinum Liquidations on this venture—the signs will be auctioned off through the company’s website. Signs will be displayed there for 60 days and bids will start at $30.

“Over the past few years, the public has shown great interest in owning a piece of the City’s history and we are very pleased to be providing this opportunity,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East) in a news release. We’re not sure how much of this “great interest” was communicated through acts of late-night sign thievery, but it’s just possible this sale will cut down on the number of still-in-commission street signs that mysteriously go missing.


Newsstand: April 24, 2014

Why is it that so few decent songs have been written about Thursday? Monday is pretty well covered. Friday has a decent variety. What is so wrong with poor old Thursday? In the news: Adam Vaughan officially sets his sights on federal politics, Rob Ford rallies against travel expenses, there is no big pay raise in the cards for councillors, the pedestrian tunnel to the island airport will be delayed … again, and the Gardiner will be closed this weekend.


Newsstand: April 23, 2014

So, what did you do to mark Earth Day, yesterday? Nothing? Not even a Happy Earth Day card for your favourite tree? In the news: John Tory wants to be the man who planted trees, a recent study about aboriginal mortality rates in Toronto was misrepresented in the media, a woman finds a snake in her bathroom and wonders how it got there, and Flashdance—yes, that Flashdance—was inspired by Toronto and Hamilton.