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Newsstand: June 14, 2010

clayton_newsstand_homeless.jpg
Illustration by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist.


Rob Ford is definitely going to be mayor! Except he isn’t because George Smitherman wins even all the way from China! If only Better Ballots could get “undecided” on the ticket, this race would be a lock. One poll from yesterday pegged Ford winning with 17.8% of the vote, beating Smitherman’s 15.9. But that poll’s evil twin had Smitherman beating Ford, 29% to 26%. Smitherman has been criticized for refusing to discuss details about his platform. To be fair, so has Ford, but his central messages of “I will cut City Hall in half” and “Don’t You Hate Kyle Rae?” are a little easier to parse.
City Council will consider a plan to set up “bike boxes” around five intersections, including “Toronto’s worst intersection” at College and Spadina. The experimental, European-style road feature would essentially paint four thick stripes around the edges of the intersection that only bikes are allowed onto during a red light. No word yet on how this will be decried as part of the “War on Cars,” but if it doesn’t involve calling cyclists “dicks in a box,” our cynical side will be just a bit sad (but our sunny side will be that much happier, so the issue is kind of win-win).
A Toronto man has learned that emergency support from the city can come at too high a price, after finding out he can’t sponsor his wife to come to Canada because of a $413.88 relief check he accepted from the city two years ago, when his apartment building was gutted by fire. Azam Mahmood was one of nine hundred people the city offered support for food, rent, and clothing expenses for the six weeks they had to stay out of their building. Apparently, since that means he has received “social assistance,” he is now ineligible to support his spouse’s application to immigrate to Canada. So, that seems like a super-fair, extra-wise policy homerun.
Meanwhile, no one cares about an audio tape of a Beatles’ press conference in Toronto, where the Fab Four fended off media jabs about whether or not they thought they were better than Jesus. I mean, we’re not saying the tape, recorded at the King Edward Hotel, was worth the twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars auctioneers expected. But if the Canadian government can successfully auction off seized Superman pyjamas and Care Bears briefs, then a professional auction house should be able to move a genuine, if boring, piece of Beatles-in-Toronto memorabilia, right?
And finally, how ’bout those G20 security fences? The Star’s Christopher Hume, for one, thinks that the stately erections do what all great architecture does: send a message. True, that message is “stay the hell out, freaks,” and we could probably have just said that with the sound cannons, but this way looks better in photos. The G20 conference will sport thousands of cops and cop-like security guards, tricked out with so much theatrical weaponry and riot gear that “the only thing missing will be swords and spears.” Unfortunately, among the group won’t be at least one Toronto police officer, who has been charged with assault after allegedly threatening two suspects in custody. Constable Christopher Hominuk, 37, faces three charges, including assault with a weapon. He’ll be in court on July 21.

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