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Newsstand: June 24, 2010

Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.

Hey, Toronto, what’s shakin’? Other than that little hiccup on Wednesday afternoon, of course. The 5.0-magnitude wobbler, which caused a mere zero dollars’ worth of reported property damage in Toronto, has since been immortalized in all the normal forms. Those T-shirts may patch up our shattered spirits and quiet the flashbacks, but they won’t win us any points. Ottawans are annoyed that it’s being called the “Toronto Earthquake,” ’cause, um, they have feelings, too.
Ottawa may have had their quake stolen by Toronto (and we’re coming back later for their lunch money), but at least they weren’t in the path of the Midland tornado. Environment Canada is expected to determine from debris patterns whether or not the storm that struck roughly two hours north of downtown Toronto was indeed a tornado. One thing that is certain is that there’s a lot of debris—it ripped apart a trailer park (!) and sent as many as eight people to the hospital. Funnel clouds were also spotted in Orillia.
Pride Toronto isn’t too proud to admit, under its breath, that banning the term “Israeli Apartheid” in an attempt to weed out a specific organization from this year’s parade was a bad move. Instead of imposing a targeted ban, Pride is now requiring participants to sign a form pledging to abide by the City of Toronto’s non-discrimination policy. For those of you new to the issue, various city councillors and bureaucrats had threatened to get Pride’s funding cut unless it kept the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching this year. Pride’s decision to rescind the blanket ban comes after weeks of heavy criticism, including this year’s chosen grand marshal and honoured dyke declining their honours and former honourees returning their awards to protest what they called the censorship and depoliticization of Pride.
Sarah Thomson is reorganizing her mayoral campaign after her campaign manager, Wendy Stewart, quit on Monday. Who’s filling Stewart’s shoes in the meantime? Why, none other than John Tory, Jr., son of the prodigal candidate for Toronto mayor and Ontario MPP. Tory says his role in Thomson’s run is only temporary. As for his father, the elder Tory claims he has no plans to enter the race, probably, unless Conservative voters ask him really nicely, and he feels like it, and there’s nothing good on TV.
The G20 Omnipolice Billion-Dollar Victory Squad has collared its latest dastardly suspect. Byron Sonne, a security professional described by his own friends as “generic, kind of like a geek,” and “a harmless shit-disturber,” was taken into custody by heavily-armed police on Tuesday. Police have not released details, but allege that Sonne attempted to intimidate “Justice System Participants” and interfere with property, and that he possessed explosives for unlawful purposes. Sonne’s associates insist the explosives charges don’t add up, but added that police might have overreacted to a few of Sonne’s “stunts,” like tweeting links to video inspections of the security fence and trying to “purposefully raise flags and [get] the ‘the man’ to take a look at [himself].”
Meanwhile, two men are facing nineteen charges for allegedly leaving graffiti on downtown banks and a police vehicle. Those incidents are also linked to G20 protests. The two men, one from Toronto and one from London, will appear in court this afternoon.
The Toronto District School Board has voted to close eight schools and put the sites up for sale to deal with budget problems and declining enrolment. Protesters chanted outside the board meeting, which came after a prolonged push to axe schools with low enrolment. The closures will free up $19.8 million, and save the TDSB an additional $59 million in deferred maintenance and $2 million per year in operating costs, according to TDSB staff.


  • http://undefined Kevo

    It always seems kind of wrong to me when the only thing that’s mentioned by the school board is that they’re saving money by closing the schools. How many kids went to the schools? Were there 50, 200, 800? In some cases it’s warranted, in others it’s to save a few bucks and please the neoconservatives who believe that all government services should make money.

  • http://undefined spacejack

    I’m sorry, I know it’s terrible, but the (!) made me laugh quite a bit.

  • http://undefined Colin

    Dude, nobody believes that all government services should make money. If you believe that neo-conservatives do then you are simply too blinded by your own hatred and personal bigotry to objectively observe things.
    What neo-conservative believe, and most taxpayers would agree, is that government dollars are limited and that they shouldn’t be wasted on inefficient or ineffective services.
    Keeping schools open in perpetuity without examining changes in local demographics and usage is just a waste of money. If those funds can be redirected to another area with higher demand, where we can get more bang for our buck, then that seems like an obvious thing to do.

  • http://undefined Vincent Clement

    Well it’s the only way to save money. You can’t rollback teacher’s salaries because their unions will scream bloody murder. You can’t seem to eliminate school boards and trustees because for some reason people believe we still need boards and trustees.
    While I agree that government services shouldn’t have to make money, they shouldn’t be wasting money either.