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Newsstand: June 7, 2010

lllustration by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist.

Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) has a lot on his mind right now, what with much of his ward preparing to hunker down for an invasion by hordes of G20 dignitaries and those cops toting some of the embarrassment of riches laid out for the summit. But the councillor should be thanking the Harper government for insisting that the conference, with its holy mess of security operations, be set in the heart of downtown. All those security checkpoints being built, plus the lack of baseball, the closure of U of T, VIA Rail skipping Metro Toronto altogether, and the cancellation of Mamma Mia will all do wonders to counteract the “Manhattanizing” gentrification that has Vaughan so worried. In the meantime, he can relax in our two-million-dollar temporary fake lake.
Also. Concerned officials shut down seven downtown subway stations at 5 p.m. yesterday after a suspicious package was spotted in St. Andrew Station. The package, a briefcase, proved suspiciously empty—and isn’t it even weirder to carry around an empty briefcase than one stuffed with terrorism? The stations remained closed for two hours. The lesson here is that, if you pick the right time, leaving a cardboard box with nothing in it on the sidewalk can be as effective as phoning in a bomb threat.
Riders fuming about yesterday’s rush-hour subway disruption can try to take comfort in the fact that the TTC has hired a New York consultant to “develop a business case” for paying for rides using a credit card instead of cash or fare media. Better still, this as-yet-undeveloped case won’t have pesky advantages such as already existing, not requiring a new credit card, or being unified with the universal-except-in-Toronto Presto Card being rolled out across the region at this very moment. Oh, hey, and downtown subways will close about two hours early between St. George and Union stations until June 11. But East–West service through St. George will continue normally, so this is a victory, if you really think about it.
Oh, hey, we knew we weren’t done with “suspicious packages” yet. Toronto researchers have discovered that one in twelve study participants claim to have had sex while sleeping. So-called “Sexomnia” (and why wouldn’t you call it that?) has come up as a high-profile defence in rape cases, and legal experts are concerned it could lead to the return of intoxication as a legal defence against rape accusations.
Meanwhile, Washington D.C. has voted to have Toronto buried in its own filth (didn’t we do that last summer?) In fact, Congress voted to ban trash exports from Canada, putting a potential stopper in Toronto’s garbage shipments to Michigan, the silk road of solid waste. The Canadian government and the White House opposed the ban, which the entire Michigan congressional delegation supported. If the ban takes effect, Canada may retaliate by not taking any more shit from the U.S.—currently, we accept hazardous waste from thirty-two states.
Remember when this year’s honoured dyke and the grand marshal of the Pride parade both refused the honours to protest anti-anti-Apartheid censorship by the current Pride committee? Well, now twenty-two past honourees have joined them in renouncing their awards and titles. These include Salah Bachir, the founder of the Pride Awards. The ban on the phrase “Israeli Apartheid” targets the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, and came about after city officials threatened to revoke Pride funding if QuAIA were allowed to participate. Mayoral candidates George Smitherman and Rob Ford (councillor, Ward 2, Etobicoke North) supported the ban.


  • David Topping

    Small but notable mistake, quickly caught and fixed, but worth noting here: we spelled Adam Vaughan’s name wrong (as “Vaughn”). For that you can blame Metro.

  • LisaM

    Do we really have rush hour on a Sunday?

  • http://undefined allaboutto

    How we could justify spending more than a billion dollars on the G20 Summit. Do we seriously believe we can recover this from tourists or they are more attracted to our city? Does our position change in the globaly by having the most costly summit? The finance minsters come and go so I can’t see this having a long term impact.

  • rek

    I was about to ask that.

  • accozzaglia

    How can Metro be blamed for the blunder in a Torontoist story? That’s kinda lame.

  • accozzaglia

    Well, up to two sources, actually: the 400 southbound from returning cottagers (beet red and dehydrated, more often than not) and the mass exodus on the Gardiner and Front Street whenever the Jays lose at home on a day series game. This doesn’t happen when they win, because the tourist feedlots get greater business and stagger out their fan flight to the suburbs.

  • http://undefined rek

    Pride Toronto has really shot itself in the foot over the issue of Israeli Apartheid activism. I don’t know how relevant a (pun inbound!) straight-up gay/queer pride event is anymore (as anything but a tourist dollar draw), but if the community it’s meant to represent has branched out to other issues, it should include and reflect that.

  • http://undefined dowlingm

    MTA in New York is rolling out PayPass – but that means vendor lock-in to Mastercard since PayPass is proprietary to them. Can’t quite see how that is preferable to Presto, which is happening anyway and is publicly owned.

  • David Topping

    It’s of course our fault for misspelling Adam Vaughan’s name. (I was just using “wry, sardonic, and sometimes ironic humour” to suggest the blame for the mistake was wholly Metro‘s, for making the mistake first.)

  • accozzaglia

    Awwwh David, you are still such the touchy one. :)
    So adorable!

  • http://undefined elvmltr

    Unrelated to the post above, but: How come the Rocco Rossi ad says that he’s “The only candidate who isn’t a political insider”? Wasn’t he the national director of the Liberal Party of Canada? Hmmmm…

  • thelemur

    And really, didn’t they have a photo in which the top of his head wasn’t distractingly cropped out?

  • accozzaglia

    He’s a conehead. Anyone who’s ever seen him in person can verify this. They crop his head because the emperor has this beautiful, gold-embroidered robe on. Can’t see it? Look closer. They used a complementary fabric to match his skin tone.
    No, really. It’s there. Just ignore the naughty parts.

  • http://undefined thelemur

    Between his and Smitherman’s dome, this city is already way over the limit for mayoral candidates who look disturbingly penile.

  • accozzaglia

    That’s kinda funny.
    Whilst at the mayoral debate last week, I kept murmuring to my friends sitting next to me how much Rocco made me want to kick him in the ding-ding — especially following his condescending comments about the electoral reform topic of allowing permanent residents living in Toronto the right to vote in the mayoral and local ward races. This came after I happened to arrive on my bike at Hart House the moment he pulled up in a black car and stepped before his throng of red-clad Rossi goons who chanting his name like it was “USA! USA! USA!”
    This urge subsided when, following what Rocco said (about how much an affront it would be to let permanent resident Torontonians to vote to the memory of his Italian-immigrant parents), Joe Pantalone stepped up with his light, Italian-Torontonian lilt and said how he arrived to Toronto from Italy at age 13 and fully supports the right for Torontonians who sacrifice themselves by coming to a new country and making a life here — paying local taxes as well as following all laws — to allow them to vote on local elections if they’ve affirmed their commitment to Toronto with a permanent residency here.
    If I could vote in the mayoral elections (like my Torontonian friends next to me that night, I can’t yet), I don’t know whether Pantalone would get my vote (I sense he’ll say whatever you want to hear), but I confirmed that I’d mark a vote against Rossi if such an option existed. I’d even ride a bike uphill, both ways up the Iriquois shoreline in the snow, barefoot, to mark that vote against him.

  • accozzaglia

    In the “I can’t proofread my own comment department”:
    It’s “Iroquois” (which is a pain to hammer out on a keyboard), not “Iriquois”.
    And it was “were chanting his name”, not “chanting his name”
    I’m not a perfectionist. I’m not a perfectionist. I’m not a . . .

  • thelemur

    So Rossi believes giving non-citizens the vote would be an insult to people who couldn’t vote … in the past? Do legislative changes have the ability to travel backwards in time and mock the disenfranchised?
    He makes about as much sense as when he called the proposed University Ave bike lane ‘undemocratic’ and then demanded to see the figures for bike ridership so that he could decide what was best for all.