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Newsstand: September 23, 2010

Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.

Thursday has never looked so good, and neither has this charmingly encapsulated news roundup: candidates get analyzed by graphologists again, One Toronto launches their own campaign, and the Toronto economy is tanking/looking pretty okay.

You may remember that earlier this month, the Globe and Mail informed us that Rob Ford’s signature reveals a need to be noticed—a need he has been gloriously fulfilling for at least a decade with colourful turns of phrase like “Gino boy,” and “Oriental.” That graphologist also said that Joe Pantalone doesn’t like being pushed around and George Smitherman feels his accomplishments deserve recognition. Well, for some reason the Toronto Star has decided to judge the candidates by the exact same method, yet has come up with shockingly different results, leading to the terrifying but inevitable conclusion that graphology is not the exact science we’ve all been led to believe, and that perhaps it’s time to find another way of selecting our stock portfolio (’cause we totally have one).
A coalition of arts, environmental, labour, and social justice groups have banded together and announced a collective campaign to influence the issues dominating the election. The launch of One Toronto was appropriately accompanied by a rousing rendition of a modified version of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” (“One T.O, One T.O.”) and the group is promising to attend debates and hold forums on issues like health, arts funding, and the city’s most vulnerable people.
There’s nothing a mayoral candidate likes more than repeating the same conversation over and over and over again, but with renewed vitriol and just a dash spittle, and last night’s debate only served to enforce this truism. Held at York University, the debate saw an unusually feisty Joe Pantalone on the attack, accusing Rob Ford of overstating the city’s debt (in fact, neither candidate got the number right—it’s $2.4 billion) and George Smitherman of being bad at math. Ford also made the unexpected move of championing the advice of city councillors, arguing that they’re just full of great ideas that everyone ignores. Not surprisingly, Ford neglected to mention his favourite pastime at City Hall: ignoring city councillors.
Sometimes something happens in this city that isn’t related to the upcoming election, but unfortunately, in this instance, that something was two weeks of speeding tickets. Toronto police announced yesterday they gave out more than 9,000 speeding tickets as part of a back-to-school safety campaign titled, “Getting Them Back Safely is Everyone’s Responsibility.” They hope the cumbersomely named campaign will remind motorists to slow down in school zones and watch out for the kiddies.
There are two types of people in the world, our mothers/grannies/wayward priests tell us: glass-is-half-full people and glass-is-half-empty people. When it comes to the economic standing of this fair city, yesterday, the Toronto Sun offered something for everyone. In one story, the paper reported that the Canadian Federation of Business thinks the city is in serious economic decline, and that if we don’t act soon, we may be the next Detroit. Thankfully, an article just two clicks away with the hopeful title “Toronto’s Economy on the Rebound” announced that the Conference Board of Canada is predicting a 4.7% increase in real GDP this year, leading to the entirely reasonable response, “Boo!/Hooray!”

CORRECTION: SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 This article originally said, of Wednesday night’s debate, that neither Rob Ford nor Joe Pantalone “got the number right” of the City of Toronto’s debt—and that the debt was $2.4 million. We got it wrong, too: it’s $2.4 billion.


  • http://undefined james a

    The city’s total debt is $2.4 million? Are you sure *you* got that number right, Torontoist? :)

  • http://undefined Vincent Clement

    It depends which “debt” figure you quoting.
    According to the 2009 Consolidated Financial Statement, Net Debt (the difference between Financial Assets and Liabilities) was $3.8 billion.
    Net long-term debt was $2.8 billion at the end of 2009. This consists of debentures and loans payable less sinking fund deposits.

  • David Topping

    Nonetheless, the $2.4 million debt figure should have been billion, and we’ve added a correction above and fixed that mistake—thanks for catching, James.

  • http://undefined thomas.owain

    Ahem. [silence, please]
    A say no to the mo-fo Ro-Fo, yo.
    – No to the Ro-Fo
    A say no to the mo-fo Ro-Fo, yo.
    – No, no, Ro-Fo, mo-fo, no
    Give the mo to Joe.
    Thanks for your kind attention.