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Newsstand: September 2, 2010

matt_newsstand_gull.jpg
Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.


It’s going to be a fantastic Thursday! Here’s what to ponder: the TDSB’s stadium-style party, Toronto is a speed trap, and your auto insurance coverage now covers less.

Yesterday afternoon, the Toronto District School Board held a pre-semester rally at the Air Canada Centre to really get jazzed for the new school year. The pricetag? $127,000. With the Ripley-esque title “Believe It: Our Time Is Now,” the event was originally planned as an all-day affair that would have set the TDSB back $345,000, but a public backlash lead to the scaling back of the event. TDSB education director Chris Spence, always the picture of modesty, was apparently introduced as “the architect of the vision of hope.” Who says rhetoric doesn’t buy textbooks?
If the mind-numbing gridlock of our fine city’s streets at rush hour doesn’t curb your pedal-to-the-metal tendencies, perhaps this tidbit will: Toronto has been named the Ontario city with the most speed traps by the National Motorist Association in their annual list of “Worst North American Speed Trap Cities.” Apparently there have been some 250 to 260 individual speed trap locations reported over the past few years—more than Los Angeles and New York combined.
If a city speckled with speed traps won’t convince you to park the car and hop on two-wheeled or public transportation, maybe a drop in the coverage your auto insurance provides might do the trick. Changes to Ontario’s auto insurance came into effect yesterday, and critics say that the province will now be providing less coverage for the same premiums. The biggest change is a 50% cut to medical and rehabilitation benefits, and there is also a 10% drop in income replacement coverage. Insurance reps say the changes actually benefit the consumer because we now have the choice to pay extra for the coverage we would have previously received automatically—it’s not cruelly forced upon us. See how they twist it?
Perpetually hot-under-the-collar Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiorito is hot under the proverbial (and most likely literal) collar, and this time, it’s about Rob Ford. Apparently Fiorito received an email from Ford headquarters with the subject line “Dear Joe Fiorito ‘Al Gosling is Dead.’” Al Gosling was an eighty-two-year-old Torontonian who died of an infection acquired while living in a homeless shelter. He had been evicted from his low income housing only a few weeks earlier. A follow-up email from Fiorito yielded a response with an identical subject line to the first. This isn’t the first time Ford’s camp has screwed up an email form letter, and chances are it won’t be the last.
Speaking of the temperature under Joe Fiorito’s collar—it is hot out! Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson said it best, when on Wednesday he announced: “If you’re sitting in an air-conditioned office all day, it feels like you’ve been punched in the stomach when you go outside.” Indeed. Enjoy the stomach-punching warmth while it lasts—cooler weather is on the way for the long weekend.

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