Just another unremarkable Friday, folks. Yep, nothing weird or ominous to see here, people. Except the news: Executive committee makes some changes to the budget, G20 activist says she's learned her lesson, the City declares an impasse in labour negotiations, TTC driver eats chocolate bar, and Toronto police weigh in on Insite.
The executive committee made a bold proclamation at their Thursday meeting: “Ceci n’est pas un budget cut.” In addition to not cutting arts funding, as the draft budget had proposed, the committee passed a bunch of motions that undid some of the other contentious cuts too. Among other things that won’t be cut outright anytime soon: three homeless shelters and library branch hours (though other library services may still be cut). The committee spent the rest of the time trying to figure out if “budget cut” should take the masculine “un” or the feminine “une.”
A G20 activist says she’s learned her lesson: Do it better next time. Amanda Hiscocks will be sentenced today for charges of counselling to obstruct justice and counselling to commit mischief that she has already pleaded guilty to. Hiscocks was part of the group that was monitored by undercover police ahead of the G20 weekend, and even lived with one of the undercover cops for awhile. But she didn’t even have a chance to hit the streets and watch all her coaching in action, because she was arrested on the Saturday morning. Hiscocks expects to spend 16 months in jail.
Labour dispute fans: start your engines! The City says talks with unions are deadlocked, a proclamation that sets the stage for a labour disruption to get underway as soon as February 3. We told you once, but we’re telling you again because this is the kind of thing that qualifies as “news you can use.”
Supposing there is news you can’t use, this is probably it: a TTC driver ate a chocolate bar. Now the TTC is investigating the incident. Granted, the driver ate the unnamed candy bar while driving the bus, but that should only be a concern if it was one of the more complicated chocolate bars, such as your original Kit Kats (Kit Kat Chunky exempted), your Twix bars, or your Hershey’s Cookies and Cream which demand to be broken along the score lines and consumed morsel by deliciously dusty-tasting morsel. However, if the driver was just mowing down a Mars or some other hands-free option, we feel okay about just looking the other way.
And now it’s time for the academic study of the day: Toronto police don’t like the idea of safe injection sites. Police in Toronto and Ottawa agreed that safe injection site clinics like Vancouver’s Insite don’t do much to solve the problem of addiction. Chief Bill Blair is quoted in the report on the importance of maintaining a streamlined approach to drug branding, mainly the “drugs are bad so you are not allowed to do them,” one. But Toronto cops may have to get used to the idea, since a preliminary report recommends opening at least three safe injection sites in the city.