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Newsstand: March 23, 2012

Happy Friday, you! You totally earned this. And so: despite yesterday's defeat, Rob Ford doggedly insists he'll fight for subways to the death—or at the very least till the next election; a strike or lockout deadline looms for the city's largest union; Air Canada workers go on a wildcat strike at Pearson airport; and Catholic students are sent home for wearing shorts (and also khakis).

If nothing else (but really, nothing), Mayor Rob Ford is truly tenacious. Following a protracted city council debate over the future of transit on Sheppard Avenue East, Ford and his fellow subway-ites were defeated yesterday; council voted 24–19 to go forward with light rail on this stretch of Sheppard, rather than to extend the existing subway.

If you’ve been following the transit shitshow (for lack of a better word), yesterday’s result comes as no surprise. What’s kind of fascinating is watching Ford cling desperately to his subway crusade, so much so that he’s jumped two years ahead and is revving up to battle…somebody…in an election that, God help us, will revive the issue of subways versus LRT.

While the city assures we’ll be spared another garbage strike, it released a list of services that will be affected should CUPE Local 79—Toronto’s largest union of 23,000 workers—go on strike or be locked out Saturday. These include city-run daycares, community centres, swimming pools and arenas.

In other labour news, Air Canada ground crews and baggage handlers engaged in a wildcat strike at Pearson airport last night, apparently triggered by the suspension of three airline workers following a show of supposed disrespect to federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.

And yet another “labour” disruption of sorts: over 60 Catholic high school students in Pickering defied their principal’s “no shorts, khakis or ankle socks” stipulation for yesterday’s uniform-free day. Hundreds of students flooded the halls to protest, and 63 were ultimately sent home to change. That’ll show those renegade khaki-wearers to keep their subversive khakis (right, and shorts) at home!


  • Anonymous

    CUPE 79 also runs much of the court services too (fines, intake, general flotsam) so if there is a strike, expect managers and maybe even scabs to be running these systems. So if you have a fine you want dealt with, expect longer than usual wait times, misfiling and misinformation (imagine your boss doing your job…)

  • Daniela Pirraglia

    Heard Doug Ford on the radio this morning saying that “we only lost by two votes.” Umm. 24 minus 19 equals… 2?

    And since when does it matter how many votes you lost by? You don’t get a redo just because it was kind of close.

    • The Loli Factor

      think a little harder, if the opposition had two more votes what would the outcome be?

      • Neil

        Still would have lost 22 to 21

    • kachoochoo

      his line of reasoning in the media scrums right after was that mammo wasn’t there, and that moeser would have been onside (despite the letter to the contrary), therefore they would have only lost by two. this from the same guy that counts the 1 billion left over for sheppard twice in order to say there’s 2 billion available for a sheppard subway during and after the debate yesterday.

      at this point they’re just generating soundbites and key messages to keep their base stirred up – great (if revolting) politics.

      • TomeOne

        I was actually surprised Mammoliti missed that vote. Any idea why?

        • qviri

          Knew they didn’t have the votes and wanted options for plausible denial in next election. Apparently *some*, non-zero consistency is important to his voters.

    • Anonymous

      He also said this:

      “You’ve got ‘em all? We’ll see if you’ve got ‘em all or not, especially someone who won with 200 votes and barely scraped by,” Ford said. “More people voted against you!”

      Math: Doug, learn it.

  • Toronto corporate Photos

    ROB’s time is coming ….not sure when it will end…lol

  • Mr Kanyo

    “If you elect me as mayor in 2014 I’ll build subways!” Dude, aren’t you already the mayor?

  • Mark Jull

    I find it strange that what’s been lost in this transit debate is transit. I mean, all the articles today and yesterday are about costs, the role of the provincial gov’t, how LRT will or won’t affect car drivers, and/or what this means for Ford’s leadership. Have a look at Spacing’s roundup of news for today:

    You’d think someone would write about what this means for transit users.

    • Anonymous

      What transit riders want or feel like doesn’t sell newspapers.

    • Anonymous

      numerous times throughout the debate many people tried to bring the needs of transit users was ignored, The discussion of transit was completely lost, it was always about the needs of vehicles and those that drive them.

  • Anonymous