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Newsstand: April 11, 2012

Hey. Bet you're all tired right now. Pretty cute. News, then: council debates casino-related questions; sick stuff goes down at a Pickering playground; federal heritage minister announces money for TIFF; Rob Ford's election audit gets explained; and sports-field fees are waived.


To casino or not to casino? But also, when to vote on it, should Ontario Place be banned as a possible site, and is it legit for the city to spend $7 million on a should-we-casino referendum when fat/gravy/what have you is being trimmed like nobody’s business? These are, well, the questions. Today, city council considers two casino-related motions by two councillors. Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) wants to have a city-wide referendum on the question, but as part of a general election—rather than mid-term, as Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre) would like—and Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina) wants the province to scratch Ontario Place off the list of possible locations. Two-thirds of council support is needed for either motion to pass. If it’s not achieved—to the executive committee with them! (The motions, not the councillors.) Oh yeah, and, for his part, Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) likes referendums. But also subways. Subways are great. The subway question would’ve been so great on an election-time referendum ballot, says that guy. That is all.

Parks seem pretty innocuous, don’t they? No. Because nothing is sacred anymore. Was it ever? Right, why this is relevant: five slides in Pickering’s Kinsmen Park were found to be coated in mercury on Monday. Apparently, the amount was low enough that there should be no immediate health risks. Police are investigating what kind of crazy is responsible for this.

In other, less horrifying kid-related news, federal Heritage Minister James Moore, a wee 35 years himself, showed up at yesterday’s opening of 15th Kids International Film Festival, held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre. He was there to announce that his ministry will be pouring money into youth-oriented projects. Mama TIFF itself will be getting $50,000 for 2012–13, to be put toward a fancy new ticketing system.

In light of Mayor Rob Ford’s droppped appeal of his election campaign finance audit, The Toronto Star provides a primer on the audit process that Ford’s campaign financial statements will be subjected to.

The controversial sports-field fee issue has been resolved—for now. Council voted unanimously yesterday to waive new sports field fees. The $1.5 million the fee would have brought in will be replaced by savings from labour settlements, instead of asking the parks department to cough up the money. That was nice of them.

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