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Newsstand: May 28, 2012

If wet saunas are your thing, today is your lucky day. All you'll have to do is stand around in the humid, muggy heat, close your eyes, use your imagination, and be instantly transported to a soothing spa. Or Bangkok. Either way, happy Monday! The news: things Mayor Ford doesn't like: his diet, the Toronto Star (there may be more, but that's all we have to tell you about today); the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition has something to say about the plastic-bag fee; a new national park; and a Toronto man has a very bad day.

While Toronto’s mayor seems skilled at cutting back on hours logged at City Hall, cutting his own waistline has proven a larger challenge. Mayor Rob Ford has quit his very public diet three weeks before the scheduled end of his weight-loss campaign and weekly weigh-ins—that is, if it is fair to say that he “quit” something he hardly started, showing up to less than half of his scheduled weigh-ins. Now, however, it is officially done, with Mayor Ford stepping back from the scale still shy of his goal of losing 50 pounds.

As for that whole actually going to work and doing his job thing, Mayor Ford disputed the Toronto Star‘s claims that he’s lightened his workload this year, saying on his weekly radio show that his official internal itineraries include only a fraction of his activities. Calling Star employees “pathological liars,” he talked about how much time he spends working one-on-one with Torontonians, returning 40 to 50 constituent phone calls per day, and visiting citizens at their homes—altogether working up to 18 hours a day. So, basically, his days are filled with the same sort of tasks he took on before becoming mayor. This all sounds very reasonable.

The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition‘s latest beef is with Toronto’s five-cent bag fee. Calling the fee illegal, the coalition has filed a complaint against Toronto’s bag bylaw to the federal Competition Bureau, arguing that setting a fixed cost for plastic bags violates the Competition Act, which states that it is an offence to fix, maintain, or control the price of a product. According to the coalition, the five-cent fixed rate discourages competition among retailers who may wish to establish a lower price (um, which might get difficult) or give the bags away for free, especially since these bags range in value.

If there is one thing that the Toronto area has been missing, it is its very own national park, but that won’t be the case for long (take that, Jasper!) The GTA’s Rouge Valley has moved a step closer to reality after the federal government pledged more than $140 million last week. Located between Scarborough and Pickering, the national-park-to-be will include a beach, wetlands, campground sites, and hiking trails. Hear that, Muskoka? Looks like you’ve got some competition.

If a serious case of the Mondays is getting you down, it could be worse. You could be this guy. As if a car crash with a church-bound nun is not enough, his iPhone was stolen just after the incident, as his hands were too shaky to call it in. How’s that for perspective?

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