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Newsstand: May 8, 2012

There's no Tuesday like show-Tuesday, like no Tuesday we know! In the news-day this Tuesday: what to do with all the budget surplus, RoFo celebrates World Press Freedom Week, TCHC has a new CEO, the CBC is looking for new neighbours, and the Gardiner Expressway is falling apart.

Funding for some zoos and programs that help the City’s needy may be revived now that council has turned up a $292 million dollar budget surplus. At yesterday’s budget committee meeting, Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10, York Centre) promised a “floor fight” over his planned motion to restore funding to things like the High Park Zoo and the Hardship Fund. Pasternak will send a motion to the June session of council to re-open the 2012 budget and spend about $1.7 million of the surplus on those projects and more. And by “floor fight” we are guessing he means some sort of lively debate over the proposal and not a showdown between Moroccan tile and reclaimed barn wood, which would be cool/weird to see, but probably ultimately unproductive.

Mayor Rob Ford kicked off World Press Freedom Week by reading a proclamation and then jumping in an elevator to avoid reporters. Granted, that doesn’t seem like the best way to mark the occasion, but it was an improvement over how the mayor spent World Press Freedom Day eve: confronting a reporter on public land and chasing him off for doing his job.

Toronto Community Housing has a new big boss, and he’s a Yankee. Gene Jones, Jr. will leave his current post at the Detroit Housing Commission and will be taking over for TCHC’s interim CEO in June. In addition to prior work experience in America, Jones also brings bedbug knowledge, which, according to TCHC board chair Bud Purves, no previous TCHC CEO has had. Which sounds like both a good and bad thing.

Nerd alert: the CBC is looking for some new neighbours. If you are a corporate client seeking office space in the city’s downtown core, then look no further than the exploding pizza. You, yes you, could be lining up alongside Strombo and Mr. Dressup for your morning coffee or trying not to make eye contact with Peter Mansbridge in the elevator after getting a little buzzed at lunch. In an effort to rummage up some extra revenue in the face of budget cuts, the broadcaster is making an effort to fill the vacancies in its massive downtown headquarters. Apparently about one-third of the building is empty right now, and filling those spaces could bring in $12 million for the Corporation.

And some lanes of Lake Shore were closed yesterday after chunks of concrete fell from the Gardiner Expressway overhead. No one was hurt in the incident, but a lot of people were like, “WTF.”


  • Anonymous

    The only “WTF” is why the Gardiner is still standing after NYC, SF, Seattle, Boston, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, etc. all tore down their elevated highways.

    • Vampchick21

      Because apparently we can’t horribly inconvenice drivers long enough to fix the damn thing, never mind tearing it down and forcing them to find a different route.

    • Michael Kolberg

      I’d be interested to see a study that looked at how much it will cost to keep the Gardiner in good repair long term vs tearing it down + lost productivity (if that is actually the case) vs building a tunnel and keeping that in good repair vs whatever alternative.

      Basically a long term plan with data. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be afraid that it will collapse someday if we don’t take care of it. How much are we willing to pay to keep it standing?

    • Anonymous

      Now that we’ve hemmed it in with condos there’s damn all chance of it coming down, given the amount of dust and noise it would cause only a couple of feet from windows.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, Rob Ford’s actions prove, he is not of this world!

  • Anonymous

    FYI, Mr Dressup (Ernie Coombs) is dead. If he’s in line for coffee with you, you’ve got a lot worse problems than standing next to an asshole like George Stroumboulopoulos.

    • Anonymous

      George is awesome! whatchoutalkin’ bout willis?

  • Anonymous

    That’s Pastor Mansbridge to you.

  • Lauren

    it hurts how you mention the chance at standing in line with mr. dressup :(

    • Vampchick21

      It’s still possible, the question is would you be able to see him or just feel a cool breeze as he changes from his blazer to his sweater?

      • Anonymous

        That was Mr. Rogers.

        • Vampchick21

          Damnit! You’re right. Sigh. Age is catching up to me. My beloved childhood tv shows are blending into each other. Along with the cartoons. Not a pretty mental picture actually……

          • Michael DiFrancesco

            Don’t feel bad. Both Ernie Coombs and Fred Rogers started on Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood on the CBC, and it was Rogers who brought Coombs over here from Maine to give him the break that would culminate in Mr. Dressup, so the mix-up isn’t exactly out of left field.

  • alex

    “exploding pizza”?

    • Anonymous

      The CBC logo is often called that.