They say Thursday's the perfect day for an entire city to wear white pants, but we're not convinced. Yet. In the news: Rob Ford says no to hiking taxes for transit, Doug Ford says why to showers for cyclists, G20 ringleader sentenced to 13.5 months, a new self-defence act comes into play, and police officers mostly acquitted after 14 years.
Speaking out against the proposal to raise taxes to fund transit projects, Mayor Rob Ford says pish posh. Instead of raising property taxes, how about
summoning his pet unicorn, Sparky (who is also adept at Sudoku, FWIW) just asking the private sector for the money. Duh, guys. In more real world reaction to the plan, most councillors seem to think it’s a good start. And Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) says we shouldn’t stop at the Toronto borders—how about a regional tax hike to fund transit across the GTA?
As RoFo rails against the OneCity transit plan, brother DoFo questions the need for more bike parking at Nathan Phillips Square. Speaking at a meeting of the government management committee, Doug (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) questioned the need to spend $1.2 million on a bike parking station with 380 indoor parking spots (complete with showers). Others illustrated the need. And in the end, City staff was asked to draw up a report on whether the Toronto Parking Authority would be willing to waive the rental fees they’d ordinarily charge for the car parking spaces the bikes propose to take over.
G20 protest ringleader Alex Hundert has been sentenced to 13.5 months in jail. He was the last of the five so-called ringleaders to be sentenced for his role (“counselling others to commit mischief to property and obstruct police,” in law talk) with the violent splinter group of black bloc types. Possibly working under the mantra “save the best for last,” Hundert used his sentencing to make an impassioned speech about freedom and the Arab spring and revolutions and bullies and flawed systems for the annoyed judge, Hundert’s smirking lawyer, and the 100 supporters who gathered at the Finch West court house.
A new Citizen’s Arrest and Self-Defence Act is expected to receive royal assent today. The act would make it easier for people to make citizens’ arrests if they suspect some wrongdoing has been done on their property. That means people like David Chen, who was charged with assault after detaining a shoplifter at his Lucky Moose Food Mart in Chinatown, can take matters into their own hands if they suspect someone. But don’t get too carried away going all Blade on people, says Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (not exactly in those words, but still).
And after 14 years, a group of Toronto police officers has been acquitted of most of the charges stemming from a drug bust gone messy in Scarborough. The officers were found not guilty of beating up and stealing from the drug dealer they were busting, but will be sentenced for lying about the event in court.