As sweet relief begins to take shape on the horizon, Thursday is embraced. And with Thursday, the news: city council abolishes bag fee, then abolishes bags; who to blame for the Union Station flood; City changes hiring policies after learning where Christopher Husbands was working; definitely no casino at Ontario Place; and an arrest spurred by Facebook leads to cop being investigated for misconduct.
In a “be careful what you wish for” plot twist worthy of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, city council has taken Mayor Rob Ford’s desire to abolish the five-cent bag fee and gone a step further, voting last night to abolish plastic bags all together. Following in the footsteps of environmental havens like Seattle and Fort McMurray, Toronto retailers will have to do away with plastic bags as of January 2013. So wrap up your “drippy slabs of meat” while you can, because come next year this a no-bag town.
Commuters put out by last Friday’s flood at Union Station now have someone to direct their anger toward: the construction workers who removed a section of pipe beside the station. In a job unrelated to the TTC’s ongoing construction of a second platform at the Union subway station, the City is moving a sewer in the same area. So now we know, a gaping hole in a giant sewer pipe combined with torrential downpours may cause flooding. Duly noted.
Last weekend Christopher Husbands allegedly fired a gun in the Eaton Centre. A few months before that, he was bleeding from multiple stab wounds in the middle of Gerrard Street. He was wearing a City of Toronto staff t-shirt that night, because for the last six months or so, Husbands was employed by the City of Toronto at an after school program, even though he was under house arrest for sexual assault. News of Husbands’ employment has prompted a quick change to City hiring policies. The general manager of the parks and recreation departments says the three-month grace period for police checks is over, and his department will now be double-checking about 10,000 current employees.
Ontario Place has now been officially ruled out as a potential casino site. On a recommendation from John Tory, the provincial Minister of Tourism issued a statement saying that building a casino at that old theme park type place was not an option. So that leaves Exhibition Place, says Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
And the police officer who arrested a woman based on a Facebook photo is now being investigated for misconduct. Turns out creeping people on Facebook is not a valid method of police work.