Do you have The Bangles' hit song Manic Monday stuck in your head this morning? No? How about now? Yup, that's what we thought. You're welcome. The news: Mayor Ford derails the CNE's gravy train; proposed changes to the way we vote in Toronto; the Port Lands redevelopment saga continues; illicit yard-sale activity; and a long, hard swim.
The gravy train is alive and well, according to Mayor Rob Ford, who is, as always, focused on the important things. Like stopping the madness that is free CNE passes. For shame, CNE, for shame. Why are you always giving rich guys the breaks, and shaking down the poor? The mayor knows what you are up to and he doesn’t like it a bit. On Friday, the mayor was “caught on tape” cutting up his complimentary CNE-midway passes and free, 18-day unlimited parking pass. He then ordered his staff to send the shredded passes back to CNE organizers with a letter questioning the “gravy train” freebies. Next stop for the mayor: the midway. Let’s see if he can keep those carnival workers on the straight and narrow.
This may be hard to believe, but the above clip may not be the best video footage you see of Mayor Ford this week. Though his appearance on This Hour has 22 Minutes didn’t go especially well, the mayor may have a second chance at showing off his comedic chops. Mayor Ford will be meeting with celebrity comedians Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis today, and might possibly, hopefully, shoot a quick sketch with the duo, who are in town to promote their upcoming film The Campaign.
By 2018, instead of choosing a single candidate when voting for city councillors, we may be ranking candidates by our order of preference, and we may be doing it on the weekend, as Toronto’s elections officials are currently reviewing a proposal to switch to a ranked ballot system. The proposal, drafted by the Ranked Ballot Initiative, a volunteer-run, non-partisan advocacy project headed up by community activist Dave Meslin, reportedly has the support of 18 of the 45 members of council. The proposal includes not only a change in the way we vote, but also a recommendation to move elections to the weekend. If that doesn’t work to get more voters out, Meslin will start going door to door with a coffee and a tablet, ensuring the process is more relevant, inclusive, and pleasant (well, no, he probably won’t, but seriously, Dave, we’d love a latte and a visit!).
Plans to redevelop the Port Lands are hitting a (dock) wall. Objections to the original plans, which are designed by award-winning architect Michael Van Valkenburgh and include park space at the mouth of the Don River, are based on the issue of land ownership and have led to the plans being redrawn. The revised plans, which are to be rolled out this week, will allow development to be phased over the next two to three decades, and are expected to take about $150 million off the original price tag.
If you enjoy waking up early on Saturday mornings to go yard sale–ing, you may be an accessory to a heinous crime (or a minor by-law infraction, but that doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic). In an effort to crack down on yard sales that operate more like small businesses, by selling new items rather than personal property, for example, Toronto city council started keeping a closer eye on garage sales six years ago, limiting residents to two a year, and reviewing wares for sale to ensure that people are not running a small shop on their private property. Penalties for not following the rules include a fine of up to $200, and repeat offenders could have to go to court and could be fined up to $5,000 under the Provincial Offences Act.
London was not the only place in which athletic feats were unfolding last night. Overcoming fatigue and strong overnight winds, Madhu Nagaraja became the 50th person to swim across Lake Ontario, and he did so in just 24 hours. What did you get up to last night? The couch, some Olympic events on PVR, and maybe some popcorn? That does sounds almost as challenging.