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Newsstand: October 11, 2012

Here comes another Thursday, forcing itself into your week yet again. In the news: Torontonians debate the merits of a casino in the city, Mel Lastman gives Mayor Rob Ford some advice, and the Port Authority seeks to remedy traffic woes at the island airport.

What do you think about a casino in Toronto? Well, if you’d gotten off your lazy ass and attended a public discussion at City Hall last night, you could have maybe shared that opinion with someone else. Of course, if you were worried about attending a potentially illegal public gathering, we understand. Those who did attend shared their views, many of which were in opposition to a casino in the city. A bit surprisingly, the pro-casino side included several major unions, who are also trying to butter up council’s left wing with the promise of (hopefully unionized) jobs. Also among the casino supporters was a guy who runs a lobby group representing casinos. The group recently launched a website that promises to cut through the clutter of opinions and deliver cold, hard facts about casinos, such as, “Toronto deserves an iconic property that will appeal to Torontonians who want a fun night out!” You be the judge.

And now, because it’s just not a day of the week in Toronto unless you’re hearing something about Rob Ford, here’s something about Rob Ford. According to former mayor Mel Lastman, Ford’s stubbornness and divisiveness are making Lastman’s own run in office look good by comparison. We’re not sure exactly who was zinged there, so we’ll call it a draw. Lastman goes on to say Ford needs to learn to make both sides of council work together. If it helps, Ford should just think of himself as Denzel Washington’s character in Remember the Titans. This city will be whipped up to shape in no time.

The Port Authority is working on a solution to traffic congestion problems at Billy Bishop airport, and it’s not “use public transit because that was part of the point of having a downtown airport in the first place.” Instead, taxis will pick up fares off-site at the nearby Canada Malting parking lot, thus doing away with the long line of cabs perpetually parked in front of the airport. But local residents still aren’t thrilled about cabs racing through the nearby intersection at Bathurst Street and Queens Quay West on their way to drop off jet-setters, so it might all be for naught.

CivicAction wants to know how you would spend an extra 32 minutes a day. No, the group isn’t lobbying for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation. Rather, it’s part of a campaign to get the public on board with supporting Metrolinx’s The Big Move transit plan. People can find out more, and witness countless fellow citizens lying about wanting to get more exercise, at the campaign’s website.

Trinity Bellwoods Park is up one rare albino squirrel after locals helped rescue an injured young member of the family that lives there last month. Workers at the Toronto Wildlife Centre have nursed the squirrel back to health and let it loose in the park again, where it will hopefully freak out tourists for years to come. Go get ‘em, little buddy.

CORRECTION: October 11, 2012, 10:50 AM This post originally stated that City officials were involved in nursing the squirrel back to health, when in fact employees of the Toronto Wildlife Centre were responsible for this act. We regret the error.

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