Tuesday: The day once removed from the weekend, or the start of a three-day countdown? We'll leave you to ponder that. In the meantime, some news: Mayor Ford had a premonition about the premier's resignation; the annual push-and-pull over the Toronto police budget has commenced; Toronto considers banning smoking in even more places; and easing rules on contact with exotic dancers (kind of).
Although Dalton McGuinty’s resignation seemed to surprise most people last night, Mayor Rob Ford says he “sort of saw this coming.” However, his clairvoyance seems to have limits, as he also stated that he’s “not sure” how the premier’s resignation affects the city. One thing is for sure in the mystic mind of Mayor Ford: It’s time for a provincial election. Wow! Spooky.
The Toronto Police will end a two-year hiring freeze and add new officers to the force this year, according to Police Chief Bill Blair. However, the City, which has been pleading for cost-cutting measures instead, is not on board with this plan. In August, City Budget Chief Mike Del Grande, who chairs the board that approves the police budget before it goes to the City budget committee, said the police should freeze its $933.8 million budget. Any bets on who will win this tug-o’-war?
The Big Smoke is inching closer and closer to going totally smoke-free. Toronto Public Health officials are pushing for a ban on smoking on bar and restaurant patios, public building entrance-ways, hospital grounds, sports fields, and possibly even during public events in civic squares. According to findings from a 2011 survey by public health, these bans may have majority support. Eighty-six per cent of Toronto residents would support a bylaw mandating smoke-free doorways to public building and private workplaces, three-quarters would support a bylaw that bans smoking on all outdoor patios, and 83 per cent would support a ban on smoking at sports fields and spectator areas.
City staff have proposed loosening Toronto’s “no-touch” rule at strip clubs, allowing exotic dancers and patrons more contact…like a hardy handshake. The recommendation is to replace blanket prohibition, which can land strippers and their customers in hot water for “innocuous contact,” with new language that says, “an entertainer is not permitted to touch, sit, or rest on, or make any physical contact with the covered, partially covered, or uncovered breasts, buttocks, genital, pubic, anal and perineal areas of a patron or any other person” and vice-versa. Sexy.