Eid Mubarak! In the news: CUPE president contender gets dirty while talking clean; a historic post office is on sale; CNE attendance goes up, up, up; Lobbyist could face hefty fines; and Doug Ford responds to an integrity report with a promise to fib.
The campaign of one CUPE Local 416 presidential hopeful was announced yesterday with both a pledge not to reduce his rhetoric to election trail mudslinging and statements that sound an awful lot like election trail mudslinging. Richard Prestula issued a press release to announce his candidacy while simultaneously “calling on all candidates to stop the mudslinging in order to debate the real issues” and mentioning how he does not have experience “losing in the last round of labour negotiations with the city,” or “creating a massive backlog of grievances.” Prestula is running against the incumbent president of Toronto’s outside workers; the current chief of stewards; and a fellow parks, forestry, and recreation worker.
National historic sites, who needs them? Canada Post sure doesn’t. They need money, and that is why our friendly postal service is trying to sell the historic Postal Station K at Yonge Street and Montgomery Street. The station sits on the spot where William Lyon McKenzie assembled rebels for the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837. Montgomery’s Taven, the spot’s structure at that time, is long gone, but the current building is listed as a heritage building, regardless. MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence) has been rallying support to try and stop the sale of the building and the probable building of a condo tower that would follow. If the post office is punishing us for not sending enough mail, we’ll send more next year—once the techno-apocalypse happens.
They said “Let’s go to the Ex,” and so we went to the Ex. This year, about 1.39 million of us visited the Canadian National Exhibition. Paid attendance of the CNE was up 13 per cent from 2011, and so the CNE board expects to return a surplus to the city for the second year in a row. Of course, if a casino were to enter the picture at Exhibition place, then the president of the Canadian National Exhibition Association, Brian Ashton, doesn’t think that the same Ex could be staged there. Sure, but the casino could probably just use giant stuffed animals for currency and no one would notice. Plus, eating all that fried food is like gambling anyways.
Two casino lobbyists could be facing upwards of $25,000 in fines for breaking city bylaws that prohibit lobbying during charity events and improper relationships with councillors. The pair are Jamie Besner and Kim Wright, who represent MGM’s casino lobbying interests. Along with Rob Ford’s mayoral campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis (also working for MGM, but not as a lobbyist), they reportedly left the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts, a charity event, with Councillors Ana Bailão (Ward 18, Davenport) and Mark Grimes (Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) just hours before Bailão was charged with impaired driving.
Lastly, Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) thinks that Doug Ford is prone to lying. Well, sort of. Regarding yesterday’s integrity commissioner’s report, Ford said that if forced, he will “apologize, but [he] won’t mean it.” Kindergarten lesson for Doug: it isn’t an apology if you don’t mean it.