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Real City Matters

Join us Tuesday night for a discussion about municipal ethics in Toronto

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Newsstand: November 14, 2012

Today is really excited to meet you and show you all that it has to offer, like fake Rolexes and stolen stereos. In the news: gambling’s new love interest; Ford’s libel liability; Jarvis Street protester arrested; police budget getting even tighter; and airplanes, coming soon to an airport near you.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has changed its tune on where the best place to put a casino might be, and it might not be Toronto. At a business luncheon yesterday, Rod Phillips, president and CEO of the OLG, told business luncheon–goers that lower costs and “greater convenience” outside of the city could mean more profit for the province. This, of course, runs contrary to what Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and OLG chair Paul Godfrey have said in the past, favouring a downtown casino. Ha, we knew all along that the OLG was only saying such nice things about us to try to get into our waterfront.

Hey, Toronto Sun, Rob Ford just called you a bunch of liars. In the opening statements for the libel suit against mayor Ford, his lawyer, Gavin Tighe, claimed that the Sun attributed words to Ford that he did not say. Specifically, the mayor (before he was mayor), apparently did not say that the deal at hand “smacks of corruption.” However, in a separate radio interview that falls outside of the scope of this court case, Ford did very much agree that someone was getting money under the table. The phrase doesn’t sound like something Ford would say, anyway. “Smacks of corruption, corruption, corruption!,” on the other hand, does sound more like him.

One protester was arrested yesterday on Jarvis Street in his effort to stop/slow/highlight the removal of the bike lanes there. The man arrested, Tomislav Svoboda, is a physician and a member of Jarvis Emergency Taskforce. As Svoboda notes, Toronto is the only major North American city to be actually removing bike lanes. Congratualtions, Toronto.

Uh oh, someone is going to have some serious politicking to do if what Police Chief Bill Blair is warning us about comes true. The board that oversees Toronto’s police services is asking that Blair keep the current budget level for next year, too—but with a contractual obligation to increase the pay of officers coming within that budget, Blair says layoffs and cuts to programs could be on their way.

Finally, Pearson (the airport, not the former prime minister) could be stepping up to save the day for the Canadian Air and Space Museum, which was kicked out of its space at Downsview Park just over a year ago. The museum owed over $100,000 to the park at the time of its departure, but has only raised $8,000 of a $500,000 crowdfunding goal so far. There might not be many people who are aviation-history buffs and familiar with crowdfunding, but if you are out there, the museum could use a hand. A hand and $492,000.

CORRECTION: November 14, 2012, 1:12 PM This post originally stated that the Canadian Air and Space Museum needed to raise $420,000 to meet its fundraising goal. In fact, the amount it needs to raise is $492,000.

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