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Newsstand: December 10, 2012

It's chilly out there! In today's news: The Gardiner is getting its revenge for underspending; teacher walkouts begin; doctors ratify a deal with the province; the Star uncovers civic-appointments lists; and ermahgerd, a monkey in a coat.

Here’s a clue as to why the Gardiner keeps falling on us: over the last 14 years, millions of dollars meant to be used for repairs and upkeep for the expressway were spent elsewhere, according to Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East), chair of the public works and infrastructure committee. Now the City’s budget committee is debating if it’s worth more than $500 million to repair the aging roadway, or if it should just be torn down instead.

Rolling one-day strikes have begun throughout Ontario’s public elementary schools, the latest in the contract dispute between the boards and the province. York Region teachers plan to walk out on Thursday, and several boards—including ones in Toronto, Peel, and Markham—are in a legal strike position as of today.

News in another debate between the province and public workers: Ontario’s doctors will ratify a deal that will cut costs and change some services. The Ontario Medial Association said the deal was approved by 81 per cent of its members in a vote. As a result, spending will be cut by $400 million.

Emails have revealed that friends of Rob Ford on council received a message from the mayor’s office with a list of Ford’s preferred candidates for civic appointments, according to the Toronto Star. The three councillors—Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West), Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre), and Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West)—denied in October that they received lists of favourites before choosing appointees for city committees, but emails received by the Star under the Freedom of Information act show that they did get lists of “the mayor’s choices for shortlisting tomorrow” from Pina Martino, a special advisor to Ford at the time.

And, as you may have heard, a monkey was wandering around the North York Ikea yesterday. Twitter reaction was confused and swift. It’s worth nothing that keeping a monkey as a pet is illegal in Toronto, even if it is wearing an adorable parka.

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