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Newsstand: December 12, 2012

It is 12/12/12, so enjoy writing the date before that gets boring again. In the news: students, teachers, and McGuinty are all unhappy; NSFW activities; no gifts for some kids; Doug Ford wants a by-election; and the Gardiner is in worse condition than we thought.

Students across Ontario have started holding walkouts to protest the loss of extracurricular activities, and they plan to hold a rally at Queen’s Park tomorrow. Premier Dalton McGuinty has, for his part, asked teachers to start offering extracurriculars again and stop making him look bad let the courts decide the constitutionality of the province’s imposed labour contracts. Elementary school strikes have been taking place across Ontario this week and will continue next week, too. Our friends to the north, in York Region, will see strikes on tomorrow, and a strike in Toronto is not yet scheduled, but is expected next week.

Speaking of extracurriculars, two high school security guards have been charged with selling drugs. Also, a Pearson Airport employee has been disciplined for looking at porn at work. We bet that these people were totally like: “Is it Friday yet, or what!? Because I need to relax.”

Here’s something festive and heart-warming for you. One local employer has decided not to give gifts to his employee’s children this year. Instead, he is making a $3,000 donation to the Santa Claus Fund.

Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) is now pushing for a mayoral by-election, if needed, while his brother is currently on vacation. In a very un-Ford-like statement, Councillor Ford alluded to democracy being worth the estimated $7 million to $15 million a by-election would cost. Could this be because there are very few, if any, people on council that would like to see him appointed as interim mayor?

City engineering staff are now painting a far less rosy picture of the Gardiner Expressway’s stability than many politicians have recently. For instance, if major work is not done to a two-kilometre stretch of the road east of Jarvis Street, that section could become so unsafe that it will need to be closed to traffic within the next six years. This summer, while the public was being reassured that chunks of concrete falling from the aging infrastructure really were not that bad, the City’s engineering department was urgently working to repair sections poised to fall on things like a playground and a parked car.

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