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Newsstand: December 14, 2012

Friday the 14th: the guy one cubicle over that likes horror movies a bit too much and takes everything a bit too far. In the news: Gardiner garage sale, kids cut classes for protest, Rob Ford’s legal arguments in appeal, an illegal sign at a fire hall, and no new full-time staff for the ombudsman.

Still looking for the perfect gift that is sure to bring years of joy and happiness to a loved one? How about an expressway? On Monday, Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) will be putting forward a motion at the City’s budget meeting to look at the possibility of selling the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. Once in private hands, the roads would, of course, get tolls. It will be interesting to see which members of council are ready to put their private-public-partnership money where their private-public-partnership mouths are when it comes to adding user fees to driving.

Some kids will take any excuse to cut class, even if that excuse is to ensure that there is more school fun to go around. Yesterday, over 1,000 high school students upset with the current labour dispute between the province and teachers gathered in Queen’s Park. Their protest, while not collectively aimed at either the teachers or the government, was ostensibly over being caught in the middle of the two sides. On Tuesday, elementary school teachers at the Toronto District School Board will be taking their turn in province-wide, rotating, single-day walkouts.

Rob Ford’s legal team has prepared its top list of reasons why Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland was wrong to remove Ford from the mayor’s throne. The reasons are: council couldn’t actually make him give the money back, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act shouldn’t apply to the Code of Conduct, the money wasn’t enough to influence Ford, and his error in judgment was reasonable.

A sign reading “Fire truck A215 out of service permanently January 2013 contact Mayor Ford” appeared on the lawn of a firehall (the one losing truck A215) at Lawrence Avenue and Port Union Road in Scarborough this week. The City wasn’t happy that an unauthorized sign had been placed, by a private citizen and not the firehall, on public property. Some bylaw thumping later, and the sign has moved to a neighbour’s lawn.

Municipal ombudsman Fiona Crean won’t be getting the extra staff that she asked for, but auditor general Jeff Griffiths will be getting the extra staff that he didn’t ask for. As you can probably expect, certain people will say this is political payback for being critical of the mayor and his allies, while other people will say that this is not political payback for being critical of the mayor and his allies.

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