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Newsstand: December 5, 2012

Wednesday: her friends call her Wednes, her enemies call her Hump Day. In the news: bikers get their belt buckles back, Hudak’s provincial pop-up shop, casino-referendum piggyback ballots, the weather, and Rob Ford in court.

Toronto Hells Angels are getting back a whole bunch of fancy stuff that was taken in a 2007 police raid, now that a judge has ruled the Crown does not have the grounds to hold on to it. The rings, pins, calendars, T-shirts, belt buckles, and other belongings being returned to the bikers all feature the “death head” symbol that, according to club rules, only full members are allowed to own. The judge in the case, Maureen Forestell, essentially ruled that something with the symbol on it is not inherently criminal and therefore can’t be held unless it is actually used in a crime. Good, now we will all see far fewer bikers’ butt cracks.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak thinks that it is about time alcohol is made available at grocery stores, corner stores, and privately owned liquor stores, not just the LCBO and stores run by alcohol producers. That would be convenient, but the LCBO currently contributes about $1.63 billion to the province each year, so it wouldn’t be cheap. This follows statements from Hudak on Monday claiming that the province shouldn’t be in the business of running gambling, either (this also brings in billions of dollars for the province). What is this, Hudak, a war on the only fun things the provincial government has going for it?

Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) thinks that if we’re going to go through all the trouble of having a by-election to pick a new mayor (an if indeed), we might as well throw another question on the ballot, too. Vaughan has suggested that a casino referendum could be added to any ballot stemming from the post-Fordcourt fallout. The Ontario Gambling Commission has said in the past that it will not put a casino in any city that does not want one, and this would be a pretty good way to gauge that.

Whoa, baby, it was a scorcher yesterday. The thermometer-shattering 16 degrees above zero has set a new record for the warmest December 4 in Toronto. Okay, now put your jean shorts away, because today is back to normal, boring, cold December temperatures.

Lastly, keep an eye to Torontoist today (just like you do every day), as Mayor Rob Ford takes his case before Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu to try to get a stay in the ruling that will take him out of office next Tuesday. Ford’s appeal in his conflict-of-interest case is set for January 7, 2013, and legal experts are expecting him to remain in office at least until that is decided. But, then again, some of those legal experts probably didn’t expect him to get turfed in the first place.

CORRECTION: December 5, 2012, 11:25 AM This post subheading’s originally misspelled Tim Hudak’s surname. Torontoist regrets the error.


  • ssegal

    oops you spelled Hudak as Hudack in the heading

    • clairelcrighton

      Good catch, thanks. We’ve corrected it above.

  • Anonymous

    Copy Alberta, and keep the provincial monopoly on the wholesale alcohol business. If anything, that should be more profitable than the retail side.

  • Anonymous

    The LCBO should license out franchises to locations (grocery stores, etc) that meet a set of criteria, similar to what Canada Post does with drug stores and stationery stores.

    The Beer Store monopoly should be terminated and the ground salted so it never happens again.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure what would improve if the LCBO was privatized. Alberta and BC show selection will not improve, prices will not improve. Convenience of location maybe, but were I live I have 8 stores I can get to, the furthest being a 25 min walk, the closest 10 min.

      • Anonymous

        In Toronto it might not be much of a problem finding an LCBO nearby, but the same can’t be said for a lot of towns across Ontario. Belleville, for example, has a census population of over 90,000 but only two LCBO locations (neither of them downtown, only one anywhere near a grocery store). Let the “free market” find a better balance of locations, but keep the LCBO’s selection (and the money flowing into the province’s coffers). The LickBo could then close down stores and sell off the properties no longer needed to serve an area.

    • Anonymous

      I bet most people don’t know that The Beer Store aka Brewers Retail, a legally protected monopoly under Ontario law, is majority foreign owned: InBev of Belgium and Sapporo of Japan own 51%. (The remainder is owned by Molson Coors, which is either Canadian or American owned, depending on which tax man is asking.)

  • Anonymous

    “the “death head” symbol that, according to club rules, only full members are allowed to own”

    As a family member to a 37 year HA vet, I can tell that’s not true at all. I have several sweaters and shirts with the “death head” symbol on it (usually on the arm or back).

    I think you’re mixing that up with the club rule that members cannot wear their colours when committing any type of criminal offense.

    The only thing a non-member cannot wear are any of the member patches, seen on the back of their jackets.