If you haven’t already broken your New Year’s resolution, today is the last day to do so with a full refund. After this you’ll just get store credit. In the news: convenient marriage charges, ex-budget chief gives his demands for a return, Toronto gets the bill for legal costs in a case Toronto won, free Leafs tickets, and Councillor De Baeremaeker thinks it is time to build subways, again.
Come on, Toronto, it is time to shape up those loveless marriages; you need to find the spark again. The Canadian Border Services Agency has charged seven Torontonians for their alleged roles in a “marriage of convenience” scheme. There are many, many marriages out there based on far less than convenience, but apparently in this case, the people charged were responsible for helping coordinate sham marriages (for a fee) between Canadian citizens and Chinese nationals looking to gain entry into the country. You may now kiss the stranger.
Council’s Mr. Hot and Cold, Mike Del Grande, has now come out to say that he would come back to the position of budget chief, but only if council unanimously votes to ask him back. He considered council’s move to make the budget process more transparent a personal attack on him, which is part of why he stepped down from the position, so between these two seemingly unreasonable reactions to the budget fallout, it looks like he could probably use some time away from the job.
Toronto will be short $190,000 next time the budget-chief-to-be takes a look at the books. This is because an Ontario appeals court has ordered the City to pay that much towards the legal bills of Councillor Maria Augimeri (Ward 9, Downsview) and her closest competitor from the 2010 municipal election, Gus Cusimano. The costs are part of Cusimano’s legal challenge to the results of that election, where 275 Voters’ List Change Request Forms were left unsigned in the ward where Cusimano and Augimeri ran against each other. Despite winning the case, the City was still ordered to pay because of the extraordinary repercussions of the case.
Do you like the Leafs? Do you like free stuff? Answering “yes” to either of those questions (but probably more so the latter) is reason enough to get excited about the fact that the team will be giving away 1,000 free tickets to their home opener. Sorry, but what lockout?
Here’s a completely radical idea that has never ever been discussed before and won’t just try to derail getting some actual improvements made to transit infrastructure in the city: putting a subway where an LRT is in the works. A new TTC report has been released and it has Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) very excited because part of it claims that it is feasible to build a subway along the current SRT corridor. However, the report also notes that Metrolinx has the authority over decision-making along that strip of transit land and Metrolinx has been very quick to shut down the idea of building a subway rather than the planned LRT. Sorry Glenn, you can’t get everything; we’re only one city.