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Newsstand: January 28, 2013

Be careful out there, folks! Slippery weather this morning. In the news: Ontario has a new incoming premier; a fire tears through a beloved bagel shop; the mayor is mad about the TTC's extension of newsstand leases; and the port authority wants armed officers at the island airport.

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Ontario has a new incoming premier—Kathleen Wynne was chosen as the next leader for the provincial Liberal Party at a convention this past weekend, besting second-place finisher Sandra Pupatello. Wynne will be the first woman to be Premier of Ontario, and the first openly gay premier in Canada. Wynne said at a press conference yesterday that she hopes to improve the tone of the provincial legislature and cut the “rancour and viciousness” that outgoing premier Dalton McGuinty faced under the most recently minority Liberal government. McGuinty is expected today to inform Lieutenant-Governor David Onley of Wynne’s victory, but a date for her swearing-in hasn’t been set.

Firefighters battled a large—and expensive—three-alarm blaze at the popular Haymishe Bagel Shop in North York on Sunday. Four shop employees who were present when the fire started in the Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue building’s basement managed to get out safely, but the fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damages, with part of the building’s first floor collapsing into the basement. There were 17 trucks and 65 firefighters working at the scene at the fire’s peak. The fire marshal is expected to visit the site today.

Rob Ford used his first radio show after winning his appeal to call TTC chair Karen Stintz to task for supporting an extension of the lease to Tombar Investments, which franchises Gateway newsstands in the subway. Last week the TTC commission approved a $48-million, 15-year lease for the Gateway operations—which includes newsstands, lottery booths, bakeries, and cafés—in the subway system. Ford said that the deal was an “embarrassment” and that Stintz and the commission should have opened the lease up to bidding from other companies.

The Toronto Port Authority has proposed staffing the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport with nine armed special constables, working from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. The constables would be used to help with investigations, respond to alarm calls, and enhance existing security, the TPA said. Porter Airlines is in negotiations to bring U.S. customs to the island airport, and having the special constables on site would allow for a pre-clearance area for U.S. customs—required because such an area is mandated under federal aviation laws but American customs officers aren’t allowed to carry guns in Canada. Reviving the port police—armed special constables who worked for the Harbour Commission in the 1980s—is one possibility, said port authority security chief Angus Armstrong. Using Toronto police is another option.

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