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Newsstand: January 30, 2013

Whatever, Wednesday. You always complain about being stuck in the middle of Monday and Tuesday’s torrid relationship, but quite frankly you got yourself into this. In the news: parks and environment chair Norm Kelly doesn’t believe in global warming; going the distance, and paying for it; questions of equitable school repair funding at the TDSB; a transit premier; and Markham’s arena proceeds.


Thank you, Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough Agincourt), chair of the city’s parks and environment committee, for pointing to strong and compelling evidence that global warming might not be real. Sure, the vast majority of trained scientists working in the field will disagree with you, but what do they know? The thousands of researchers who wrote the thousands of peer-reviewed articles supporting the existence of global warming probably just aren’t privy to that “information coming along the academic pipeline” that you are.

TTC fares based on distance traveled, rather than the flat rate currently used, is one idea among many that a new report on funding infrastructure puts forward. TTC Chair, Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence), is open to investigating this idea, but she is however, waiting on the Presto system of pay cards (already in use with GO Transit and at some subway stations) before seriously doing so. This discussion is going to be fun.

Some parents are calling foul on how the Toronto District School Board plots out which schools receive funding for improvements to their facilities. Specifically, they claim that the TDSB is favouring some more affluent schools at the expense of schools in areas with a generally lower tax-bracket. In October, the province stepped in to see that the board gets a hold of its finances before any new projects receive funding, but they have just announced that renovations at a few schools will get the green light. One school not on that list is Secord Elementary, which has recently “been tackling a raccoon infestation”—something that actually sounds like a really cool extracurricular activity.

Incoming premier, Kathleen Wynne, has already mentioned that transit will be a key area of concern for her when she officially takes over at Queen’s Park. Now, when asked about what would be on the agenda for a prospective meeting with Mayor Ford, she said that transit would be a huge priority. Let’s hope that it is for Ford too.

The GTA still might get another NHL-sized arena in Markham, as we mentioned yesterday. Last night Markham city council voted to continue on with plans to provide public funds towards the construction of a $325 million arena. That is an expensive arena for what it is currently slated to host: not an NHL team.


  • veniston

    “NLF-sized arena”? I didn’t know we were up for a Nerf Ladies Fighting team…

    • HotDang

      I thought it meant Nerd Ladies Football, the more refined counterpart of the Lingerie Football League.

      • dsmithhfx

        They wrote a league stats app, but it only runs on Linux.

    • James S. Mathien

      No, don’t you see? They mean the National Liberation Front! It’s the Viet Cong, man! The Domino Effect is finally happening! McGeorge Bundy was right!

  • OgtheDim

    The more I read about that TTC fare idea, from a guy from Peterborough, sponsered by the construction industry, the more I think he is:

    a) seriously lacking in understanding how this city moves around

    b) a nice way for the anti-road toll highway construction industry to change the subject.

    He actually said nobody who moves to Toronto is poor.

    • iSkyscraper

      Seriously. I mean, they actually wrote this language into the report:

      A lack of peak-load charges is often complicated by the availability of quantity discounts. Discounts are used primarily by rush-hour travellers, the practice effectively lowers the price per trip at peak times, when fares should be higher rather than lower. As well, lower fares for seniors, children, and students are difficult to justify – especially at peak times. Subsidies granted on the basis of age or status rather than income are difficult to support on any grounds.

      Third, several types of transit passes are sold by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Passes economize on transactions costs, but they are generally inefficient with respect to both time of day and distance traveled because the marginal cost of using them is zero during their period of validity.


      So… public transit systems should never offer discounts to those inefficient seniors, children and students (who really don’t work at their cubicles nearly enough) and forget ever offering a monthly pass, because someone might actually hop on a streetcar or bus instead of drive. Damn those freeloaders!

      I guess every single transit system in the world is totally wrong.

  • Glenn Storey

    ummm. wouldn’t wednesday be stuck in the middle of tuesday and thursdays torrid relationship? just wondering.

  • dsmithhfx

    Every time I think Council has hit bottom, along comes Norm Kelly.