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Newsstand: January 9, 2013

There are millions and millions of dollars today in Newsstand, so get ready to read some numbers. In the news: city surplus plus, Gardiner assessment back on at least one table, G-20 top cops court dates moved, and Porter might get a strike or lockout.

Money, money, money. The City’s surplus from last year isn’t quite what was expected—in fact, it is about $117 million off target. But don’t fret too hard, the surplus is over what was expected by that amount and we can thank at least one “contentious” source of revenue for pulling its weight last year. A large part of the bigger than expected pot of gold at the end of Toronto’s budget rainbow has come from the Municipal Land Transfer Tax, which minted us an extra $52 million over what it was thought it would bring in. Following from this, the arts community is feeling the love of city bureaucrats as staff at the finance department have suggested that council pass an extra $22.5 million to arts and culture in the city.

Also receiving a friendly greeting (for now) from the surplus is our beloved Gardiner Expressway—$105 million has already been set aside for that. However, back on the table this year is the possible teardown of a section of said crumbly roadway. The City’s budget committee has approved $4.4 million be put towards restarting an environmental assessment that was put on hold during the last election. The assessment looks at the possibility of tearing down the Gardiner east of Jarvis—a section that is already particularity rubble-like. Mayor Ford’s (for now) executive committee still needs to approve the plan.

Oh G-20, it has been far too long since we’ve included you here. The police officer behind two cases of kettling and mass arrests during the 2010 meeting of world leaders, Superintendent Mark Fenton, has had his court case moved another two months further away from the events that landed him five charges as prosecutors deal with a “laborious” disclosure process. Another officer, Inspector Gary Meissner, has also had his case put over. Waiting around for a long time without knowing what is going to happen to you must be hard, eh Mr. Fenton?

Porter Airlines might not be sitting so smug on their island home as soon as Thursday, when a labour dispute between the wing of the airline that runs their fixed base operations (or so the name Porter Fixed Base Operations suggests) and the workers that refuel their turboprop planes could turn into a lockout or a strike. The lack of resolution circles around wages. Also, according to the union, replacement workers are not being properly trained.

CORRECTION: Wednesday, January 9:00AM The article previously wrote that arts and culture in the city was suggested to recieve $2.5 million; it has been corrected to $22.5 million.

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