Everyone sleepy from staying up late to watch the Oscars? In the news: Half of Torontonians don't expect to be working for their current employer in a year; Rob Ford's election violations go before the compliance committee; the TTC backs down on its deal with Gateway newsstands; Ontario's selling its lottery business; and police hunt down community guns.
Just half of those working in the GTA and Hamilton have full-time jobs with benefits and expect to be working for their current employer a year from now, according to a report by United Way Toronto and McMaster University released on Saturday. The rest of the city’s workers are in jobs that are full or part time with no benefits or security, temporary, contract, or casual, and “precarious” work has increased by 50 per cent in the GTA and Hamilton over the past two decades. The researchers were surprised to find that up to half of those in precarious jobs are living in middle-class homes with annual incomes ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. “We know that precarious work arrangements are common in low-income households,” said Wayne Lewchuk, a labour and economics professor at McMaster and a lead researcher on the report. “What we didn’t expect to see was how much precarious work has crept into middle-income households.”
Toronto’s compliance audit committee will consider today whether to prosecute Mayor Rob Ford with violating the Municipal Elections Act after an audit found that he overspent on his 2010 mayoral campaign by more than $40,000. The audit also found that Ford committed many other possible violations of the Municipal Elections Act. If the three-person panel sends the case to a special prosecutor and it goes to the courts, Ford could face consequences ranging from a fine to removal from office.
The TTC is expected today to withdraw its decision to extend its lease with the operator of Gateway newsstands, bakeries, and lottery booths throughout the subway system, after an independent consultant advised that the newsstands should be put out to tender. Mayor Ford criticized TTC chair Karen Stintz on his radio show, saying that the board should have considered competing bids. Other newsstand operators spoke out as well.
Ontario is planning to privatize its lottery business, and the bidding process is already under way, the Globe and Mail exclusively reports. This would make the province the first in Canada to privatize its lucrative lotteries. It should be easier for Ontarians to purchase lottery tickets at locations outside of the province’s 10,000 lottery terminals, OLG CEO Rod Phillips told the Globe. “We just can’t afford to say to customers in 2013, you have to go where we want you to because some of those folks want to be able to buy a ticket on the Internet or pick one up with their Tim Hortons coffee—those are things that are potentially possible,” Phillips said.
In the wake of the recent death of another young man—15-year-old Jarvis Montaque—Toronto police scoured public housing in the city looking for “community guns,” weapons hidden where they can be found by those in the know. Toronto Police Deputy Chief Peter Sloly said in a radio interview that the guns could be used to commit multiple crimes. Cops searching public spaces in Toronto Community Housing buildings in several neighbourhoods last week found several guns as well as drugs, and will be attempting to track the weapons back to their owners or users. More details about the weapons seizures should come this week.