You know winter's dragged on long enough when the sky and the ground blend into one dull shade of white. If all this cold dreariness is getting you down, why not try some news? Today: more resistance to the casino plan; extracurricular activities make a comeback; Paul Magder may be on the hook for Mayor Ford's legal fees; MP Chow pushes the feds to fund transit; the City may soon supply only fair-trade coffee, tea, and sugar; and a human rights case has been resolved.
It looks like the would-be Toronto casino isn’t playing its cards right, as opposition to the gambling emporium continues to grow. First Capital Realty, a major Liberty Village developer, has warned that it will “immediately end” their development in the area if a casino is built in the nearby Exhibition Place. This is the second major developer this month to rise up against the casino proposal, with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust urging the City to reject proposals to put a casino at the nearby Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The head of the CNE, too, wants the casino plans squashed, vowing to mobilize “CNE nation” to stop the proposal if it moves ahead.
School gyms across Toronto may soon be filled with the sounds of bouncing balls, squeaking sneakers, and whatever else it is kids do in gyms nowadays. On Friday, The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation voted to recommend that their members “suspend their political action” against the government, and that teachers resume extracurricular activities at the province’s public high schools. Extracurricular activities had been suspended in response to an ongoing labour dispute with the government over Bill 115.
Mayor Rob Ford has requested that Paul Magder, the citizen who filed the conflict-of-interest complaint against him, pay the mayor’s legal fees for that court case. The total amount shelled out by Mayor Ford was $107,070 in legal fees and $9,335.12 for expenses such as photocopying, transcripts, and phone bills. This number covers Mayor Ford’s initial court fight, his request for leave to appeal, and his appeal. This is standard practice in Canada’s “loser-pays” court system, though there is no guarantee what Magder will end up having to pay out.
MP Olivia Chow, who is the NDP’s transportation critic, wants gridlock and public transit dealt with in the upcoming budget. She’s taking the Conservative government to task on the funding of the senate, and 65 fighter jets, stating that those funds could go towards buses and streetcars instead. Chow’s pushing for a long-term infrastructure plan that addresses shorter commute times and fixes the country’s crumbling roads and bridges, including the Gardiner Expressway.
City staff will make a recommendation Monday that the City buy and supply fair-trade certified coffee, tea, and sugar, rather than simply awarding future contracts to the lowest priced bid regardless of its certification. Approximately $300,000 is spent annually on these items, a number that supporters, including Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), say should not rise by much, if at all, by making the switch.
Faith McGregor, who was refused a haircut in a barbershop because she is a woman, and barbershop owner Omar Mahrouk, have come to an “arrangement,” closing the case on this human rights complaint.