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Newsstand: March 11, 2013

How about that Sunday weather, eh? Bring on more of that, March. In the news: Ford and Thomson continue to trade barbs; the TTC is increasing automation on one of its lines; Toronto cops will get a bonus for working the G20; and spring's forecast is promising.

newsstand sherbourne

The Ford/Thomson back-and-forth—christened by the Toronto Sun as “ass-gate“—continued over the weekend. Mayor Rob Ford speculated during his Sunday radio show that Sarah Thomson, the former mayoral candidate who acccused Ford of groping her last week, may not be “playing with a full deck.” Ford again denied Thomson’s accusations during his Newstalk 1010 show, saying that she approached him at the fundraiser on Thursday to ask for support for her campaign for dedicated revenue for transit construction. Thomson stood by her statement after Ford’s continued denial—he also issues a statement on Friday—in a post on her Facebook page, where she wrote “Women used to be called ‘hysterical’ or ‘crazy’ when they claimed a sexual assault…this made many stay silent.”

The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to move its University subway line towards a partially automated system over the next few years. Automatic Train Control (ATC) removes much of the human element in controlling the trains; instead, operators press a button to close the doors and the system navigates the train through the tunnels, allowing them to run more closely together—a benefit in a crowded, busy system like Toronto’s. Shutdowns of part of the University line during each weekend of March are an early part of the transition to the ATC system.

About 500 Toronto cops will receive a $100 bonus for working the G20 summit in 2010 because it fell over their summer vacation. Arbitrator William Kaplan ruled that the Toronto Police Association was within its rights to cancel scheduled summer vacations because of the “policing emergency” but said that affected officers deserved the option of either pay for working a vacation day or a vacation day in lieu. The decision means that affected officers will get $100 per day of vacation cancelled because of the summit.

And if you enjoyed that warm weekend weather, you’ll be excited to hear that Environment Canada is predicting a mild spring this year. Average temperatures in March, April, and May should be just slightly higher than average, said meteorologist Maxime Desharnais, but that uptick could come in stretches of warmer-than-normal days with cooler periods in between. Bring on patio season, we say.

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