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Newsstand: March 21, 2013

Happy day you probably thought was the first day of spring! It's not like it makes a difference in this icy hell-hole anyway. In the news: councillors vote no to limits on terms and lobbying, the military could be giving some elephants a lift soon, and the land transfer tax could be headed for the chopping block.

newsstand greenwood2

City councillors are standing firm against outside pressure, defending their rights to meet with lobbyists whenever they want, because clearly that’s something that should be a top priority. The argument from councillor David Shiner (Ward 24, Willowdale) seems to be that if a lobbyist curfew were to be enacted, they would still meet after set hours, but in secret. Wish we’d tried that one on our parents when we were younger. The executive committee also voted to push back any debate around term limits for councillors, although proponents say the fight isn’t over.

Turns out Toronto probably won’t be getting a sweetheart deal to host a casino complex downtown after all, and that has a lot of folks unhappy. Not Mayor Rob Ford, though. He’s optimistic a new review of casino deals in municipalities across the province could result in more money for Toronto. The review is expected to arrive right around the same time the waste at City Hall shovels itself to the curve, the private sector builds a 20-line subway system for the City, and Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) willingly withdraws from public office.

All right, let’s get the first joke out of the way for this next one. Elephants eat peanuts. Planes serve peanuts. So wouldn’t it be funny if the Royal Canadian Air Force jet that could be flying the Toronto Zoo’s elephants to California’s PAWS Sanctuary actually served them peanuts? It would. Not everyone sees the funny side, though. In fact, board member and City councillor Gloria Linday-Luby (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre) has sent a letter to the feds requesting that the RCAF not be involved because she and others still don’t support the move. Yeesh, if councillors can’t get over a few elephants, what are they going to do with something like the land transfer tax?

Funny we mention that, actually. The mayor’s executive committee voted yesterday to open up a debate around cutting a tenth of the land transfer tax. This is the Rob Ford story that has it all. Cutting City revenue? Check. Acting on a campaign promise three years into a four-year mandate? Check. Quote about how it won’t be a “boring summer,” despite a debate on the land transfer tax being just about the most boring thing ever? Oh yeah. Token reaction from council’s left? Yuh-huh. Vague talk about “finding the efficiencies,” as if the last couple of years never happened? Got that. Inevitable ‘attaboy praises in the comments section? Shazam.

There are a bunch of Torontonians competing in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament this year, including this huge honkin’ dude who might just be one of the sport’s next stars. The fact that we never saw him when he was living in this city seems both tragic and impossible.


  • IJustGotToBeMe

    I would rather see Adumb Vaughn get run over by a car (or a bicycle for most of the losers on this site) then willingly leave public office.

    • Steveinto

      When I read this kind of comment it makes me like Adam Vaughn more. He is good for the city, he listens to his constituents and has a good grip on what makes a city liveable. Unlike our current Mayor, who only hears voices in his head, who hates the city and will let it crumble into a Canadian version of Detroit. All for the unrealistic idea that it means more money in his pocket.
      what do expect to gain with a severe economic downturn destrying millions of peoepls lives?

    • Sean Marshall

      Funny how those who obsessively demonize the councillor for Ward 20 are unable to spell his last name correctly.

    • dsmithhfx

      “then willingly leave public office”

      I suppose that would depend on the extent of his injuries.

    • HotDang

      Wow. What an ignorant comment. You really need to read some Marx and educate yourself about how the world works.

      • IJustGotToBeMe

        You could be right. Maybe then I would be God’s gift to mankind like yourself.

        • vampchick21

          Or less of a pointless moron littering comment boards. Or whatever….

    • Lee Zamparo

      How could you see that from under a bridge?

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      I would rather you go back to the Sun‘s comments, troll.

  • Matt Patterson

    Re: Casino and land transfer tax. This is one of the reasons I oppose a casino. Even if it delivers all of the revenue that is promised (which it won’t), it’s not like council would use that money to build subways all over the place (which it can’t anyway). Instead it would just give them more room to cut other revenue like the land transfer tax and commercial property taxes. So instead of building the utopia that the pro-casino side is promising, we’d have the same old city except that its operating budget would be subsidized more by poor gambling addicts and less by rich real estate speculators.

    • Testu

      And we’d be completely dependant on the gambling revenue at that point too. If the popularity of the casino drops we suddenly have to start cutting the city budget because all the revenue tools have been abandoned. Take a look at what’s happening in Atlantic City to get an idea of what happens when people lose interest in casinos.