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Newsstand: March 5, 2013

Busy news day today. We've got everything from casinos to cats! In the news: Casino developers continue to woo Toronto; Ontario tuition increases could lead to protests; U of T has a new president; a depressing new report on the health future for the province's kids; Toronto is full of unlicensed driving schools; and ermahgerd, the internet helps a Toronto kitteh.

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The debate over the possibility of a casino in Toronto continues, with two possible developers throwing in their ten cents on what the City should approve. Wynn Resorts sent a letter, obtained by the Globe and Mail, to the City manager on Monday outlining their vision for a high-end casino facility in Toronto that would include restaurants, a spa, hotel rooms, and a convention facility. Meanwhile, MGM has given several city councillors private briefings on its vision for a Toronto casino as part of its extensive lobbying to develop at Exhibition Place. Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee votes on considering casino proposals later this month.

Ontario’s student leaders aren’t ruling out protests in reaction to comments from Brad Duguid, Minister of Colleges and Universities, indicating that tuition fees in Ontario will rise again next year—albeit by less than 5 per cent. Representatives from both the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance indicated that protests could result from another fee increase if there is demand from their members, but nothing is currently planned. Last month, the Canadian Federation of Students released a report calling for a 30-per-cent drop in tuition fees over the next three years.

The University of Toronto has selected a new president: Meric Gertler, currently the dean of Arts and Science. Gertler arrived at U of T in 1983 as a geography professor and will succeed David Naylor, who has been president since 2005 and is expected to leave his post sooner than the planned date of December.

A new report from Ontario Healthy Kids Panel says that without major changes, like banning the marketing of junk food to children younger than 12, 70 per cent of today’s children are estimated to be overweight as adults. The report also calls for more support for pregnant women and infants, a better food environment for children and families, and healthier communities that encourage activity. Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Health, said yesterday that she will chair a working group to examine the implementation of the report’s suggestions.

A Toronto Star investigation found that dozens of driving schools in Toronto offer in-car lessons to new drivers despite lacking the provincial authorization to do so, and their lack of regulation leaves them completely outside of government oversight. Many of these schools sign a contract with a school that is approved by the Ministry of Transportation, then offer their own unauthorized lessons on the side, the Star reported. Transportation Minister Glen Murray said that after being shown the paper’s findings, his ministry is taking steps to educate new drivers, schools, and instructors about the laws regulating driver education.

The internet proved its cat love by banding together to raise money for a sick Toronto kitty. A local couple found Tigress, a stray tortie, nearly frozen to death in front of their home in North York on January 23. They brought her into a vet for treatment, but couldn’t afford the rising bills, but an Indiegogo campaign has managed to raise the $2,270 required to pay for her care, thanks to help from the Watchcat Coalition. The coalition was founded to help a cat, Panda, who was shot by a pellet gun in the east end and later died. Tigress, thankfully, is now on her way to recovery and looking for a new home. All together now: AWWWW.

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