Today is the last really cold day of the year, we promise. In the news: Island Airport is more successful than ever, but still won’t pay what it owes; Gardiner repairs set to start west; Rob Ford can’t keep his Alpha-Ghetti down; and the Ontario Federation of Labour’s money (non-)issues.
Last year, Toronto’s Island Airport sent/received 1.9 million people—a 23 per cent increase over the previous year. Billy Bishop Airport (which is not to be confused with the other airport named after Billy Bishop, located in Billy’s hometown of Owen Sound) apparently also generated “$2 billion in economic output.” Whatever that really measures, it probably means the City can finally get the millions of dollars it is owed by the Toronto Port Authority, right? Nope?
City staff are recommending a change of plans for where to concentrate efforts first on the crumbling Gardiner Expressway. Originally, staff had proposed that work begin on the East side, but as of yesterday, those plans have changed because some points on the west side are deteriorating faster than the damaged areas along the rest of the road. Luckily, the Gardiner doesn’t run much east of the Don Valley. If it did, city crews starting on the west would probably just talk about how they really should spend more time on the east side this summer, but never actually do it.
According to their external auditor, the Ontario Federation of Labour is staring into a deepening money problem. A note from the auditor explains that it is not that the OFL, which represents around 1 million workers in the province, is spending more money than they bring in or that it is paying for things on credit, but rather that the federation is saddled with relatively hefty pension and benefit obligations. Last year OPSEU, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, effectively left the OFL because of finance concern.