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Newsstand: May 7, 2013

The sun keeps shining! What is this awesome weather we are having? Could it be...spring? In the news: Ford gets shirty with councillors who support a debate on transit funding, McGuinty is set to testify about cancelling power plants, Porter could be on the hook for a report on airport expansion, and an OCAD student has a proposal to prevent bike theft.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 4

Mayor Rob Ford said Monday that he’ll hold councillors “accountable” if they throw their support behind increased taxes and fees to pay for transit expansion in Toronto. “If 30 councillors want to put their name to implement taxes on the back of hardworking taxpayers in the city, I’ll hold them accountable in the next election,” Ford said. City council could vote to overrule the mayor and his executive committee by putting a debate on transit revenue tools on their agenda as early as today, after Ford and his executive committee voted last month to defer debate on Metrolinx’s request for advice on revenue tools for transit funding.

Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty testifies today before provincial MPPs, where he’ll answer questions about power plants set to be built in Oakville and Mississauga that his government cancelled before the 2011 election. The cost to taxpayers for the cancellations of the plants was $310 million for Oakville and $275 million for Mississauga, much higher than McGuinty’s often-stated figures of $40 million and $190 million, respectively. Premier Kathleen Wynne has admitted that the controversial cancellations were “politically motivated.”

The report on a proposal by Porter Airlines to bring jets to the Toronto Island airport is estimated to take up to six months and cost more than $1 million—and the city is asking Porter to pay the tab. City council will consider a report, which would examine the airline’s work plan to bring so-called quiet jets to Billy Bishop Airport, some time this week. Porter has agreed to pay for the first leg of the study, which will cost an estimated $225,000 to $275,000, and City staff indicated that they’ll ask the airline to cover the more expensive second stage as well.

One OCAD student claims to have found a solution to the problem of urban bike theft. Industrial design student Patrick Kroetsch developed a prototype for a new lock-station system after his own bike was stolen. His idea—created for his thesis project—is based in part on the Bixi bike stations, and would be built in such a way that locking your bike in properly is the only way to use it. Toronto police say that more than 3,000 bikes were stolen in the city in 2011.

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