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Weekend Newsstand: May 18, 2013

If you're feeling pretty good about the fact that you don't have to go to the office for three days, think about how happy a certain elected official must be about that. Hurray for holidays! In the news: More from the Star on how they got a piece of this week's biggest story, Rob Ford's proposed solution to dealing with illegal drug users, the end of Magnetgate, a music video debut, and a big day at Marineland.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 1

Curious about how the much-discussed Rob Ford crack video came to be viewed by the Toronto Star‘s Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan? Wonder no more! They’ve captured the adventure in an article that ran in the Star today.

Well, it seems that if Mayor Rob Ford does have a drug problem, he may already have a solution in mind. In 2005, the then-city councillor told the National Post that problems in his own family have taught him “tough love” is the only way to battle drug use. Rather than focus on harm-reduction strategies, Ford at the time advocated for enforcement and rehabilitation measures, saying if drug users had to dry out in jail, great! We wonder if he’s still singing the same tune today? We could try asking him at his next press conferen…never mind.

Here’s a bit of good news for Team Ford: The Magnetgate scandal isn’t likely to stick. Sure, the jokes may continue, but city officials have dropped the complaint as, according to the City’s acting director of licensing, “Mayor Ford did not commit a breach of the bylaw, as he is not in the business of being a bill distributor within the meaning of the licensing bylaw.” Nope. That he is not.

Were you lucky enough to catch Kanye West’s video debut last night? If you were outside the ROM between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., The Bay between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., or Much Music from 12:30 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., you may have caught a glimpse of the new video for his latest song, “New Slaves,” on the walls. In total, the video was projected on 66 buildings across the world. Toronto thanks you, Kanye, for including us, and gifting us with your video presence.

The GTA’s Marineland, which has received quite a bit of bad press this year, will open its doors for the season today. To mark the opening, a group of protesters—and police—are expected to attend following a rough off-season of widely publicized claims of animal abuse and neglect with no charges laid. While protesting at Marineland is certainly nothing new, the way the park is dealing with it seems to be. It’s being reported that unlike years past, protesters will be kept on the other side of a fence erected around Marineland’s parking lot, rather than close to the entrance. Ah, yes. Protesters. Those most likely to stay where, and do what, they’re told.


  • qviri

    Marineland is not in the GTA

    • the_lemur

      Not even in the GTHA.

  • Conspiracy

    Rob Ford cancels special council meeting early on Thursday.

    Gawker story came out shortly after 8PM eastern time on Thursday.

    It’s known that sometime before the story coming out, a CNN reporter had made a call to the mayor’s former chief of staff to ask questions.

    So did the mayor call off Tuesday’s meeting, to stay out of the spotlight, because he was aware of what was going on behind the scenes?

    • dsmithhfx

      There’s a whole lot of interesting factors in play here. But let’s start with this: it is imperative for the conservative brand in Toronto, and the current slate of councillors who have uncritically backed Rob Ford to the hilt, to salvage whatever is left of their reputations at least among the zombie army he is the titular head of. And they really only have a couple of options here — deep-six the video and its creator(s) by whatever means necessary (and pray there are no copies already in the wild, a very, very big if), and continue claiming it’s all a hoax, or have Rob (probably against his will) publicly admit he has a substance abuse problem, resign and go into rehab. Obviously, the former carries the greatest possible risk for the conservative brand in Toronto, so I’m guessing it’s time to throw Rob under the bus.

      • Eric S. Smith

        It doesn’t seem likely that Ford’s own law-’n’-order–oriented fan club would accept anything less than resignation in disgrace if the video turns out to be the real deal, but it would probably be better if the lesson weren’t “admitting that you have an addiction problem will end your career.”

        It would be pretty bad if this scandal motivated anyone else to avoid treatment and carry on in (attempted) secrecy. That goes double for politics, where the classic addict mindset — with its all-or-nothing, with-me-or-against-me drama — can damage a whole city.