It’s NXNE! In the news: Ford wants to have a garage sale, Woodbine puts down a horse, McGuinty puts down his seat in the legislature, council moves closer to ranked ballots and votes for permanent residents, and Pickering is getting an airport.
Yeah, who needs valuable downtown real-estate, which will continue to provide revenue to city coffers for years and years, when instead, we could have a one-time chunk of cash that will probably only get used to make the books look a little nicer for the moment? That is, if we even get all the money that was put into putting up the building. Yesterday, as mayor Ford made a public appearance to hand a $10 million cheque off to the city’s chief financial officer (is a cheque really the most secure way to transfer $10 million dollars?), Ford made the comment that city use of Metro Hall could be downsized and put somewhere cheaper. The city should then, in his eyes, put the building on the market, as it did in 2001, when the best offer was still $51 million less than it cost to build the building.
Woodbine racetrack has put a barn under quarantine after a horse showing signs of equine herpes virus, or EHV-1, was euthanized. If the horse indeed had EHV-1, other horses nearby could have picked up the fatal virus.
Dalton McGuinty is expected to step down from his seat in the provincial legislature today, now that the provincial budget has passed and things are heating up around the gas-plant closures/suspiciously missing emails.
Yesterday, city councillors voted to ask the provincial government to amend legislation in a way that would open the door to both ranked ballots and votes from permanent residents in the city. The ranked ballots system would ensure that all municipally elected officials have at least 50 per cent of the vote and the permanent resident initiative would ensure that around 250,000 people that live/work/pay taxes in Toronto have a say in whom represents them at the municipal level. Both initiatives would need to come back to council and get over a couple other hurdles if the province opens the door, but it’s a start.
Soon enough, Pickering could just be a short flight away. Yesterday, federal finance minister Jim Flaherty announced that part of the federally owned Pickering Lands would be turned into an airport (probably also to be named after Billy Bishop). Another section of the green space, which the federal government has owned since 1972, will be turned into the Rouge National Urban Park and some will be turned into commercial land. Ha, you’re Pickering’s problem now.