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Weekend Newsstand: June 8, 2013

Isn't June grand? Who doesn't love that crisp, autumn air? Today: Mayor Ford’s former campaign manager said to be pushing the mayor to enter rehab, more on the Ford-Basso relationship, charges have been laid in last year's Radiohead stage collapse, sick day perks for police, and another weekend subway closure.

illustration of a person walking across a slackline between a tree and a lamp post

Nick Kouvalis will not work on the Toronto mayor’s re-election campaign unless Mayor Ford enters rehabilitation for substance-abuse problems, according to sources close to Kouvalis and to the mayor. These sources claim that the mayor’s former campaign manager has raised concerns about Mayor Ford’s health, and his ability to withstand the pressure of another campaign. He also said that since the mayor has spent most of his term campaigning, that leaves him little to do and that’s boring. Okay, maybe he didn’t say that last part. While he has not confirmed this, he did tell the Globe that he loves the Ford family, and would do everything he can to help them, so take from that what you will.

However, in case you’re worried about the mayor getting lonely as his former staff distance themselves, don’t be. Apparently, he’s got old friends he can probably lean on, if need be.

Charges have been laid in last year’s fatal Radiohead stage collapse in Downsview Park. A total of 13 charges are faced by Live Nation, a staging company, and an engineer. The Ministry of Labour, which announced the charges yesterday, says Live Nation failed to ensure the structure was designed and constructed to support or resist all likely loads and forces, that it was adequately braced, that there were no excessive loads, and that every employer complied with the act. Live Nation, for their part, says that the company “wholeheartedly” disagrees with the charges in the “tragic incident” because it did everything possible to ensure safety. The trial is expected to begin June 27.

Although teachers and other public sector employees have lost the perk that allows them to bank sick pay, Toronto Police retain this right. This is a costly perk, according to city finance officials, as the police service is paying out about $10 million a year in sick pay gratuities for officers who retire or quit. Next year, 250 are expected to retire. Oh, and just in case you’re ready to cry “Gravy!” just know that the gravy hater himself should be well aware of this situation, as this was negotiated during Mayor Ford’s tenure.

In case you missed it yesterday, there will be another weekend subway closure. The line will be closed between Bloor-Yonge and Union stations, but, as always, there will be shuttle buses. If you want to get to Union Station, you’ll still be able to ride the subway down from St. George station.

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