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Weekend Newsstand: September 7, 2013

It's here! The weekend! Hurrah! In the news: Metrolinx will launch public consultations this fall to examine ways to ease overcrowding on the Yonge subway line, Captain John's future may be in the court's hands, formally unionized restaurants have labour issues, and more on the maple bacon jam disaster.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 1

It’s been a busy week in transit talk—a hot topic unlikely to grow tepid any time soon, and a conversation topic poised to widen further still. In order to generate some ideas for alleviating crowding on the Yonge subway line, Metrolinx will start a string of public consultations this fall. Their hope is to release a preliminary study next spring, and a “long list of alternatives” next summer. One of the alternatives under consideration is whether or not GO Transit can shoulder a little extra weight during rush hour (weight in the form of extra commuters, that is). In the meantime, keep those commuter elbows up and get your thinking caps on—surely someone out there has the cure for our overburdened transit woes. (Somebody? Anybody?)

The future of Captain John’s may no longer be in Toronto’s water, but rather, up in the air. On Monday a City of Toronto committee will debate whether the City should partner with the Toronto Port Authority and Waterfront Toronto to have the ship seized and advertised internationally for sale. This comes more than a year after Toronto officials shut down the restaurant, and with owner John Letnik owing about $1 million in property taxes and slippage fees dating back to 2002. However, past history shows that this form of removal doesn’t tend to happen quickly, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see the ol’ ship bobbing off into the sunset anytime soon.

September seems to be off to a bad start when it comes to worker’s rights at formally unionized restaurants. First it was the Eaton Centre’s Richtree Market location that allegedly violated labour laws by shutting down and reopening nearby with non-unionized staff, and now the Metropolitan Hotel’s Lai Wah Heen is following in these seemingly anti-union footsteps. When the hotel was sold to the Bayview Hospitality Group in January, the unionized restaurant was shut down and the employees given severance packages, only to reopen in March with a non-unionized staff. Local 75, the same union that represents Richtree, has taken the case to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, where it is currently under arbitration.

The mystery behind the illness-inducing maple bacon jam has been solved. It was inadequate refrigeration of the very Canadian condiment that’s to blame for the cronut burger outbreak at the CNE, Toronto Public Health says. Because it wasn’t properly chilled, the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria was able to grow. Ick.

If you’ve made it this far into the weekend’s news roundup and are still wondering where and when the TIFF news will unfold, head over to our TIFF hub for all things film fest.

Comments

  • Roger B

    In the Star article on Metrolinx looking at alternatives to address severe overcrowding on the Yonge line, it notes that GO trains are also overcrowded, but suggests that there is potential spare capacity in the off peak period. Thus this alternative doesn’t do much to relieve the Yonge line during the busiest periods. If we can’t afford the DRL than we will have similar problems with adding major capacity to GO, electrification, station connections and 416 GO fares designed to attract TTC users.
    There is however expected to be plenty of unused capacity on the Union Pearson link, due its artificially high ($25?) fare and lack of stations, both designed to generate profits for SNC which bailed when it couldn’t get the Province to guarantee (subsidize) operating margins.
    Adjacent to the Star article on the lack of cash for a high ridership DRL was another article on Metrolinx’s wasteful $1.2 billion line to Scarborough’s mall. This line will be so underused that most subway service is expected to short turn at Kennedy Station. Similarly the Sheppard line only uses 4 car trains rather than 6 and the ‘Vaughan Metropolitan Centre’ line will short turn most service at Downsview. These are lines that only make sense as subways politically and transit riders will be forced to subsidize their high operating costs with higher fares and/ or service cuts.