Good morning, friends. Let's tap dance into the magnificent day ahead with a look at what's happening in this glorious city. In the news: Rob Ford wants to keep a conversation private, there are myths about transit expansion in the GTA, the extension of the island airport runway might be unavoidable, a Scarborough cyclist has serious injuries following a collision, and a gloomy update on road fatalities.
Mayor Rob Ford would like to keep the heated conversation he recently had with Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington between the two of them. To recap, Warmington says he was lambasted over the phone by the mayor, who used some colourful language to complain about a recent column he’d written. When reporters asked the mayor about the call, he said it was “…a private conversation between Joe and myself.” Well, we can all be glad that is settled. Clearly there is nothing to see here, people, so move right along.
For a glimpse at what is likely to get mayor Ford irate next, look no further than the discussion paper released yesterday by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Transit Investment Strategy Panel. It says that misinformation has paralyzed discussion about transit expansion within the GTA. Like David taking on Goliath, the paper attempts to lend clarity to the public debate over transit by stating six key truths it has identified, including the idea that subways are not the only legit form of transit for Toronto, and regional transit cannot be paid for by cutting government waste alone. Essentially, the discussion paper is a very polite, long-winded (and probably expensive) way of disagreeing with the mayor on many levels.
From land to air, there is always enough transport controversy to go around. The Toronto Port Authority is sending out warning signals that Transport Canada might order a 50-metre extension for each end of the main runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport for safety reasons, whether anyone likes it or not.
Sadly, a Scarborough cyclist was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries on Monday night. Toronto Police say the man was struck from behind by a vehicle on Finch Avenue East. This accident comes on the heels of reports that a cyclist who was struck by a vehicle on Spadina Avenue last week passed away in hospital on Sunday, according to police.
If that news wasn’t terrible enough as it is, things get even more grim. Toronto Police say that there have been a disturbing number of traffic fatalities in the GTA this year, with 49 deaths in 2013 already outnumbering last year’s total of 44. According to Constable Wendy Drummond that number is likely to increase as winter sets in.