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Newsstand: October 24, 2013

Here we are, one step closer to Friday. In the news today: The Ontario Attorney-General disapproves of the mayor's shady reference-writing; a proposal to revamp Casa Loma will be decided next week; new restrictions for smokers; public consultations on Enbridge's plans for a GTA pipeline are cancelled; and Councillor Mike Layton wants GO Transit and the TTC to provide integrated fares.

matt newsstand newspaperlies

There’s been a fair bit of talk about Mayor Rob Ford writing, upon his mayoral stationery, a character reference for his friend and convicted criminal Alessandro Lisi. Yesterday, the Ontario Attorney-General weighed in. John Gerretsen, who happens to be the former mayor of Kingston, said the act was inappropriate, and that personal references of this nature shouldn’t be done by a mayor in an official capacity. Despite his opinion, Gerretsen said he will not introduce new legislation to stop politicians from writing reference letters in judicial proceedings. Rather than bring in new rules on the matter, he spoke of what is, for our mayor, a novel concept: “I think good common sense should prevail.” Sigh.

Plans to spruce up Casa Loma (and you thought it couldn’t be spruced any further) are in the works. If signed, a proposed 20-year deal between the City and Liberty Entertainment Group would see the latter add features like a fine-dining restaurant and banquet hall to that old Edwardian pile of bricks. The deal will be debated by Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee next week.

A sad day for smokers: Toronto’s parks and environment committee has voted in favour of restrictions on smoking at City parks, beaches, and sports facilities. Light up at your nephew’s tee-ball game no longer. The ban also extends to public pools and in the ticket area for the Toronto Island ferry.

Federal regulators have ordered that Enbridge, the Calgary company that has applied to reverse and increase the flow of a pipeline running through the GTA, to submit its final arguments on the matter in writing. The original plan, to hold public consultations, was called off by the National Energy Board after protests disrupted proceedings on Friday.

Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) wants the TTC and GO Transit to work together to provide GTA residents with an integrated fare system. He pointed out that residents he represents in Liberty Village are forced to pay the highest rate-per-distance in the city when they commute using both the GO train and TTC.


  • Mo

    People take the GO Train from Liberty Village?

    • vampchick21

      They can, Exhibtion Station is right there. However, I would think it much cheaper to take the 504 King into downtown.

      • Talbot

        Well, it depends which direction you are heading. If you are heading west, it is cheaper from Exhibition. Not much, but it is.

        • vampchick21

          I would think if you lived in this area and then worked say, near Danforth GO Station, it would be hella faster than taking the TTC.

      • Matt Patterson

        If you can manage to find a streetcar that still has space available.

        • vampchick21

          If you leave at just the right time in the morning….lol. Example, when we leave at 7:30 to 7:45 we can get a seat, if we leave at 8, we can’t.

      • Jacob

        A lot of those condo dwellers have money to burn and would probably rather pay $4 for an express ride on the GO than $3 for a slow ride down King.

        • vampchick21

          I’m a condo dweller in that area. I’d rather pay the monthly cost of my TTC pass. Don’t hate on us, we aren’t all uber wealthy you know.

          • HotDang

            “A lot” is not the same as “all,” and $20 a month isn’t uber-wealthy.

          • dsmithhfx

            $20 a month? I want that GO pass!

          • HotDang

            Using Jacob’s numbers:

            ($4 – $3) * 20 workdays per month = $20

            I don’t know what riding the go actually costs, but if it were $4 the cost difference would be twenty bucks.

          • vampchick21

            I went to the GO Transit webpage and used their fare calculator. It’s $4.43 a trip, so he’s not far off really. But it’s not $20 a month if they’re taking it home as well. That’s two trips a day, not one, so 8.86 a day compared to 6 a day cash fare on TTC

          • vampchick21

            Ok, so let’s do some math. :) Taking the month of October, M-F only, twice a day on GO from Exhibition to Union, Presto cost $158.00. TTC Monthly metropass, for both the twice daily commute and anything you would like to do after (dinner with friends on the Danforth, your grocery shopping, Saturday at the ROM, etc, etc) and other daily errands as needed – $128.50. Difference of $29.50 in cost plus you get more out of your metropass, since the Presto cost is only for your M-F commute between two very short points.

            I took more offence to the presumption that earning a certain amount each year and living in a condo means you throw your money around foolishly. It makes far more sense to get a Metropass since you can do far more trips for $30 less. And judging by the crowding on my 504 car every day, the majority in my hood feel the same.

      • David Toronto

        It’s cheaper than a taxi fare downtown.

  • TorontoistCopyEditors

    Thanks for pointing this out to us! We’ve fixed the typo above, Fras.

  • Dinah Might

    Actually it’s station…. WAIT FOR IT!……….

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    “Rather than bring in new rules on the matter, he spoke of what is, for our mayor, a novel concept: “I think good common sense should prevail.”

    Except that common sense doesn’t enter into the equation when our oaf Mayor is involved. That’s why we enact rules or modify them because sometimes children just try to get away with whatever they please.

    • vampchick21

      The real problem is that he doesn’t follow the rules as they stand now. We need to work on making him follow those first.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        True. He was dragged through court in that conflict of interest case and when he won the appeal the lesson he learned was ” I can get away with stuff” not ” I should be more careful”. Why should he bother with rules when he always gets away breaking them.

  • Astin44

    He did use common sense. He thought, “Hmmm, this character reference for my criminal friend would seem more persuasive with Mayoral letterhead.” Not everyone else’s common sense, mind you.