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38 Comments

news

Newsstand: November 29, 2013

Black Friday has come to Canada. While people are generally the worst, people hunting for 7 a.m. door crasher sales at big box stores are beyond the worst. Shop local, if only to preserve your sanity. In the news: Apparently Rob Ford is a newsmaker, Toronto will host a Pride House for the Sochi Olympics even if the Sochi Olympics won't host one, a Toronto school is the model for success of Ontario's full-day kindergarten program, a woman is denied entry into the US because of clinical depression, and —sing it with me!— weekend road closures.

matt newsstand bikelane

Maclean’s has announced its “Newsmaker of the Year” is none other than Mayor Rob Ford. “In a year of some great successes and heroics—and some great, roiling scandals—he was impossible to ignore,” says the editor of Maclean’s, Mark Stevenson. Well, it doesn’t mean we can’t stop trying to ignore him.

You know what shouldn’t be ignored, though? How wonderful this city can often be. Case in point, Toronto is set to host it own Pride House during 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The Olympic Pride House began at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 as a safe place and resource centre for members of the LGBT community who were participating in or attending the Games as spectators. It continued at the Summer Olympics in London last year, but Russian officials denied an application for a Pride House to take place at the Games in Sochi, no doubt due to the horrific anti-gay climate that currently exists in the country. Well, Toronto ain’t havin’ any of that. While details are still being worked out, the Toronto Pride House hopes to bring awareness to the plight of the LGBT community in Russia, while celebrating the Games by hosting Olympic broadcast viewings and activities. It is also been confirmed that Toronto will host a Pride House during the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games. Nicely done, Toronto!

Warning: People who dislike children might want to skip ahead to the next paragraph. If you’re still reading: a north Toronto school is being touted as a fine example of the benefits that all-day kindergarten has on child development. The Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy is one of the largest all-day kindergarten schools in North America with 640 students, and is regarded as one of the best case studies at how early childhood education influences learning —both in the classroom and at home. While a recent study by an associate professor at the University of Manitoba says there is no direct evidence that children who attend all-day kindergarten programs perform better at school than their peers who do not, Ontario-based researchers at Queen’s and McMaster beg to differ. They tracked 700 children and found that children enrolled in the province’s all-day kindergarten programs were better prepared for entrance into grade one. Parents at Fraser Mustard see a difference in their children, saying many come home with an increased interest in reading.

Two feel-good headlines back to back, it’s almost too good to be true, right? Well, brace yourself for something truly disturbing. On Monday, a woman was denied entry into the United States at Pearson Airport after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent cited information from her private medical history. Ellen Richardson, who is a paraplegic, was on her way to New York City to embark on a Caribbean cruise set up by the March of Dimes when she was told that, due to a 2012 hospitalization for clinical depression, she would not be granted entry into the United States until she received an assessment from a doctor approved by the Department Homeland Security. So, realistically, what is worse about this picture? Do we get enraged about the treatment of mental health issues before or after we collectively gasp that our “private” medical records are potentially fair game for Homeland Security? Big Brother is probably watching us, so we should all just shut up now.

Finally, parting is such sweet sorrow, but alas here is one tiny gift until we meet again tomorrow. Here is a laundry list of road and public transit closures that will make your weekend super terrific. Worth noting: The Cavalcade of Lights takes place this Saturday, and as result Bay Street—from Dundas Street West to Queen Street West—will be closed in both directions between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Comments

  • Rico_Featherbutt

    So who is paying for this “house”, and why is it needed? Bringing awareness of being gay in the year 2013? Really? Why is it this community seems to think it’s the highest priority on everybody’s agenda? Honestly I don’t care. Never have, never will. As long as it’s not on my dime. Oh hey, why not have the community pay for it?

    • Graeme

      You seem nice.

      • Rico_Featherbutt

        I’m not gay.

        • Graeme

          Or capable of detecting sarcasm, apparently.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            You are obviously that daft. It seems you missed my joke. Maybe we should start a home for you in Moscow.

          • Graeme

            Or maybe your joke sucked and you’re an asshole.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            That’s it. I don’t like this house, so I’m an asshole. I see. Rather ironic, don’t you think? Go fuck your hat.

          • Graeme

            Will do. You
            have fun going through life as that kind of person.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Hahaha. Because I don’t support the Hut? The “community” seems narrow minded today. One track mind. But then again, what else is new? The whole World has to be gay!

          • Graeme

            I’m not gay either. I just happen to be kind of a fan of human rights. Crazy, I know.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Human rights…forced upon other people’s taxes. Wonderful. You got a problem with Russia, then go over to Russia and walk the streets with a sign. Stop putting it into other people’s agenda. And try to see the difference. I don’t see you whining about China nor Sri Lanka, but all over the gay thing. How convenient.

          • Graeme

            Jesus Christ. We’re done here. Have a good one.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Dave’s not here, man.

        • dsmithhfx

          I dunno Rico, you seem a tad overwrought about it, like you’re trying to exorcise personal demons or something.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Not really. It’s just highly annoying, especially when it’s in my face all the time, in my way as a parade, and on my tax bill. Really not much to get one’s head around.

          • dsmithhfx

            Fantasize much?

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Nope. A hobby of the community though.

    • Joe

      We’ll stop bringing awareness of being gay when Russians stop bludgeoning gay teens to death.

      • Rico_Featherbutt

        Hi Joe. You already said that. Trying to repeat yourself so that it becomes more important to me? Not working. In fact, backfiring.

      • Rico_Featherbutt

        …or do I have to pay for that too?

    • HotDang

      Why is it this community seems to think it’s the highest priority on everybody’s agenda?

      No one ever claims that. But gay rights and, equal rights in general, are on almost everyone’s agenda.

      • Rico_Featherbutt

        Says you. I know plenty of people who outright don’t give a shit. No more than the “community” wanting to discuss MY sexuality. Honestly, get over yourself.

    • OgtheDim

      Last I checked, the highest priority on everybody’s agenda was getting work.

      ***

      OK, read everything else. Do not feed the troll.

      • Rico_Featherbutt

        …so that we can pay for specialty interest groups that want to have special treatment in Russia. Amazing how you force other people to pay for your little club, but you won’t read any of their input. And if they disagree with you, they’re wrong. And you wonder why the “community” is perceived as being a bunch of whiners.

        • OgtheDim

          I’m a straight right of centre Mennonite.

          You need to get out from underneath your bridge, troll.

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            Oh great. The religious have shown up, telling me what I need. Well give me your address and I’ll send some Moonies or Jehovah’s Witnesses to straighten you out. Then and only then will you see the light.

          • OgtheDim

            LOL

            Nice try troll.

            When you’ve argued religion with nuclear physicists, come back and talk.

            Until then…..

          • Rico_Featherbutt

            I am a scientist, but you don’t know that. In fact, multiple degrees. And I argue religion all the time. I find it more entertaining than the “community”. Being gay isn’t the issue. Shoving it down people’s throats 24/7, is. And even so, there isn’t a single religion on the planet that makes sense. But that’s another silly thread.

            Nice try, Jacob.

          • Jacob

            Wait, what did I do?

          • vampchick21

            You know he won’t shut up for the rest of the day, right? He’ll be here, messing up the place, because he found a nice little tidbit he can spew his general nastiness over until he gets sleepy.

          • OgtheDim

            Yeah, but I had a few minutes to play tether troll.

            Off to life again…..

          • vampchick21

            True, it can be a nice way to kill a few minutes here and there.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Why was a “safe place” for gay spectators needed in Vancouver, of all places?

    As to the use of private medical information: given Harper’s cooperation with NSA spying in Canada during the G20, I’m not at all surprised to hear he’s turned over our medical histories to the Yanks for their use. Harper hates Canada as much as Ford hates Toronto.

  • tomwest

    There’s no contradiction between the two all-day kindergarten studies. The University of Manitoba one says it doesn’t change how well children do at school. The Queens University says it makes them better prepared for Grade 1… not that they do better in Grade 1 (and beyond).

    • HotDang

      Being roped into childcare is supposedly one of the leading causes of female income inequality and everyone wants to see parity reached there ASAP. Full-day kindergarten may not make kids smarter, but it’s definitely better for the economy.

  • torontothegreat

    Most if not all of homeland security’s border restrictions are simply money grabbing opportunities for our southern neighbours.

    • dsmithhfx

      I think a lot of it’s based on an extremely well-founded fear of chickens coming home to roost.

  • Rico_Featherbutt

    Hey I’ll make you a deal. When the “community” stops spitting in my face about their sexuality, I’ll mention it to Russia. That’s a Russian problem, not with the planet. Go march naked in Red Square. The silly parade here in Toronto has little meaning.