In the news: app developers find material in Ford's life, Rob Ford's continued freedom leads to questions about policing equality, Canadians rallied in support of Ukrainian protesters, and many Toronto public schools have under 60 per cent enrolment.
Following the explosive allegations—now confirmed—made by Gawker and the Toronto Star in May, local app developers Extra! Extra! Games released a smartphone game, Stay Mayor, whose unnamed protagonist seemed to closely resemble a certain football-loving Toronto mayor. Since then, the team at Extra! Extra! has been trying to put together an update to the game. The near-daily additions to the story, each more outlandish than the last, have made that difficult. Thankfully for everyone (except Ford), though, Stay Mayor 2.0 is nearly ready for release. In addition to fighting off a horde of reporters and collecting chicken and cash, the updated game will allow for a tentatively-titled “Gravy Train Mode” in which the mayor turns into a giant subway car.
The National Post wants to know if Toronto suffers from a two-tiered policing crisis, wherein wealthy, white citizens are afforded more leeway than poor residents and people of colour. This question was motivated by the fact that Ford remains uncharged with any offence, despite the mountain of stories about his misconduct—of both the inappropriate and actually illegal varieties. Fortunately for the more fortunate of us, the Post concludes that Ford not being arrested is not evidence of unequal or oppressive police structures, but instead indicates that police lack the evidence that would warrant Ford’s arrest. That’s as it may be, but it would do to remember that poor people and people of colour are often not even afforded that very barebones legal protection.
Ukrainian protesters have been in the streets for the last few weeks, bringing capital city Kiev to a standstill and calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych is accused of developing a trade deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin that would move Ukraine back under Russia’s sphere of influence rather than moving closer to the European Union. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Toronto office of the Consulate General to show their support for the Ukrainian protesters. Rallies also took place across Canada, in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina.
More than 20 per cent of Toronto public schools are operating at under 60 per cent enrolment, with some 40 schools operating at below 40 per cent of their capacity. In spite of these numbers, the Toronto District School Board is asking for $3 billion in repairs and is also looking to move into larger new-growth areas. Trustees insist that increases in enrolment and government directives that result in the need for more spaces for students mean that it’s important the board not move to divest itself of valuable real estate.