It's Saturday and Beyoncé blessed us with a new album yesterday, so we all know what we're doing this weekend. Some news to read while you listen to Queen Bey drop some knowledge: TTC police have regained arrest powers, Ian Troop is no longer the Pan Am Games' CEO, Air Canada Centre support staff go on strike, and the police shot someone on the Queen subway platform last night.
Starting in the new year, TTC officers will once again have the power to arrest people on buses, streetcars, and subways. They held this power until 2011, when Toronto Police took over the role of investigating and arresting in the transit system. TTC officers will be given the rank of special constables. They will be armed with pepper spray and a baton as well as handcuffs, but will not have guns or Tasers. The change will take around six months to implement, much of that taken up by training and background checks for the special constables. The province still has to sign off on this deal before it can be finalized.
Evidently, the Pan Am Games need a new CEO to go with the move from planning to executing the Games. That is the reason spokesman Teddy Katz gave for the dismissal of Ian Troop, who will be replaced by former provincial Deputy Minister of Health Saad Rafi. Of course, it may also have something to do with Troop heading up an executive that was revealed to be billing taxpayers for things as trivial as cups of tea. Troop also billed taxpayers for a 91-cent parking ticket while pulling down a $477,000-per-year salary. Those expenses are individually insignificant (financially), but can add up quickly. They are also “the kind of entitlement that is unacceptable,” as Premier Kathleen Wynne said.
Unionized workers at the Air Canada Centre voted 82 per cent in favour of striking for a better offer from their employers, and went on strike on Friday in spite of upcoming Leafs and Raptors home games and a Rod Stewart concert. According to the union’s president-elect, management had offered the union a raise of 1 per cent in the first year and 1.5 per cent the second year. Several restaurants in the ACC are closed because of the strike, but the games and concert are expected to go forward without issue.
Trains between Bloor and Union on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line were not running, though they were expected to begin again around 10 a.m. On Friday night around 8 p.m. police shot a man multiple times during an altercation on the Queen station platform. The man is in stable condition at St. Michael’s Hospital. The man was waving what some said looked to be a gun, and the Special Investigations Unit will be investigating the shooting.