It's the new year! May everyone's resolutions actually work out this year. If you resolved to read more local news, just keep reading: the TTC's fares went up yesterday, a local MP feared to be in danger is safe, a dead Toronto police officer was not wearing a seatbelt, new blackouts crop up just as Toronto Hydro finishes its work, and kilos upon kilos of cocaine.
As promised in November, TTC rates just increased for most customers. The cost of a Metropass went up by one ride, from $128.50 to $133.75—that’s now the cost of 49.5 rides on the TTC. Metropass users average 74 rides per month, which means many of them are still getting a significant deal. The price for tokens went up by five cents when the new year began, from $2.65 to $2.70. The cash fare of $3 will remain the same in an effort to keep the TTC accessible to homeless and poor Toronto residents, who often pay the cash fare and are the least able to afford to pay more.
After a few days of rumours and hedged stories, the CBC reports that Scarborough-Rouge River MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is not under house arrest in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan media began reporting on Tuesday night that Sitsabaiesan had been placed under house arrest, but the MP confirmed both her well-being and freedom on Wednesday; she said she “was subject to political intimidation” on arrival, but has not been arrested. Sitsabaiesan is the first Tamil elected to Canadian Parliament and has been an advocate for the Tamil community’s treatment in Canada, as well as a vocal critic of the Sri Lankan government.
A Toronto police officer killed while on duty barely one month ago was not wearing his seatbelt during the accident that ended his life, according to Bill Blair, police chief. John Zivcic, 34, was in an accident November 30 and pronounced dead in hospital December 2. The woman in the other car involved in the crash suffered minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing as the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
Toronto Hydro announced via Twitter on Wednesday night that power had been restored across the city. But there are now dozens of reports coming in from people who had been on vacation during the storm returning to find their homes without power. As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Toronto Hydro received around 300 calls about lost power. The province’s grocery store gift card plan also fell short of the need, when hungry citizens showed up in larger-than-expected numbers and many were turned away with nothing.
Canadian border officials seized two suitcases containing a total of nearly 50 kilograms of what they suspect is cocaine from the Pearson International Airport. The first suitcase was found Sunday, the second on Tuesday. Both were left unclaimed. That is a lot of drugs to leave behind so carelessly; someone is going to be very upset about this.