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Newsstand: March 13, 2014

Today my humour has been killed by an ear infection that wants nothing more than to see me rolling on the ground screaming like an angry toddler. In the news: Reaction to Olivia Chow’s official entrance into the Toronto mayoral race, the TDSB uses provincial youth programming funds to balance its budget, and an Indigo store’s off-colour marketing display fails big time.

matt newsstand raccoon

Reaction to Olivia Chow’s official entrance into the Toronto mayoral race was swift yesterday, with Mayor Rob Ford standing firm that Chow will not be a threat to his chances at winning re-election in the fall. Meanwhile, fellow candidates Karen Stintz and John Tory were also quick to jump on the announcement, with Tory’s spokesperson saying of Chow’s politically left-leaning policies, “We welcome the contrast with John who is committed to keeping taxes low and building a more liveable, affordable, functional city.” A spokesperson for Stintz focused their narrative on accusing Chow of being a “double dipper,” saying she lived in subsidized housing more than a decade ago, which the Chow campaign quickly refuted, clarifying that Chow and her late husband Jack Layton paid market rent in a co-op building. Chow’s campaign officially kicks off this morning at St. Simon-the-Apostle Church.

A forensic audit of the Toronto District School Board has revealed that lax accounting practices allowed to the school board to use funding earmarked for programming for students outside of the classroom to balance its books in 2012. The audit report criticizes the TDSB for using $3.2 million of provincial funding to help balance its budget, which goes against its agreements with the Ministry of Education. The TDSB says that strides have been made to prevent mismanagement of funds and improve governance of its programs, including a new policy requiring that any surplus funds not spent on youth programming be returned to the Ministry of Education. Considering that new policy seems to be basically just following pre-established rules, we can concede that some baby steps towards progress are being made at the school board that has recently been beleaguered by conflict-of-interest and bullying allegations.

Finally, today’s “Wow, this actually happened?” Award goes to Indigo’s Yonge and Eglinton location, where an off-colour marketing display was captured on social media after Marni Soupcoff tweeted a picture of signage reading “Oy Veh! Can’t believe I read the whole thing!” placed over a rack selling the book The Holocaust Chronicle. The only thing worse than cultural insensitivity is misspelled cultural insensitivity, so considering the sign should have actually read “Oy vey!” to properly offend people, Indigo has really outdone itself here. To be somewhat fair, the book retailer confirmed via Twitter that the offensive signage had been removed, and was not a reflection of brand values.

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