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Newsstand: March 25, 2014

While the mystery persists, in the end, it looks like detective Courtney Love can’t take credit for finding flight MH370…although her investigative work on Daniel Tosh seems pretty spot on. In the news: a new report says that the Billy Bishop expansion would be bad news for boaters, criticism over the provincial government’s funding kibosh of the Beaches International Jazz Festival, Scarborough residents try to save their trees, and Twitter trolls go after James Reimer’s wife.

matt newsstand gull

As the executive committee prepares to debate the future of expansion at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport today, a new report spells out some bad news for supporters of the Porter plan to see jets taking off and landing in the city centre. A report released yesterday by Transport Action Ontario says that the planned expansion of the airport would block off nearly three times as much of the Toronto harbour to boaters, and would impede both ferry and shipping routes. While the Toronto Port Authority previously stated that safety zones would not change if the airport runway were to be expanded as planned, the report contradicts this, claiming that a “no-go zone” for boaters would be between 780 to 1140 metres, compared to the current 340 to 430 metres. The report also warns that jet blasts from planes would be potential safety hazards for sailboat, canoe, and kayak use in the area.

While the future of Toronto’s Beaches International Jazz Festival is in limbo after it failed to qualify for a Celebrate Ontario grant this year, everyone’s favourite Degrassi alum Drake and his two-day OVO Fest are doing just fine and dandy with a $300,000 grant from the provincial government. This, according to critics, is a problem. The provincial Liberal government was lambasted yesterday by those who claim it is making cuts to community event funding, but parcelling out public dollars to corporations with deep pockets and income-generating potential. Candice Malcolm, the Ontario director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says that corporations should not be asking for government handouts when they are already seeking money from taxpayers in the form of ticket sales for sports and other entertainment events. While Premier Kathleen Wynne was unable to give specific reasons for the rejection of the Beaches International Jazz Festival funding application, Wynne did defend the decision, saying, “We are very committed to the cultural sector, we’re very committed to supporting artists and art in this province, and we will continue to do so—and festivals, quite frankly, of all sorts.” The provincial government has yet to decide whether or not to back Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s request for $10 million to expand BMO Field, and while the City’s executive committee has given a stamp of approval to chip in $10 million of funding municipally, the federal government firmly stated that it will not fund professional sports facilities.

Guildwood Village residents are rallying to try and stop a dense Scarborough forest area from being cleared due to an infestation by the emerald ash borer—an Asian beetle known for swiftly killing trees. While Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43, Scarborough East) says that more could have been done to save healthy trees before they were infested, the clearing of hundreds of trees since January may have been necessary to prevent the spread of the infestation. Mayor Rob Ford took time out from his busy schedule of touring public housing buildings to visit the forest area last week, but did not say whether or not he supported the current plan to continue cutting down both healthy and infested trees, saying he needed to do a more homework to get educated on the subject. You can insert your own punchline here.

Finally, in news that might make you think people are pretty much the worst ever, April Reimer—the wife of Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer—was verbally attacked by angry fans on Twitter over the weekend. Why? Because apparently some people can’t seem to understand that she is not responsible for her husband’s poor goaltending performance as of late. As the hailstorm of angry, pointless tweets flew her way, Reimer largely ignored them, eventually thanking those who offered supportive comments over social media.

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