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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

How the candidates compare on some of the city's biggest issues.

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Newsstand: March 6, 2014

Happy birthday, Toronto! I didn’t get you anything because you’re so hard to shop for, so please accept these news headlines in your honour: The Buffalo Bills won’t be coming to Toronto this year, Josh Colle thinks bus and streetcar service should be free during overnight cold weather alerts, a laptop stolen from Etobicoke General had personal info from over 5,000 patients on it, and a Toronto Tim Hortons dished out $200 in free wares thanks to a considerate customer.

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The Buffalo Bills and Rogers Communications will stick a pin in the annual Bills regular-season game hosted in Toronto for at least one year, according to a joint announcement yesterday. The Bills have a 1-5 record in Toronto, causing upper brass to question whether lack of home-team support has contributed to the less-than-stellar performance record at these special games, where poor attendance has also been an issue. However, Rogers and the Bills went forward and renewed the deal last year through 2017, which means the series will return eventually. The postponement, according to both sides, will allow time to enhance these future games. Mayor Rob Ford’s Bills jersey has yet to comment on this devastating news.

The Toronto Transit Commission’s overnight bus and streetcar services should be free for everyone during extreme cold weather alerts according to city councillor and TTC commissioner Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence). Colle says that the move to make overnight service free makes it easier for at-risk Torontonians to access shelters and warming centres when they are most urgently needed. Colle introduced a motion last week to request that the TTC examine what impact service change would have. Currently, the TTC provides tokens to the homeless during extreme cold weather alerts each year to help access shelters. After 32 cold weather alerts this winter, the transit provider has dispensed 5,100 tokens—compared to an average of about 2,170 in past years. The TTC will report back on what impact the free service would have on revenues, though spokesperson Brad Ross doesn’t seem to think it will involve a tremendous cost.

The medical records of 5,500 patients at Etobicoke General Hospital—including names, birth dates, and diagnostic reports—were stolen in January when a laptop that was not password protected was lifted from a lab used to test brain activity. Yes, apparently the people in charge of your medical records think that passwords are a great idea in theory, but don’t fully connect with their practical application. The hospital has informed patients of the theft, with Ann Ford, chief privacy officer of William Osler Health System, advising patients that they need not take any further action to ensure their own security, but can contact their financial institutions if they feel like it. Nothing inspires confidence in an institution like a blasé response to a security breach.

Thanks to a kind-hearted anonymous coffee-lover, many early morning customers at a Tim Hortons on Yonge Street near Broadway Avenue were treated to a free breakfast. A man bought two $100 gift cards and instructed the till operators to use them to pay for customer orders until the money ran out. The morning rush depleted the reserve in about a half an hour, and is seemingly a part of a grassroots initiative to encourage people to treat each other a with a little more kindness. The man who purchased the gift cards left flyers for a Facebook page called Be Nice Toronto, urging others to pay some kindness forward. Awww! So many feels!

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