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Newsstand: April 21, 2014

Easter Monday! Where are we at with Jesus' resurrection today? It's hard to remember what happens on which day when you've stopped going to church. In the news: four fire trucks will be retiring from service, University of Toronto faculty are contemplating unionization, and a teen's case of homophobic discrimination will be heard by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

matt newsstand wateringlawn

Four Toronto fire trucks will be retired as of this morning, reports the CBC. The move comes as a result of cuts to the fire department’s budget. Frank Ramagnano, of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, said the department has had to deal with budget cuts despite adding 2,000 buildings and 300,000 people to its purview since amalgamation in 1998. Around 84 firefighters will be affected by the change but, as nearly 70 senior firefighters retired in early 2014 and left vacancies to be filled, none are expected to lose their jobs.

As negotiations continue without a resolution in sight, a “significant minority” of University of Toronto educators—both faculty and librarians—wants to see their faculty association unionize. U of T is one of the few research universities in Canada whose faculty is not unionized, and one of only three in Ontario—the other two are McMaster University and the University of Waterloo. Current talks are dealing with the terms of the U of T Faculty Association’s negotiating process with university administrators; the UTFA is arguing for the inclusion of things like academic restructuring. Since it’s not a certified trade union, the faculty association is limited in what it can negotiate for its members and cannot choose to go on strike. Still, at least while the current talks last, most faculty members don’t want to rock the boat or cause potential disruptions for students by unionizing.

Christopher Karas, the teen who alleges his Catholic high school subjected him to homophobic discrimination, will have his case heard by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Karas says Mississauga’s École Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Famille dragged its feet for 20 months before approving the support group Karas wanted to start for gay students; that both a psychology and a religion teacher refused to discuss homosexuality as positive in different contexts; and that he was made to read a novel, Poison, that depicts violent homophobia. The school board disagrees with Karas’s allegations, but the tribunal has yet to hear them.


  • Steveinto

    I am confused i thought we were just told that there were no cuts to fire services.

    • Notcleverguy

      They are, but with no new hires to staff them, just thinning out the existing staff.

    • OgtheDim

      Depends on what you call service.

  • dsmithhfx

    Interesting. Ford just bought a shiny fire truck to drag around with him on his campaign and ‘put out gravy fires’, ‘Ford more fires’, ‘I fired a billion firefighters’ or something. Who wants to bet he figures out how to get the taxpayers to pay 75% of the cost of his private re-election campaign fire truck? He (and only he) can explain the math to people whose homes and businesses burn down.

    • TheSotSays

      I’d like to figure out where the money is coming from to finance Chow’s campaign.

      • dsmithhfx

        “I’d like to figure out where the money is coming from to finance Chow’s campaign.”

        Mostly Rob Ford.

        • TheSotSays

          At the 2011 Federal election in Quebec the tax plundering NDP ran 14 candidates in Quebec who were students (babies if you will), and 12 of these were mysteriously elected even though some of them had never previously been in the riding they represent.

          It was a spectacular stunt that one might expect from a group of hyperactive, sugar saturated adolescent children. It was exploitive of Quebec voters, it was disrespectful to our parliamentary traditions and a very foolish thing to have done.

          It was adolescent behaviour by the NDP. We see that adolescent NDP point of view in the Quebec election, in the Gord Perks antics “Get out, get out, get out of MY chamber,” and we see it here in most of the NDP blog comments including the one I’m responding to.

          And we see it in the current NDP choice of candidate for mayor who at $530,000 a year of MP expenses, somehow thinks it’s OK to out spend everyone else.

          You blew a good opportunity by picking a dud, tax plundering candidate and following, as it does, the Miller fiasco, it shows clearly that an adolescent behaving NDP that can’t manage itself certainly can’t be trusted to manage the City of Toronto.

          • torontothegreat

            I’m sorry you don’t understand things.

            When a riding is considered “un-winnable” the party will usually place a candidate for the sole purpose of having their brand (signs) in the community. If you don’t have a candidate in the riding you can’t have signs.

            I know, I “ran” for election back in the day for the PC Party for this very reason. I didn’t live in the riding and was doing data entry for them at the time.

            The fact that even ONE of those candidates won, is actually 100% a reflection on Harper and Iggy.

          • TheSotSays

            You wasted your breath. I know everything there is to know about the Frankfurt School, Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” Chicago style sewer politics and the discredited ACORN community organizer group with the serious allegations against it of election fraud..

            I also know, because it’s been reported in the press, that these dirty organizations are active in Canada on behalf of both the Liberals and the NDP and I suspect that one of the reasons Harper just changed the election laws was to thwart their activities.

            The NDP has introduced filthy party politics to municipal government in Toronto and I will not support it.

          • Guest

            Cool story bro!

          • OgtheDim

            Yeah, you wasted your breath.

            Tin foil hats are impervious to thoughts it seems.

          • dsmithhfx

            Why do you keep talking at me about the NDP? I’m not with the NDP. I don’t belong to the party. Never have. W.T.F?

          • TheSotSays

            Oh sorry. I’d come to the conclusion that the Junction Party was simply a demographic of the NDP.

          • dsmithhfx

            And what, pray tell, is “the Junction Party” ?

          • tomwest

            It’s the party that can’t choose whether to go right or left.