More Rob Ford news, sadly: His Worship lost his temper when he was denied entry to a lounge during the Maple Leafs' Saturday game. Other news for today: Olivia Chow has ideas about child care and transit, organic black peppercorn products are being recalled, and candidates start talking Gardiner.
Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has promised to extend after-school programs to more children across Toronto by increasing funding to the After-school Recreation and Care program she founded in 2005 as the City’s Children and Youth Advocate. “Right now only one out of five children has access to after-school activities,” Chow said at the ribbon-cutting for her campaign headquarters on Sunday. Her proposal involves a funding boost of $3.2 million in total, phased in over three years. Chow also discussed her transit plans for the city: her much-discussed plan to increase bus service by 10 per cent is her short-term goal; mid-range, she wants to set up a seven-stop light-rail Scarborough extension rather than the three-stop subway city council approved last year; and long-term, she wants to see a subway relief line built.
A number of organic black peppercorn products are being recalled throughout Canada due to possible salmonella contamination. Officials say no illnesses related to the products have been reported yet.
John Tory does not support longer commute times! In a recent “telephone town hall,” mayoral candidate Tory said “it is a bottom line” for him that he not contribute to lengthening voters’ commutes. And, according to him, “every single one of the solutions presented so far, every one—including tearing down the Gardiner in particular—extend or make longer people’s commute times.” Tearing down the expressway is favoured by city officials and Waterfront Toronto and appears to be the best option for transit, cyclists, pedestrians, the environment, and urban planning goals. Everyone and everything except drivers would be best served by tearing down the 2.4-kilometre stretch of the Gardiner east of Jarvis Street. Olivia Chow seems to favour a proposal first touted by mayoral candidate Karen Stintz, a hybrid between tearing down and keeping intact the stretch of the Gardiner in question. Stintz’s option was put forward by a private development company that would like to build 15 million square feet of office space in the area. Meanwhile, David Soknacki, another mayoral candidate, favours keeping the expressway up “until funded transit is available in the area.”