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Newsstand: May 15, 2014

The Montreal Canadiens have moved on to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. GO SPORTS! In the news: Hazel McCallion endorses Kathleen Wynne as the latest poll reveals that Tim Hudak’s PC party is still in the lead with intended voters, 10 Toronto companies make Maclean’s magazine’s “Green 30” list, the City wants to find a better way to deal with abandoned properties, and the dancing crossing guard gets suspended.

matt newsstand gull

As the provincial election looms, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion stepped forward yesterday to endorse Premier Kathleen Wynne for re-election. McCallion downplayed the Liberal gas plant cancellation scandal as water under the bridge while questioning the Progressive Conservative plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs, saying that it would negatively impact municipal services. With or without McCallion’s endorsement, Tory leader Tim Hudak might not have that much to worry about on election day. The latest Ipsos Reid poll conducted between May 12 and 14 shows that the Progressive Conservatives have a wide margin of support from intended voters. According to the poll, voter support for Hudak’s PCs sits at 39 per cent, while Wynne’s Liberals have made a small three-point gain to reach 31 per cent. Andrea Horwath finds her party in a bit of trouble, as the NDP took a five-point slide down to 22 per cent of support amongst voters most likely to show up at the polls on June 12. But, hey, at least she has a super new American-made website.

Since there is a list for just about everything these days, Maclean’s magazine has released a list of Canada’s top “Green 30” companies, defined by the magazine as being a collection of businesses whose employees are most positive about their record of environmentally friendly practices. The list includes 10 Toronto-based companies, among them recruiting firm Arrow Professional Services—who limits carbon footprints by conducting interviews over Skype—and Cisco Systems—who instituted a goal of decreasing business travel by two-thirds in 2013. Companies included on the list are a part of a perceived shift in sustainability practices within businesses where they are primarily employee-driven initiatives, which makes them far more effective at being integrated into corporate culture. Before anyone writes them off as glorified recycling programs, according to the article, green initiatives not only save companies money but also help to attract and retain employees.

Nobody wants a family of raccoons living next door. It is well known that they make terrible neighbours. As such, bylaw amendments are set to be drafted next year that will give the City more power to force the maintenance of abandoned residential properties and even allow demolition in extreme cases of owner neglect. Currently, as long as abandoned properties have secured entrances and maintained exteriors, little can be done by city inspectors to force owners to deal with problems such as animal infestations and squatting—which neighbouring residents routinely complain to city officials about. So raccoons take note, your days of easy living are numbered.

Kathleen Byers, the west-end crossing guard who was cautioned last year to stop dancing while on the job, has been suspended by Toronto Police without pay for wearing her uniform in a music video by indie band Born Ruffians. According to Byers, the eternal killjoys police sent her a letter last Thursday informing her that she would be suspended without pay because she wore her uniform for “a purpose other than prescribed in Toronto Police Service rules and procedures.” Upon hearing of the suspension, Mitch DeRosier of Born Ruffians said the band felt badly for Byers. “You see someone who loves their job so much, or like even loves life so much … her dancing, it’s so infectious,” said DeRosier. Byers has since quit her job, saying that she has no will to fight with the police anymore. First Jilly’s, now the dancing crossing guard. Beloved Toronto institutions are being dismantled right before our very eyes.

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