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news

Newsstand: May 19, 2014

On Saturday night, 29 people went from the Avicii concert to the hospital. That's not a great way to spend your Victoria Day weekend. Reading news, though? That's a great idea! The death of mid-tier retailers is a signal of a larger economic shift in Canada, Doug Ford made (and stands by) some upsetting comments, and Parkdale residents held a dance protest for a suspended crossing guard.

matt newsstand bikelane

CTV looks at the possible death of the mid-tier retailer in Canada, such as the long-beleaguered Sears and newcomer Target. The article largely avoids examining the most likely cause of this decline: the ongoing polarization of the Canadian economy. With the middle class struggling to maintain itself, the wealthy are getting wealthier and the poor are getting poorer (and their ranks are swelling to accommodate some former members of the middle class). However, there’s good news for the wealthy, as Canada prepares to welcome a slate of new upscale retailers in the coming years. Soon you’ll be able to shop at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue—if you can afford it.

As he himself predicted, Doug Ford is dealing with harsh criticism for comments he made about a group home in Etobicoke for developmentally disabled youth. At a community meeting on Friday, Ford said that the youth had “ruined the community” and that while his heart went out to them, “no one told me they’d be leaving the house.” None of the youth have criminal records, and the home is not a detention centre; however, Ford claimed the three boys living there had “criminal backgrounds” and that they were not autistic (they are). In a Sunday interview with the Toronto Sun, Ford stood by his comments and claimed to have been misled by the Griffin Centre, which runs the home.

Kathleen Byers, who until recently worked as a crossing guard at Dufferin and Gordon streets, and who was known for dancing as she worked, was suspended from her job for a second time last week, after appearing in a music video in her safety gear. She had been asked by police in November to stop dancing because it was “distracting.” Byers decided to quit her job after the latest suspension. On Sunday, hundreds of Byers’s supporters converged at the intersection of Dufferin and Gordon to dance and show their support for a woman they felt had done nothing wrong. City councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18, Davenport) called Byers’s suspension an “injustice” and has written to Police Chief Bill Blair about it. “What we want is to have Kathleen back and have Kathleen bringing some joy … as she safely crosses people through Dufferin Street,” Bailao told CTV.

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