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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: June 6, 2014

It's finally Friday! Get outside and see what's going on with your neighbours today. That could be fun, right? In the news: a local startup wants to encourage the farming and sale of bugs as food, Oshawa may outlaw selling puppies and kittens in pet stores, Norm Kelly has endorsed Kathleen Wynne, and Ontario's privacy commissioner wants Toronto police to stop sharing information about suicide attempts.

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A Toronto-based group of McGill University grads sees insects as “the new sushi.” Their startup, Aspire Food Group, is focused on bringing sustainable and profitable bug farming to people, especially women, in the developing world. There are many parts of the world where eating certain bugs is an established practice, and it’s in those areas Aspire intends to establish itself. Aspire won $100,000 from the federal government’s Grand Challenges program, some of which will go toward research into how insects can impact the diets of women and children. Many insects are high in protein and iron, but without the high cholesterol found in many meats.

Oshawa may soon join Toronto in banning the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. The bylaw wouldn’t rule out selling cats and dogs entirely, but the animals would have to come from registered shelters or rescues. The move is intended to cut down on both stray animals and the use of puppy mills. Although the only local pet store owner left in town claims not to have seen many stray animals around, others say there are several thriving feral cat “colonies” and that the local rescues have taken in 500 animals just this year. Since Toronto enacted its own pet ban, there has been a marked decrease in the number of stray animals in the city (especially cats). Stores are also being encouraged to follow in PetsMart’s footsteps: the chain connects would-be owners of puppies or kittens with local rescue organizations.

If you like politicians who are already in office, you’ll love the fact that Norm Kelly has endorsed Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne in the provincial election. She’s “city-friendly” and understands “the concept of partnership,” specifically with the people running the largest city in the province. If that’s what makes your voting finger tingle, you may want to heed Kelly’s call on June 12.

Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian wants Toronto police to stop sharing information about suicide attempts in a database accessible by other law enforcement teams. While other groups she’s spoken to have agreed to comply, the Toronto police have refused—so Cavoukian is taking her fight to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Cavoukian first examined the issue when a woman was refused entry into the United States because she had been hospitalized years earlier for clinical depression. She told the CBC that sharing this kind of information is a “direct violation of Ontario privacy legislation.”

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