Happy Pride! Happy NXNE! Happy World Cup! Happy everything! But seriously, if you can’t find something happening in the city that doesn’t make you happy this weekend, you should probably just move elsewhere. In the news: Joe Cressy and Adam Vaughan duke it out over climate change in the Trinity-Spadina federal byelection race, a Toronto doctor pledges $10 million to research aboriginal health issues, and road closures around the city this weekend.
Joe Cressy, the New Democrat candidate in the federal byelection that looms over voters in the Trinity-Spadina riding, has lashed out at Liberal hopeful Adam Vaughan, accusing him of skipping out on a climate-change debate rather than defend Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s support of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Vaughan denies he intentionally missed the debate, saying that confusion about the timing of the event lead to a scheduling conflict. And furthermore, says Vaughan, he has no trouble defending Keystone XL, but he does find what he calls “pipeline politics” to be unproductive. “My pipeline is better than your pipeline kind of conversations frankly don’t change the yardsticks on the climate change dynamic,” Vaughan said. “If people are troubled by the Liberal position on Keystone, I would only ask them to take a look at the NDP position on the new east-west pipeline they’re promising, which is just as big.” The Liberals and the NDP are fighting over the Trinity-Spadina riding, with both federal party leaders making multiple riding visits to try and sway voters since the byelection was called last month. NDP leader Tom Mulcair campaigned with Cressy yesterday, saying that he thinks Cressy represents an ideal candidate because understands sustainable development. With the byelection slated for June 30, it won’t be long until we find out whose pipeline Toronto voters prefer.
A former Toronto neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Dan, and his wife Amira have made a $10-million donation to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto to help facilitate the creation of an institute that will study health issues within the aboriginal population in Canada. The institute plans to operate with the input of indigenous people while assembling multidisciplinary experts from areas such as public health, medicine, social work, education, and law to tackle an array of serious health issues within aboriginal communities. With higher birth mortality rates and risk of infectious diseases than the general population, First Nations people face a life expectancy that is also five to seven years shorter. Of the aboriginal health crisis, Dr. Dan says, “If you look at it in totality, it’s completely overwhelming. But I think it’s possible, working on a community-by-community basis, to just make a little dent in some of these big issues.” Dr. Dan—who shared the proceeds of the sale of the generic drug company that was founded by his father—also created Gemini Power in 2006, a hydroelectric venture that finances power station builds that are then turned over to First Nations communities to operate.
Finally, with events like NXNE and WorldPride happening this weekend, there certainly is no shortage of pretty awesome things to do. You should get outside and enjoy life. However, know that with pretty awesome things to do in a city also comes kind of annoying road closures. Don’t agonize, just read this list of weekend closures before you head outside.