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Weekend Newsstand: June 7, 2014

It is already shaping up to be a glorious day. Run wild, people! In the news: the provincial election is too close to call, trouble at the MaRS centre, and a jukebox goes missing.

matt newsstand wateringlawn

A new Forum Research poll says that this Thursday’s provincial election is too close to call. According to the poll, it is a dead heat between Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives. Whichever way voters swing the pendulum on whom they elect, the only thing that appears certain at this point is the eventuality of another minority government. According to the survey, the Liberals are in the narrowest of leads with 39 per cent support, while the Conservatives come in at 37 per cent. Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats sit at just 17 per cent. While Tim Hudak was touted as the winner of the last televised debate, Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff says it seems to have had little impact on voter decisions. “Maybe he was the best debater but it doesn’t mean people liked him,” Bozinoff said. Forum also surveyed 18 key ridings for the Toronto Star, showing that shakeups could be coming for a few local ridings. Incumbents Doug Holyday (PC, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) and Rosario Marchese (NDP, Trinity-Spadina) are both in peril of losing their seats to Liberal challengers.

No matter who emerges victorious in next week’s election, they are set to inherit a pretty big set of problems with phase II of Toronto’s MaRS centre. The troubled 20-storey tower of labs and offices geared towards being a hub for scientific innovation was rescued by a $317-million bailout from the Liberal government to prevent the private-public-funded project from defaulting on the $235-million loan received from Infrastructure Ontario. Only a handful of tenants have moved into the completed space, with prospective tenants such as Ryerson University’s science department shying away due to exorbitant rent costs. The lack of a frenzy to scoop up space within the tower doesn’t come as a surprise to many who were familiar with the development plans, since there were early warnings that phase II would have challenges drawing in prospective tenants. Real estate experts say that there was a lack of basic demand, and the building setup made it difficult to attract tenants who could potentially have vastly different needs. Still, expansion went ahead pointing to the enormous success of phase I as an indicator that demand for phase II would grow. This was a mistake, according to critics of MaRS, who say phase I might not be performing as well as has been reported, having relied heavily on government funding to succeed. Documents indicate that 60 per cent of the square footage of phase I is occupied by publicly funded entities and MaRS offices, while 60 per cent of total revenue in 2012 and 2013 came from provincial government funding. MaRS, however, argues that this public investment has paid off in spades, generating $3 billion in economic impact since its launch. While the debate over the success of MaRS can linger on, the question for the incoming government of what to do with a massive building space that is largely sitting empty will be a more pressing one to answer.

Finally, have you seen this jukebox? Police are appealing to the public for help finding a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox that was stolen during a break-and-enter in the Victoria Park Avenue and Kingston Road area. Police should be looking for either The Hulk or some calculating thieves who were prepared in advance to transport the jukebox, which is estimated to weigh up to a not-so-portable 400 pounds.


  • rich1299

    Nothing would make me happier than to see Holyday lose his seat as MPP, run once more for city council and lose there too.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      I doubt he’d run for council again, but it would be really something to see all those who propped up Ford go down in flames — Holyday provincially and also Del Grande, Mamoliti, Crawford, Di Giorgio, Nunziata, Stintz. All these people knew Ford’s shortcomings but hitched their wagon to him anyhow. At this point it only looks like Holyday and Stintz will lose though and Holyday may hang in there.

      • nevilleross

        After all those mediocre fools are taken care of, I want to see a serious proposal for term limits be placed on the table for all to vote on, as well as seeing proportional representation be discussed; we need to make sure people like the above-mentioned (and the Ford brothers) don’t just get to stay in power for years on end pushing the city into the abyss all of the time with whatever regressive policies the bunch of them come up with.

        • TheSotSays

          When Rob gets back with a proposal to cut the number of councillors and their respective expense accounts from 44 to 22, it should make you very happy indeed.

      • HotDang

        You forgot Ana Bailao in the list of proppers. She generally leaned with the lefties of council, but any time Ford got a big win she voted with him. What a bastard. They had a chart a while back (I think it was in Metro) showing which councillors were the most help to Ford on close votes and she was a leader.

  • Astin44

    “loosing their seats” – again with the loosing? Who are they going to loose them on? I assume their constituents. I suggest a copy editor be loosed on this recurring error.

    • TorontoistCopyEditors

      Apologies again. The copy editor responsible for missing it both times promises to stick a note on top of her computer screen. It’s corrected now.

  • Kenneth Wells

    Ken-Etobicoke I want Ontario to get out of it’s massive debt that Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal party have created. Ontario was once a sufficient province but when the Liberals came to power in Ontario the province is a have not province and needs hand outs from the federal government. Liberal voters take the rose colour glasses off and get rid of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals as they don’t deserve the Ontario voters trust. Who can vote for Wynne, her party has created and tried to cover up the famous E-HEALTH, SCANDAL,the ORNGE SCANDAL,the GAS PLANT SCANDAL, and now the MARRS scandal. The Liberals have created the largest debt for Ontario and plan to spend more if elected through Wynne’s plan of 29 billion in infrastructure and where is she going to get the money? She will raise TAXES I don’t know about you but I am paying too much in tax as it is .Ontario needs a change to have a bright future it is essential to vote PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE-vote Tim Hudak

    • dsmithhfx

      The Liberals engaged in deficit spending just like the Harper Conservatives, to prop up the economy and specifically the auto industry during worldwide recession brought on by the reckless malfeasance of primarily US financial institutions.

      Yes we have a debt because of it. But it is by no means massive or unmanageable, and the Liberals will be paying it down at a responsible pace so as not to destroy what remains of our tax base.

      Tim Hudak would devastate the Ontario economy with unnecessary tax cuts (we already have the lowest corporate taxe rate — courtesy of the Liberals), and job cuts that will reduce consumer spending and deprive Ontarians of badly-needed government services.

      Wynne has turned the page on McGuinty-era scandals, some of which were actually spawned under Harris (e.g. ehealth). If anything, the scandals prove that so-called 3P (private-public-partnerships) don’t work, and the government has no business contracting out public services. We should have learned that lesson from Harris’s 407 fiasco.

      Hudak is Mike Harris all over again. We don’t want it.

    • OgtheDim

      Nice cut and paste job.

      Isn’t Ken the name used by that angry guy typing away on the PCPO radio ads who sounds like Bert from Sesame Street? I’m just saying that as you created an account just to type this thing that I’ve seen before.

      Anyhoo, as I said to somebody else who posted the exact same thing on the Globe site (but said they were from Ken from Niagara):

      if you think Hudak is going to cut the deficit sooner then Wynne, you are assuming that tax cuts create revenue. As that hasn’t worked anywhere in the world, all we’d be doing is cutting revenue…without cutting the deficit.

      As for infrastructure, if you want the province to look like the underside of the Gardiner, sure, don’t invest until 4 years from now and its election time again – that’s the Hudak plan.

      I agree that Wynne will raise taxes. I wish she’d actually look at what the province should be funding as against just spending. BUT, Hudak is just going to cut, without thinking.

      And, he’s going to cut 1 out of 6 provincial employees.

      If you don’t think that is going to hurt the economy, well………

      • TheSotSays

        Anyhoo there’s nothing wrong with a bit of retribution is there now?

        And since outrageously high Sunshine List government overhead has chased hundreds of companies away and put thousands of Ontarians out of work, it’s past the time the place needs to be straightened out. One factor alone is that we have the highest electricity rates in North America

        If I happen to see Hudak wandering about soliciting votes I’ll be telling him to chop 3 out of 6 government employees starting at the top. There are plenty of government people in the middle who are more than capable of keeping the Province running efficiently. The problem is dead wood at the top and it’s time to let them compete with the Chinese.

        • nevilleross

          Being stupid and repeating right-wing bullshit is no way to go through life, sir.

          • TheSotSays

            Brush up your resume. There’s no danger you’re near the top of that mess but I can tell from reading your output that you won’t survive the cut.

          • worstmayorever

            hear hear. Let him get together with Hudak and spend some time trading pathetic ignorant crapoid “facts”

    • nevilleross

      Ken, go and get a job, a shrink, and a life. Better yet, please turn off Faux Noise and Sun News Channel-both are rotting your brain.

    • worstmayorever

      “massive”: the big lie again. take a econ 101 class or get a Economy for Dummies book