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Newsstand: July 31, 2014

Goodbye July, you were swell. August, show us what you've got! In the news: a few potential candidates to replace Bill Blair emerge, the NDP will announce its candidate in the yet-uncalled Whitby-Oshawa federal byelection, a convicted murderer vies for city council seat, and Mary-Margaret McMahon talks about getting struck by a vehicle while cycling.

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While the search for a new Toronto Police chief has yet to officially begin, there are a few names currently being touted as possible replacements for outgoing chief Bill Blair. Both deputy chiefs, Peter Sloly and Mark Saunders, have been named as potential replacements from within the ranks of Toronto Police. From surrounding areas, Hamilton’s chief Glenn De Caire and Niagara’s chief Jeff McGuire also appear to be names popular within the Toronto Police force. It will likely be a while before this speculation turns into tangible candidacy, though. Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee says the board will hold discussions about qualities they are seeking in a new leader, and then possibly hire a consultant to aid in the selection process.

Although a federal byelection has yet to be called in the riding of Whitby-Oshawa, already the race to claim the vacant seat is kicking off. Earlier this month, Celina Caesar-Chavannes was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate, and it is expected that the New Democrats will announce tonight that riding president Trish McAuliffe is their contender. Formerly held by Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty, the Whitby-Oshawa riding has been only once won by the Liberals since it was first contested in 2004, and has not typically had a strong showing of support for the NDP. McAuliffe, however, ran against Flaherty in 2011 and placed a distant second—garnering 22 per cent of the vote against Flaherty’s 58 per cent. Legally, the byelection must be called before October 25, although there is no time limit as to when it must occur.

Christopher Brosky is a man who was convicted of the racially-motivated murder of a black man in Texas 23 years ago. Now, he is running for a seat on Toronto city council. When he was 16 years old, Brosky was a neo-Nazi skinhead who participated in the shooting of 32-year-old Donald Thomas outside of his Arlington, Texas, home. Now, as Brosky begins his campaign to unseat longtime incumbent Pam McConnell in Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, he is being forced to answer questions about his past. “Does it have any relevance in Canada though?” asks Brosky. To answer his rhetorical question, yes it probably does. Especially when he denies being a racist but still sports a swastika necklace. Don’t worry though―if you don’t feel like voting for a convicted murderer, you have eight other candidates currently registered to choose from.

Toronto Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York) spoke with the National Post about her harrowing experience being struck by a car while cycling recently. McMahon was hit by the passenger side of a vehicle while cycling down Woodbine Avenue and Gerrard Street East on Sunday. The impact sent her into traffic. Thankfully, she did not sustain major injuries, but the accident reaffirmed her belief that Toronto needs more separate bike lanes. “We can’t push those separated bike lanes enough. It’s not the war on cars. I’m not anti car. We drive a car. But we have to be mindful of all users,” says McMahon. She also admits that one of the most upsetting parts of her accident was the reaction of the motorist, who immediately began to blame her for the accident, although she says that she was cycling as close to the curb as possible. The driver has since been charged with careless driving.

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