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Newsstand: July 7, 2014

It's a dreary Monday, so here's some news to take your mind off the rain. Olivia Chow has a new affordable housing plan, one-third of Ontario residents want Andrea Horwath to step down, and a local parachute school has had three fatalities in a year.

matt newsstand gull

With Rob Ford out of rehab and back in the spotlight, the ongoing election campaign threatens to become, once again, more about personalities than policy. Olivia Chow is working to prevent that—one of her latest suggestions is to offer financial incentives for developers to set aside 20 per cent of units in new residential tower developments as affordable housing. Chow’s team predicts that offering a 10-year deferral on development fees will lead to the creation of up to 15,000 new affordable units over four years, although they admit the number is optimistic.

Despite triggering a provincial election that left her party with less power than it had before, Andrea Horwath has declined to resign her leadership of the NDP. But a recent Forum Research poll shows that 35 per cent of Ontarians think she should step down. Horwath has been widely criticized for pushing her traditionally left-wing party closer to the right in a bid to attract Liberal voter—a strategy that failed miserably, as the election gave the Liberals a majority government. Still, while 35 per cent is a sizeable minority, 43 per cent of Ontarians believe Horwath should keep her job. If her election-night optimism is anything to go by, Horwath will pay more attention to that 43 per cent than anyone else.

The Parachute School of Toronto is defending itself after a being connected to another skydiver fatality—the third since June 2013. President Adam Mabee says there’s no common thread between the accidents. While Mabee has said he will look into the accidents to see if the school can improve its practices, but added that he’s not sure what can change, outside of shutting down activities altogether. “And I’m not sure that’s really my call to make, frankly,” Mabee told the Toronto Star. “It’s an individual’s choice as to whether they want to jump out of an airplane or not. It’s an individual’s choice whether they want to get in a car and drive down the highway. I can’t tell people no, they can’t do these things.”


  • James D Paterson

    Why is the parachute school needing to defend itself? Skydiving is an inherently dangerous activity, and the guy, who was a regular, died of a hard landing; hardly the school’s fault he was unable to land safely.

    As Mabee said, it’s all choice. No one is forcing anybody to jump out of a plane.

    • dsmithhfx

      Story is, he hit his head on the plane on the way out and may have concussed. I think his last words were “oh fuck”.

      • James D Paterson

        I don’t know whether to laugh at that or not.

        Either way, if that’s true, it’s still his fault and not that of the school.

        Still deciding whether to laugh.

  • Notcleverguy

    Andrea Horwath hasn’t stepped down yet?

    • Steveinto

      She is a con now, lack of integrity goes with the territory.

      • Notcleverguy

        Pretty much.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Not surprised. She feels she did well but there is a lot of anger over the loss of three Toronto ridings. She’ll hang on until there’s a party review. I don’t think there’s a big appetite to replace her though and no heir apparent waiting in the wings.

      • Notcleverguy

        What ever happened to good old Peter Tabuns?

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Yeah, forgot about him….he ran second in the last leadership campaign. He may still be interested There’s also Cheri DiNovo. There could even be an attempt to draft Charlie Angus. Not sure he wants to lead the ONDP. I’m also betting the party doesn’t want an expensive leadership race right away, they’ve got bills to pay for that election which they shouldn’t have forced but did.

      • HotDang

        I voted against my incumbent MPP specifically because I was opposed to her leadership, and he lost his seat.

        Her judgment on calling the election and the huge veer to the right soured my assessment of her. The ONDP should bring in someone like Alexa McDonough.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Or Olivia Chow, should she lose the race for mayor (to dark horse Soknacki).

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Or(gulp) that loud, sweaty guy who likes eating gravy.

      • OgtheDim

        Since she won, she and her handlers have been fighting people as against bringing them along side. This is just more of the same.

        Right now, their best hope is the Libs go ahead and fight the unions. Then all will be forgiven.

  • OgtheDim

    Forum once again torquing numbers to fit a clients agenda. Not quite a push poll but close.

    Look at the methodology –

    Question before says, “Tim Hudak has stepped down as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. Who do you think is the best person to lead the PC party?”

    Very next question:

    “Do you think Andrea Horwath should resign as leader of the Ontario NDP or not?”

    Don’t ya think the first question is going to slightly torque the next one?

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      How would you have phrased these questions?

      • dsmithhfx

        A number of possibilities spring to mind:

        ‘Do you think the ONDP was right to force an election by opposing the Liberal budget?’

        ‘Do you think Horwath should continue as leader of the ONDP?’

        ‘Do you think Horwath is the best person to lead the ONDP?’

      • OgtheDim

        I would have switched them. As presented, the Horwath question is within the context of change by the PC’s and is no longer in isolation.