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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.”

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