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Extra, Extra: White Squirrels, TTC Improvements, and Rob Ford vs. Raccoons

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss.

  • One of the beloved white squirrels that inhabit Trinity Bellwoods Park was found dead this weekend—seemingly after having been electrocuted. Animal Services will not be involved in the removal of the squirrel—it was found still hanging from hydro wires by its teeth—but Hydro crews will be dispatched to deal with the situation. Said Dale McDonald, who works alongside Animal Services employees, “Staff are very aware of the squirrels and really upset about the death.”
  • The TTC has released a report on various strategies that it could adopt to improve transit in Toronto. Straightforwardly titled “Opportunities to Improve Transit Service in Toronto,” it recommends the introduction of practices such as backdoor streetcar boarding and time-based transfers—and it will be considered by the TTC board at a meeting tomorrow. The mayoral candidates have now started weighing in: John Tory suggested the report was irresponsible (“It is not responsible to have a report that suggests this level of expenditure of a half a billion dollars without spelling out how it would be paid for, and I think it’s less than responsible for people frankly to vote on it without asking that question and demanding an answer”); Olivia Chow was pleased by its findings, saying they would lead to “moving people faster now”; and Rob Ford was happy with the recommendations, but questioned the backdoor-boarding proposal, as he has doubts about the effectiveness of the honour system. “I have a major problem with the honour system,” he said.
  • He gets into “standoffs” with them outside his house; he has “run-ins” with them at night in the yard. The man in question is Mayor Rob Ford, and his challengers are of the furry, resourceful, and garbage-loving variety. “You could yell and scream at them, but they just look at you,” he said of the raccoons he may occasionally yell and scream at. He concedes he’s not sure how Toronto’s raccoon population should be dealt with, but maintains it presents a serious problem.

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