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Newsstand: August 18, 2014

It's one of the last Mondays before school starts, kids, so enjoy summer while it lasts (by reading the news online, of course). This morning's news: teachers go back to the bargaining table with the province next month, Argos fans are upset with Jon Bon Jovi, Open Streets T.O.'s first pilot event took place yesterday, and the Iranian government is fighting a local court ruling.

matt newsstand wateringlawn

As the expiry date draws closer for the province’s collective agreement with teachers, at least one powerful union leader is talking more about conciliation than fighting. Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, told reporters that everyone involved wanted to avoid “what we went through the last time. And I’m going to try to avoid that at all costs and find solutions to problems.” A new set of guidelines for negotiations between the Ministry of Education and school boards will help the process, according to Hammond.

Devoted Argos fans spent Sunday burning their Bon Jovi CDs—literally. The band’s frontman, Jon Bon Jovi, is part of a group bidding to buy the Buffalo Bills NFL team and bring it to this city, a move fans worry will spell the end for their favourite CFL team. To show their displeasure, fans gathered and lit up their Bon Jovi CDs in protest of the singer’s participation in the group. David Knott, who organized the protest, also called for a citywide boycott of Bon Jovi music.

Also on Sunday, stretches of both Bloor Street West and Yonge Street were closed to vehicles in a pilot of Open Streets T.O. From 8 a.m. to noon, Yonge from Bloor to Queen Street was open to pedestrians and cyclists only, as was Bloor between Spadina Avenue and Parliament Street. The program has received mixed reviews so far, though the people who took to the street on Sunday all seemed to enjoy it. In addition to businesses being open and inviting onlookers in, there were spaces to do activities such as yoga and Tai Chi. Open Streets T.O. bills itself as “the city’s largest free recreation program” and is modelled on similar programs in cities such as New York and Ottawa. The next pilot event will take place August 31, when the same streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from 8 a.m. until noon.

The Iranian government is fighting a Toronto judge’s finding that a house in Toronto and property in Ottawa are “beneficially owned” by the Iranian state and that they can be seized by victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism. Until recently the Iranian state was not involved in the court proceedings related to the house at 290 Sheppard Avenue West or the building at 2 Robinson Avenue in Ottawa, but it is now fighting back and has retained a local lawyer to argue its case.

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