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Newsstand: August 20, 2014

Wednesday, we meet again. Please, be gentle. In the news: A new report says that lack of competition in alcohol sales is hurting the province, No Jets TO activist Anshul Kapoor will register his election papers to run in Ward 20, a rare human rights case results in a $10,000 judgement against Toronto landlord, and the sale of Captain John’s isn’t so final.

matt newsstand gull

A new report says the current state of alcohol sales in Ontario is negatively impacting profit margins for the provincial government. The report, authored by the C.D. Howe Institute, argues that the government would actually see higher revenues from liquor and beer sales if more businesses were able to sell alcohol. It cites Western Canada as an example, where there is 7 per cent more profit per capita due to competitive sales. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario nets roughly $2.5 billion for the provincial and federal governments every year, while The Beer Store contributes about $1 billion to the province in taxes. Even though that money sounds pretty attractive on paper, the report goes on to say that these quasi-monopolies are hurting both the consumer, and small businesses—such as wineries and breweries—who have little hope of seeing their wares sold to a wider consumer base.

Anshul Kapoor, the activist at the helm of the anti-Island Airport expansion campaign No Jets TO will file his registration papers on Wednesday to run for city council in Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina. Kapoor, a digital marketing manager at Rogers Communications, says issues concerning affordable housing, development, green space, and waterfront revitalization are all important to him, and that he sees a “lack of vision” as the biggest problem facing the city right now. With 24 candidates already registered to run in the ward as of this morning, Kapoor joins a crowded field that includes Joe Cressy, the former NDP candidate in the recent Trinity-Spadina federal by-election. Kapoor says he is not concerned about his competition: “My focus has been at the municipal level, and my focus has been at the neighbourhood level. I’m the only one who has the experience of fighting for neighbourhoods and working our way into City Hall.”

A case before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ended with an order that a Toronto landlord pay $10,000 to a young woman for denying her an apartment because she was under the age of 18. In 2011 Thalia-Paige Dixon-Eeet—who was 17 at the time—was without stable housing, and was being financially supported by the Toronto Children’s Aid Society. She applied to rent a bachelor apartment and was denied by Carolyn Goodman’s company Havcare Investments Inc. because the building had a policy not to rent to anyone under the age of 18. This contradicts Ontario law, which allows 16- and 17-year-olds to sign leases. Being denied the apartment meant that Dixon-Eeet felt unable to leave the temporary residence where she was living with an abusive boyfriend, which eventually led to her dropping out of high school.

The deal to sell Captain John’s may not be as complete as previously thought. The sale has yet to close, and while the Toronto Port Authority says they are still in talks with the potential buyer, they are also exploring other options. North American Seafood Exchange, Inc. had agreed to pay $33,501—plus applicable taxes, naturally—but has yet to deliver the funds because some issues still need to be resolved in order to complete the sale. According to a company representative, the August 22 deadline to remove the ship from the harbour must be pushed back, since hydro disconnection cannot occur ahead of that date. And so, once again, the future of Captain John’s is uncertain. It is the stuff that sea chanties are made of.

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