In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.
Today’s Front Page Challenge takes place on the day the federal budget is announced, so you would think the city’s papers would find this to be the key issue of the day. And you’d be right! Well, four-fifths right, anyway. Read on….
The Globe and Mail
In a preview of today’s budget announcments, the Globe leads with the Prime Minister’s promise of “historic investments” in the nation’s indigenous people, with billions directed towards education, housing and addressing water quality on reserves, all longstanding requests that previous governments have barely addressed. In other historic developments, Obama allows Cuban President Raul Castro to lift up one of his arms during their joint news conference in Havana, a first for an American President since Calvin Coolidge. However, their press conference was not nearly as genial, with each leader criticizing the other’s human rights records.
Obama in Cuba is the main story in the Post today, with a photo sure to inflame those convinced the President is a Marxist, as he stands before the iconic image of Che Guevara at the Jose Marti Monument in Havana. The Post, which has maintained a stance of disappointment towards Justin Trudeau ever since he was elected Prime Minister in October, essentially describes today’s budget as a chance for Trudeau to finally disappoint everyone. Donald Trump’s speech at yesterday’s pro-Israel AIPAC gathering is described as somewhat of a success as the reality TV star turned Republican frontrunner demonstrated that he can, with the help of TelePrompTers, simulate conventional conduct expected from a Presidential nominee.
The Star‘s front page is all about the dolla dolla this morning, with middle-class families enduring the “anarchy” of the city’s expensive, byzantine daycare system, Senators being given 30 days to pay up outstanding claims flagged in last year’s report from the Auditor General, and a report that over 1.5 million provincial workers aren’t entitled to paid sick days. But the real top story of the morning is buried in the small headline at the bottom of the page, the news that Donald Trump has secured the coveted endorsement of former Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi co-star Scott Baio.
Those adorable little Car2Go rental vehicles are the top story on today’s Metro, with their recent announcement that soon members will be able to drop their car rentals off on city streets (previously they were only allowed to be picked up from and dropped off in municipal parking lots). City Hall is bracing itself for this latest salvo in Toronto’s Parking Wars, Metro also reports on the recent revelation that Citizenship and Immigration is blocking residency status requests from families with children with Down syndrome. The government says these families place additional demands on the system (annual costs for special education and treatment), but advocates for the families affected are calling the policy “discrimination”. And Metro asks its young readers across the country what they would like to see in today’s budget announcement.
“CHEW ON THIS” exclaims this morning’s Toronto Sun, and indeed their front page offers the citizens of Toronto a lot to chew on this morning. A civic ban on smokeless tobacco at city-owned sports complexes and parks? “Gimme a break” says Mike Strobel, who defends the tobacco industry by arguing that the City of Toronto should ban “crotch scratching” instead (although if the city took his advice and tried to ban crotch-scratching the Sun would say the government should stay out of our lives and Strobel might argue crotch-scratching is part of the camaraderie of sport). The Sun continues to wash its hands of ever having supported the Toronto Maple Leafs—they can’t even bring themselves to celebrate a team victory anymore, adding “But do you want them to?” which either refers to the Leafs possibly parlaying their last place position into a top draft pick or reflects the paper’s general contempt for the modern franchise.
This week’s winner: The Toronto Sun wins this week’s competition for getting the phrase “crotch-scratching” on the front page while the city’s other papers concern themselves with human rights issues and the financial state of the nation.
Starting this week FPC features league standings. Since the launch of this column in October, two papers have been dominant in winning the weekly challenge, and with this week’s victory the Sun closes in on the league leading Metro. Sadly Canada’s National Newspaper™ has failed to make it onto the leaderboard with even one victory, although now that they are aware of the deficit we hope they will up their Front Page game.
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Front Page Challenge will be back tomorrow for a special edition to look at how the city’s papers cover the passing of Rob Ford.
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