How Toronto's Papers Covered This Week's Ethics Violations

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How Toronto’s Papers Covered This Week’s Ethics Violations

In which the Sun doggedly pursues the blockbuster DonGhaziWest scandal.

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.
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As we hurtle towards the uncertain new era of President Donald Trump, today’s Toronto newspapers are awash in tales of political favouritism, ethics violations, and conflicts of interest. And no, Trump does not have the monopoly on this topic, though he may be an influence on how the subject is becoming top of mind for the city’s editorial departments as they try to make sense of the New Normal. But which of today’s papers can provide us with some much needed transparency and clarity, something for us to believe in?


globe nov 22
The Globe and Mail


The Globe has been doggedly pursuing the Ontario and federal Liberal Party’s reliance on cash-for-access fundraisers throughout 2016, and like a good John Grisham plot, the controversy goes straight to the top. This morning brings the revelation that last May Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself attended a fundraising event attended by “Chinese billionaires” as the Globe headline would have it. In attendance was one donor, connected to the Chinese government in Beijing, who later donated a million dollars to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. This donor was also seeking approval at the time from Ottawa to open a bank aimed at Chinese-Canadians. Will incoming American President Trump demand Trudeau be locked up for this? Not likely, as Trump released a video detailing his plans for the first 100 days in office, which did not include appointing a special prosecutor to jail former rival Hillary Clinton, one of the vows his supporters expect him to deliver on. Nor did he mention repealing Obamacare or building the wall, though he did promise to Make America Great Again.


post nov 22
National Post


The Crack in Excalibur sounds like a retelling of the legend of King Arthur starring Rob Ford (the late co-author of the book Ford Nation, which hits bookstores today). But it’s actually a headline in today’s National Post about the Canadian Army having to restrict the use of their “Excalibur” artillery rounds after the discovery of a manufacturing defect that may cause the shells to detonate prematurely (the shells cost $150,000 each!). With President-elect Trump threatening to pull America out of all efforts to address the issue of climate change, Andrew Coyne wonders if Canada’s vow to impose a carbon tax will have to go by the wayside to stay competitive with our major trading partner. And the Post covers the disturbing story of a former counter-terrorism officer with the RCMP in Ottawa who was just convicted of torturing his own 11-year-old son.


star nov 22
Toronto Star


The Star attempts a sequel to their Front Page Challenge-winning cover Which Cop Shot Me? this morning. A Mississauga woman hit by a stray police bullet while standing in her kitchen continues her quest to learn the identity of the unnamed Peel Region officer who fired the shot, whose identity is still being protected by the Special Investigations Unit. She’s now asking for a judicial review of the decision. The Star is otherwise concerned with the big international story of the day, the questions over Trump’s likely unwillingness to relinquish control of his global business empire as he ascends to the presidency, leaving the Oval Office vulnerable to major conflicts of interest and foreign influence that make whatever he had to say about Hillary Clinton’s potential ethics violations look as innocuous as a leaked creamy risotto recipe.


metro nov 22
Metro Toronto


Metro chronicles the “Meteoric Rise of Canadian Soccer” which is ultimately bad news for the sport in this country as a “meteoric rise” refers to an event of sudden and temporary brilliance. At any rate, history is about to be made in Major League Soccer as two Canadian teams face off for the first time in the conference finals, with Toronto FC clashing against Montreal Impact. #WhoWillWin? Metro also covers the TTC board’s approval of a January fare hike, though this increase and the accompanying service cuts do not cover a shortfall in the TTC’s operating budget, which still has a $61-million gap. And Metro says millennials are spending a lot of money these days on maintaining healthy, active lifestyles—”totally worth it” says a piggybank posing with a sweatband and weights on Page One. Of course anyone who remembers the great Canadian film Heavenly Bodies knows the young people of Toronto have always prioritized a solid fitness regimen.


Toronto Sun


sun nov 22

The Sun brags of a double double this morning to complement your morning coffee: two shots of Liberal Ethics Violations served up by Sue-Ann Levy and Christina Blizzard. Levy alludes to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal in her blockbuster story of Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll sending former CTV anchor Bill Hutchinson an email inviting him to a launch party for her 2018 run for provincial politics. But how did Carroll get his email address? His theory is that a complaint he had written to the local homeowners association got forwarded to her office. He thinks Carroll may have breached council’s code of conduct by sending him the invite. Fortunately Donald Trump is not the mayor of Toronto for if he were, he would likely direct a special prosecutor to put Carroll in jail for this, which would likely have a negative effect on her provincial ambitions. But #DonGhaziWest is not the only ethics breach today, as Blizzard investigates a cloud of suspicion around a by-election in Sudbury, with allegations that Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault “sought certain benefits” in exchange for agreeing to run. Though Blizzard does admit the existence of that pesky “innocent until proven guilty” standard in our justice system, nevertheless she feels that Thibeault must resign until his name has been cleared of any wrongdoing. To add insult to injury, she reaches back 15 years to congratulate Mike Harris for his ethical standards in comparison to Kathleen Wynne, although to be fair even Harris made an ethical mistake or two in his day.


This week’s winner: Metro wins this week for their dynamic photo celebrating Toronto FC’s unprecedented run for playoff glory, and with this victory, takes sole possession of first place in our weekly standings, a truly shocking turn of events. Can the Sun get payback next week, or is Metro‘s meteoric rise more than just temporary brilliance? There’s only a few more weeks of competition left to decide the best front page of 2016.

Newspaper Number of Wins
Metro 15
Toronto Sun 14
Toronto Star 11
Globe and Mail 10
National Post 7


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