Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.
Hello humpday! On this Wednesday: the face of council’s a changin’, Mississauga’s feelin’ the winds, and maybe road accidents are changing too.
Sure, there are a lot of white dudes on council, but that may soon change. Of the forty-four councillors, nine are women and four are visible minorities, but female and minority candidates are running in ward races across the city. Take Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, formerly held by Kyle Rae, and now being battled for by a gay Chinese former cop and a lesbian Chinese real estate agent. A female Italian-trained Somali doctor is taking on Rob Ford’s brother, Doug, in Ward 2.
Speaking of change. Mississauga legend Hazel McCallion is heading into her final election next month, after holding the mayoral title for more than three decades. But in recent years councillors have split from her on key votes; citizen’s groups are popping up left, right, and centre; there was that whole thing with her son; and then there’s the end of developer’s fees. It’s the end of an era…obviously.
George Smitherman’s latest campaign promise is a “money back guarantee” for merchants peeved over delays in road repairs. Think Roncesvalles Avenue. He also says managers who don’t do their best to avoid said delays should be fired. The idea is to build a clause into construction contacts with the city, which would force contractors to cough up a penalty, which would go to nearby businesses affected by the delays.
And moving away from politics, the TTC has released its shortlist of bidders for the contactless fare system. Of the eleven firms seeking to bid, there is not one Canadian bank among them. Visa Canada is in there, but the rest include global high-tech firms and San Diego’s Cubic Transportation Systems, builder of smart cards for transit agencies around the globe, such as London’s Oyster. The TTC will deliberate on the hopefuls for the next two weeks.
As far as traffic accidents go, here’s something you don’t hear too often. An eighty-one-year-old man died after being hit by a streetcar. Police say the man stepped off the streetcar platform onto Spadina Avenue without checking for traffic and walked into the path of the oncoming northbound car. The driver sounded the warning bell and tried to stop, but wasn’t able to. The elderly man had severe head injuries and died in hospital.
This article originally referred to the TTC’s fare payment system as “contract-less,” rather than “contactless,” the result of a typo.