Illustration by Jeremy Kai/Torontoist.
Christmas Adam, meet Christmas Eve. On Rudolph’s only working day, mayoral candidates continue to pay the price, there’s brou-ha-ha over cuts to immigrant services, and Rob Ford wants you in his Rolodex.
The municipal election of 2010 may be a fading memory, but candidates with misplaced signs are now being asked to pay the price by city licensing staff. George Smitherman’s people say they got an $8,000 bill for bad signage and Rocco Rossi’s campaign have been charged a cool twenty-five bucks for putting signs on public instead of private property, which is kind of adding insult to injury given the outcome of the election. Mayor Ford’s campaign manager Nick Kouvalis told the Globe he doesn’t think they’ve been hit with a bill but he’s in Florida so isn’t sure.
A wild raptor is causing bloody mayhem in the Moss Park area of downtown Toronto. No, not that kind of raptor, although it would be a more interesting story. A red-tailed hawk who’s taken up residence near the park has firmly established him or herself at atop the avian food chain, being frequently spotted sitting on tree limbs and sidewalks casually shredding less assertive birds, as well as the occasional small squirrel or rat. Be grateful that the pecking order at your workplace isn’t so literal.
Liberal MPs are lambasting the Conservative government for making cuts to programs that provide services to new immigrants. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced yesterday that the feds will be cutting $54 million from a $393 million dollar budget, with 85% of the cuts taking place in Ontario and the majority of that in Toronto. Critics are urging the government to reconsider, saying that the reductions will mean the layoff of eight hundred workers in the Toronto area who currently help newcomers adjust to Canada. Kenney noted that money is being reallocated as more immigrants settle outside of Ontario, while Liberal MP Bob Rae ranted about “repentance and reconsideration.” Experiment: call the consulates of ten random countries and find out how many of them will fund your settling-in process should you decide to move there.
Rob Ford says he’ll be spending the holidays with his family, but if you really need him he’ll get back to you. The mayor told the Sun that he’s ready to return constituent phone calls if necessary, even over the Christmas break. Ford said he’s getting about three hundred phone calls a day, so he isn’t getting back as fast as he used to, but still plans to return all calls personally (QuikMath™: three hundred calls at two minutes per call is ten hours a day spent returning phone calls without even accounting for bathroom breaks). The mayor also noted that he’s prepared to comment “lol” under your latest Facebook status if it’s really important to you.
And finally, a small area of the Eaton Centre had to be closed off last night after two shoppers got into a disagreement and one of them used pepper spray to make their point. Ho, ho, ho.