Newsstand: February 24, 2011
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Newsstand: February 24, 2011

Illustration by Jeremy Kai/Torontoist.

Thursday’s news is full of hits: council rejects a tax increase, some councillors replaced by toilets, Rob Ford is hearing voices while Doug Ford stands his ground against anti-poverty group, reduced subway service this weekend, a G20 policing report from the ombudsman, Atom Egoyan, and beer.

City council rejected an itsy bitsy teeny weeny tax increase at Wednesday night’s budget debate. Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) proposed that with a 0.16% residential tax increase—amounting to less than the cost of a Swiss Chalet quarter chicken dinner for the average homeowner—and a 0.052% increase in non-residential taxes, the City could avoid cutting TTC bus routes, closing the Urban Affairs Library, and have enough left over for student nutrition and anti-bedbug programs. But instead council voted for a 0% tax increase and right-leaning councillors called Perks out of touch. Rob Ford said he’s hearing voices talked to five thousand people, and 99% of those voices thanked him for the tax freeze.
Mayor Ford reiterated his fearlessness when it comes to facing next year’s gaping budget hole of $774 million. And according to the Globe, he and twenty-two of his biggest fans in council have a handy talking points memo to help them deflect any questions or comments about all that ickiness. When it comes to the $60 low-flow toilet rebate, expect Ford and friends to say something along the lines of, it “is a nice reward—but it isn’t enough reason for people to choose to replace their toilets.” Tell that to Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre), who is so into low-flow toilets that he brought one in for show-and-tell.
The TTC is going to totally suck this weekend, as subway service on the Yonge line will be down all day Saturday and Sunday between Bloor-Yonge and Union stations for track installation. As always, shuttle buses will be running.
Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) says he won’t be deterred or intimidated by those thugs at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Ford told the anti-poverty group to “get a job” during a demonstration by OCAP at a recent budget committee meeting. OCAP calls the comment a slur against the poverty-stricken that is akin to racist and homophobic remarks. Representatives from OCAP went to City Hall on Wednesday to hand-deliver letters to each councillor complaining about Ford’s behaviour, and they filed a formal complaint with the City’s integrity commissioner.
Toronto-based director Atom Egoyan has signed on to direct a play for Canadian Stage‘s 2011-2012 season. Artistic director Matthew Jocelyn wants to serve Egoyan up as an “anchor for you, here’s something that you recognize in order to give you confidence to go into this fabulous world.” The famed movie director and anchor’s last stage production was for the Canadian Opera Company in 2006. This time around he’ll be directing his wife, Arsinee Khanjian, in Cruel and Tender. It tells the tale of a despot being deposed from the perspective of those closest to him. Timely stuff for a play, that.
Ontario ombudsman André Marin is sending a report about the G20 policing complaints his office received to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, the province’s police watchdog. The Globe breaks down all the nitty gritty.
And surprise, surprise, bar owners are happy about the potential loosening of liquor laws. Slightly surprisingly, a group of monks might like the news, too.