Newsstand: May 9, 2011
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Newsstand: May 9, 2011

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Illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.


This Monday is so full of really deep, deeply real questions. Was Rob Ford’s campaign launch a fundraiser? How is a massage parlour like a bawdy house? If an addition is built to a house, and no one is there to license it, does it get torn down? Should I have a second coffee? Answers to these questions and more in this edition of Newsstand.

We must ask that age-old question: how doth a campaign differ from a fundraiser? With three separate requests already calling for an audit of Rob Ford’s mayoral campaign, the Globe and Mail now looks at a moment in the RoFo bid where the province’s election laws may have been bent. When mayoral candidates are summing up their final budgets, they are permitted to exclude costs associated with fundraising events (but not campaign events at which fundraising takes place). The launch of the mayor’s campaign wasn’t billed as a fundraiser, it cost $34,371 to run but yielded only $7,905, and it wasn’t included on Ford’s final campaign tally. Uh-oh, RoFo!
The National Post has a different question on the brain: how doth a massage joint differ from a bawdy parlour? The City of Toronto licenses some 400 holistic centres and 25 body rub parlours, and it’s an acknowledged problem that some untold number (it’s untold because we’re not telling you, and we’re not telling you because we don’t know) of these (and similar places that go unlicensed) offer illegal erotic services. The National Post visited several licensed massage and spa businesses to find out what the story is. No reporters got naked in the making of this story (though they were encouraged to). In conclusion, no one seems to know whether the answer to the problem is more regulation and licensing or less of it. That’s another age-old question for the books. Newsstand: you read it ’cause it’s deep.
Speaking of the City and the regulating and the by-lawing and all, an elderly Annex couple is locked in a battle with the City over a backyard addition to their home. Shih and Yang Tseng have incurred $200,000 in legal fees and the like, but the City has still demanded that they demolish the back part of their house. When the Tsengs’ house was bought for them by their children in 2006, it had a rotting, infested addition at the back of the house which they tore down, re-building a similar, slightly larger structure sans permit. The Tsengs have been hounded by City officials ever since, and they say their health is suffering from the stress.
Some Toronto residents spent their Mother’s Day launching Mothers for Child Care, a task force who will conduct meetings and hearings across the city in order to produce a public report about the state of child care access in the city (which, anecdotally, they say is inadequate). The report will be published on Father’s Day (It’s not a coincidence! They’re just really good with planning and calenders and stuff).
Those cuts to TTC bus service that were promised (is it still a promise if it sucks?) back in January have now hit the streets, with, for example, routes that used to run until the morning’s wee hours now stopping in the evening. Bummer.
Last but not least: yeah, you should totally go for another coffee! Why not?

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