Weekend Newsstand: December 10, 2011
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Weekend Newsstand: December 10, 2011

Some days begin with toast, others don't. Don't let this Saturday be an other day. Some news with that toast: Doug Ford vows to save all student nutrition programs, the TTC is shrinking no matter the fare hike, non-citizens to join the ranks of hated-upon TTC board members, Rogers and Bell buy some local sports teams, and a Canadian basketball player is coming home.

Much like Whitney Houston, Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) believes that children are the future. In fact, Ford was so moved by a deputation about the need the preserve student nutrition programs that he cut a cheque at Wednesday’s budget committee meeting. Perhaps realizing that wasn’t exactly a tenable solution, Ford is now vowing that student nutrition programs will not be cut and it will be council that will find the money for them, somewhere. Somewhere other than Ford’s bank account.

So you know how the TTC is set to approve annual fare increases? Yeah, well don’t go thinking those increases are good for anything but a fare increase. According to the TTC chief general manager, Gary Webster, the fare increases will just keep service at the level it’s at now. Well, not now now, now as of January when service is reduced city-wide to what Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) is dubbing a “permanent shrinkage.”

Speaking of the TTC, the board that governs the transit commission might be looking for some other people to join up. Apparently looking to spread the joy of being one of the most complained about things in the city, the board hopes to add some citizens to its ranks. As in not-politicians. Reaction to the plan is mixed, with a member of the Metrolinx board saying a mix is always good and he assumes “the TTC wants to get people who know something about transit,” but really, you shouldn’t assume.

Ontario teachers are out of the sports racket after selling their stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers and Bell. With this new deal the telecoms now own the Air Canada Centre and some local sports teams, including the Leafs and the Raptors. Toronto sports fans are sort of optimistic about the deal’s potential to improve the records of those teams, but knowing Toronto sports fans, they’ll get over that hopeful feeling pretty soon.

In other local sports team news, Toronto-born NBA player Jamaal Magloire is the newest addition to the Raptors. Magloire is the first Canadian to play on the team in its 16 year history.