Newsstand: February 17, 2012
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Newsstand: February 17, 2012

Hope you're feeling festive today, because it's (almost) Family Day! God bless fake holidays. The news: Rob Ford inspecting mould in a home near you; it's all about marketing for subway versus light rail; commuting could be getting more expensive; a private job-seeking company lies like it's going out of style; and Toronto Hydro is offering a whole lot of buyouts.

If Mayor Rob Ford’s been giving you major schadenfreude, or if he makes you cringe in twisted empathy, like at the sight of a flailing public speaker who kicked you once—either way, really, your feelings will be enhanced by the news that Ford made some uncomfortable-sounding visits to tenants of a social housing high-rise yesterday. Part of a tour of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation–owned properties, the mayor is trying to get a sense of what the $650 million worth of repairs looks like, but also campaign. He did hand out fridge magnets, after all. The house calls came on the eve of a decision that will be made today, as to whether 675 TCHC single family homes should be sold off.

And if being inundated by subway-versus-light-rail-news makes you want to vomit—well, sorry. But you should know that a poll conducted this week and released yesterday shows the extent to which the framing of the transit debate affects how residents weigh in.

As commuter GO train ridership grows, so too have their parking lot fines. Apparently, such fees have doubled since last year. And, though GO officials have previously said their parking lot rates are largely covered by the train fare, part of economist Don Drummond’s provincial report suggests the GO should start charging for parking, à la the TTC. That guy would say that.

People who work for the private Toronto job-search firm Toronto Pathways may, ironically, soon find themselves on the job market. Pathways has been slammed by Canada’s privacy commissioner and the CBC—who went all undercover on them!—for charging unreasonable fees (to the tune of thousands, purportedly) and misleading clients into thinking they had secured jobs for them. Not only has the company accrued a whack of small claims cases and pissed off a whole lot of angry job-seekers (already kind of a tough crowd, no?), apparently they have also changed their name—wait for it—five times in the last seven years. Looks like it’s time to brush up on your resumes, people who work there!

Toronto Hydro is offering buyout packages to over a third of its employees.The utility’s request for a rate hike—one that would add $5 a month to consumer bills—was denied, so buyouts are being touted as the best solution for a budget shortfall.