Newsstand: June 1, 2012




Newsstand: June 1, 2012

Need an escape from gruesome, body parts-based news? We've got you covered. Today's news does not require warnings of graphic content, nor does it include any zombie jokes. Here's what it does include: a raise for the City's non-unionized workers; why Councillor Mammoliti ended up at a mayor's conference; the important news Mayor Ford awaits; Toronto's way of commemorating Jack Layton; and some news for east-end cyclists.

Although the City’s unionized workers agreed to a salary freeze, deputy mayor Doug Holyday is pushing for raises for Toronto’s non-unionized workforce, which includes City managers. Holyday believes that because this group is tasked with finding savings, as well as helping the Ford administration deliver on key promises, they deserve to be rewarded financially. It pays to play for Team Ford. But before getting bent out of shape, consider this: according to a report submitted by City staff, union members had a cumulative salary increase from 2007 to 2011 of nearly 14 per cent, while non-union employees saw salaries grow by just seven to 10 per cent over the same period of time. One might argue that union members have the upper hand as they have union leaders lobbying on their behalf, but then again, who needs a union president when they have the deputy mayor looking out for them?

When it comes to attending Federation of Canadian Municipalities conferences, the mayor certainly is consistent. Mayor Rob Ford, who has never, even as a councillor, attended a FCM conference, sent City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) in his place to Thursday’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus meeting in Saskatoon, which kicked off the 75th annual FCM conference. When asked about the conference, Ford told Toronto reporters: “I don’t go to FCM. Since when do I go to FCM?” We’ll help you out, mayor. One might assume that the natural answer could be: since becoming mayor of Canada’s biggest city.

Perhaps Mayor Ford was just too tied up in knots with worry about his proposed parkland purchase to attend the conference. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will decide today if he can buy the piece of parkland next to his Etobicoke home, now famous due to his bullying and robbery of incident with Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale.

In today’s feel-good news of the day, Mayor Ford is expected to ask Toronto City Council next week to waive the usual two-year waiting period and formally rename the launching point for ferries to the Toronto Islands the “Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.” This will likely not be a difficult sell. The ferry terminal was chosen by a committee of councillors who’ve been working with the Layton family to find the best way to honour him in the city.

Since we’re on the topic of Jack, here’s some fitting news: the TTC’s Victoria Park station now provides secure parking for up to 52 bikes. Interested cyclists can register at the bicycle station in Union Station. However, it’s not the most affordable bike parking option for riders. After a registration fee of $26.91, there’s a $21.53 monthly rate, or $64.57 for four months.