Newsstand: October 9, 2012




Newsstand: October 9, 2012

We're onto you, Monday! It is perfectly clear that you've tried to disguise yourself as a Tuesday, but we see right through you. Today: A new poll finds that GTA residents are divided on the best route for transit funding; Toronto’s budget chief wants an equal distribution of development fee-funded wealth across the City; Markham's arena to compete with Toronto's; a WWII vet gets high, so high, this weekend; and a string of sexual assaults in Toronto's west-end continues.

As Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee prepares to tackle a report outlining 10 different options for raising an additional $2 billion per year to fund the Big Move, GTA residents weigh in with their opinions via a new Globe and Mail poll. However, the results might not be overly helpful to the decision makers, who may be hoping to gauge the temperature of Toronto and Hamilton residents, as results show that people are torn about paying new fees or taxes for improvements to public transit and roads. Thirty-four per cent are outright against paying extra to upgrade transportation, while 28 per cent are outright in favour. The rest fall somewhere in between. Well, that certainly clears things up.

Toronto’s budget chief has likened the Section 37 Planning Act provisions that allow extra zoning density to the “wild west,” suggesting that it creates a culture of “haves” versus “have nots.” In Toronto, there is a history of developers paying a negotiated fee in exchange for getting around zoning rules, such as adding extra floors to their development projects. That fee is then used locally within wards for “community improvements.” Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) equates this with “getting away with murder” and aims to put a stop to money being hoarded in certain wards and and not spread around Toronto equally. Yes, an unfair distribution of wealth does sound like murder. Hey, wait a minute

The mayor of Hamilton has a question that many others, too, have probably been asking: why is the City of Markham planning an NHL-size arena without any assurance of an NHL team? Apparently, the answer is that it will be a “sports, entertainment and cultural centre” to rival the Air Canada Centre. Um, this may be a delicate topic, but…we have an NHL team, they play in the ACC (well, sometimes. Maybe not this year, but that’s a whole other issue).

Here’s something to warm the deep, cold cockles of your heart (by the way, why the cynicism? Why just yesterday you were so thankful!) A daring WWII vet spent his Thanksgiving holiday in an unusual way, nearly 1,200 feet above Toronto. Joined by three of his children and three grandchildren, 90-year-old Michael Welch completed the EdgeWalk this weekend, proving that the rest of us, many of whom have not survived a World War and simply spent this weekend stuffing ourselves with turkey, are kind of lame.

Toronto Police are issuing a warning about a series of sexual assaults that took place in the Christie Pits–area over the Thanksgiving weekend, the same neighbourhood in which 10 other sexual assaults occurred over the summer. The description of the suspect in all three weekend assaults is similar to that given by other women who were assaulted in the area: He is described as black, 20 to 45 years of age, approximately 5’7″ to 5’10”, with short hair and a stocky build. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 416−808−7474 or to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477).