Newsstand: November 7, 2012




Newsstand: November 7, 2012

Oh, ’Murica, you sure know how to dominate our news cycle. But guess what? We've got news of our own. Sure, it doesn't involve a two-term president, legalized marijuana and same-sex marriage (that's old news here, anyway), but it's got other stuff, like: Free pizza for upset expats; TTC CEO asks the mayor not to call him; Mayor Ford's attendance record; Toronto hydro workers heading south to help after the storm; teachers heading to class (for now); and the controversial closure of ServiceOntario kiosks.

Romney-supporting Americans: If you started reading our news in order to familiarize yourself with your soon-to-be-new-home, your commitment to our media is about to pay off. We’ve got some good news that should make your move totally worth it: free pizza, which Toronto’s two Pizza Libretto restaurants are offering to any Americans who actually follow through on their threat to move to Canada because their chosen candidate lost the election. However, we’ve decided to add a caveat: unless that angry American is Donald Trump. Sorry, but we’ve already got our hands full with one red-faced monied man of our own.

As controversy around the Don Bosco bus fiasco continues to swirl, TTC CEO Andy Byford, who confirmed that in addition to receiving a voicemail from the mayor, also had a (garbled) conversation with him about a TTC bus for his football team, has asked Mayor Rob Ford not to call him in the future on transit matters that could be construed as personal. He also said that in this case, it wasn’t appropriate for the mayor to contact him about the police-requested shelter bus in the first place. Ouch. Rejected! The old “don’t call me, I’ll call you, unless it’s an emergency, then of course you should call.” That’s got to hurt.

Much has been said about Mayor Ford’s decision to continue to coach football, a choice that has been particularly controversial when he skips out on City Hall business to head up a game. But his attendance record may not be a bad as you think. As it turns out, Mayor Rob Ford has a better council attendance record than did former mayor David Miller and do 21 current councillors.

Though Toronto may not be known for being the toughest when it comes to facing storms (call in the army!), it seems Torontonians know when it’s time to step up. Sixty-five Toronto Hydro employees along with 30 Toronto Hydro vehicles headed to the United States this morning to help repair damage from Superstorm Sandy. One group of workers will go to New York City to help Consolidated Edison with repairs to the underground distribution network, while another group will head to the headquarters of National Grid in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where they will work on fixing overhead wires. Take that, Mel Lastman!

Sorry, high school students, looks like you have to go to school after all. High school teachers, who were expected to take job action today, say that they will hold off until Monday as officials with the Ontario Secondary School Federation continue to negotiate with government officials about Bill 115. If teachers move forward with job action on Monday, high school teachers are being asked not to fill in for absent colleagues, not to take part in provincial standardized tests, and not to talk to parents after hours. However (and sorry to provide so much disappointing news, students!), mid-term report cards will go out as they normally do.

It looks like the closure of ServiceOntario kiosks will be more than just an annoyance to people who need to make address changes or renew their license-plate stickers: it may also become an election issue. The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats are using this as an opportunity to highlight what they say proves that the governing Liberals can’t be trusted with delivering and overseeing even the most basic government services after the Liberals permanently shut down all kiosks five months after fraud-related concerns were raised.