Newsstand: December 13, 2012



Newsstand: December 13, 2012

Guys, it's 12/13/12. That's not going to happen again for, like, a hundred years. In the news: PRESTO cards come with a high cost, councillors bicker over the Gardiner Expressway, the TDSB relents, the mayor muses over different New Year's Levee options, police budget woes, and the strange saga of Darwin the monkey continues.

If you thought half a billion dollars to repair a major expressway was a lot of money, wait till you see how much it could cost to build a transit card for the city. The card in question is, of course, the PRESTO card, which you could soon be using when you ride the TTC. The cards have been problematic ever since they were rolled out in the 905, but with the friendly and helpful customer service of the TTC, Torontonians shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting.

And speaking of the Gardiner Expressway, city councillors made the most of the debate around what should be done to fix the crumbling road by blaming each other for letting the situation get this dire. The mood around City Hall certainly isn’t as jolly as it could be right now.

After much hemming, hawing, huffing, puffing, foot-dragging, dust-kicking, arm-crossing, nose-turning, bush-beating, fudging, mudging, not budging, dillying, dallying, and serious discussions, Toronto school board trustees have decided to let the province send in a team to help the board sort out its finances.

Rather than cancelling the traditional New Year’s levee for 2013 as was previously reported, Mayor Rob Ford will be looking to hold a different kind of event that day, according to his chief of staff. One of the options is a family skate on the rink in Nathan Phillips Square, which would allow Ford a quick getaway from those who oppose him. He might want to consider confiscating cell phones and cameras beforehand, though, lest he take another well-documented tumble.

The police budget debacle isn’t quite over, as the police board has found an $8.7-million hole after forcing Police Chief Bill Blair to freeze his budget for next year. Councillors on the board are confident the money will come from somewhere, and that’s good enough for us. Not so much for Blair, though. He also says if the police budget freeze continues past 2013, he might need to start closing police stations. And if it continues past 2014, he might actually have to make police officers become criminals. It’s complicated.

The woman who was caring for everyone’s favourite second favourite third favourite primate just might be able to visit him at his new home in a sanctuary outside the city. But that isn’t stopping her from continuing to stress that it should be up to Darwin the monkey to decide with whom he wants to live. Hey, that’s how custody battles work with humans, so it’s only fair, right? In related news, cats are eagerly anticipating their return to the position of the internet’s most beloved animals.