Newsstand: January 16, 2013
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Newsstand: January 16, 2013

Wash your hair and brush you teeth, because today fate is taking you out on a fancy date. In the news: the City’s budget is before council; extracurriculars are getting reviewed by elementary school teachers; Councillor Bailão’s day in court moved, again; and Metrolinx looks at not closing part of the Allen for a year.

Not everybody makes Rob Ford happy. Not everybody follows through on their great ideas. Not everybody votes for the income tax increase included in their own budget. Nobody is perfect and Rob Ford is no nobody. (He’s a body?) Yesterday, as city council discussed this year’s property tax increase, Mayor Ford made the interesting choice of voting against part of the budget he has been talking quite proudly about. When councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) brought forward a motion to hold the municipal property tax level, rather than give it the 2 per cent increase the Ford budget includes, the mayor himself voted to try to stop the increase. The motion was handily defeated 40-4 and the budget debate continues today.

Tensions continue between Ontario’s teacher’s unions and the province, but at least one unhappy labor organization is considering softening up their stance. ETFO, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, will apparently be taking another look at the lack of extracurricular activities in their schools sometime before March. This follows comments by high-profile, former union boss Buzz Hargrove, who said that teachers would need to reinstate extracurriculars to regain a more favourable public appearance for their fight. Otherwise, everything continues as normal: many teachers, parents, and politicians across the province are upset with the situation.

Yet again, councillor Ana Bailão’s (Ward 18, Davenport) legal case has been put over another two weeks. Bailão’s court date has been reset for January 29, 2013. She is charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol percentage over the legal limit.

The Metrolinx proposal that would see one entrance to Allen Road closed to make room for a Crosstown LRT construction staging area is getting some sober second thought. The plan, which would have closed the area to the public for all of 2014, was set to go to Toronto’s public works and infrastructure committee in a few weeks. However, city staff and Metrolinx now feel that closing an entrance to the highly used roadway probably isn’t a great idea because of the havoc it will wreak on congestion. The provincial body is looking into the possibility of using narrower tunnels in the construction, which will allow Black Creek Drive to remain the artery for soil removal trucks. The city should hear back about the feasibility of the new plan by the end of the month.