Newsstand: January 30, 2013




Newsstand: January 30, 2013

Whatever, Wednesday. You always complain about being stuck in the middle of Monday and Tuesday’s torrid relationship, but quite frankly you got yourself into this. In the news: parks and environment chair Norm Kelly doesn’t believe in global warming; going the distance, and paying for it; questions of equitable school repair funding at the TDSB; a transit premier; and Markham’s arena proceeds.


Thank you, Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough Agincourt), chair of the city’s parks and environment committee, for pointing to strong and compelling evidence that global warming might not be real. Sure, the vast majority of trained scientists working in the field will disagree with you, but what do they know? The thousands of researchers who wrote the thousands of peer-reviewed articles supporting the existence of global warming probably just aren’t privy to that “information coming along the academic pipeline” that you are.

TTC fares based on distance traveled, rather than the flat rate currently used, is one idea among many that a new report on funding infrastructure puts forward. TTC Chair, Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence), is open to investigating this idea, but she is however, waiting on the Presto system of pay cards (already in use with GO Transit and at some subway stations) before seriously doing so. This discussion is going to be fun.

Some parents are calling foul on how the Toronto District School Board plots out which schools receive funding for improvements to their facilities. Specifically, they claim that the TDSB is favouring some more affluent schools at the expense of schools in areas with a generally lower tax-bracket. In October, the province stepped in to see that the board gets a hold of its finances before any new projects receive funding, but they have just announced that renovations at a few schools will get the green light. One school not on that list is Secord Elementary, which has recently “been tackling a raccoon infestation”—something that actually sounds like a really cool extracurricular activity.

Incoming premier, Kathleen Wynne, has already mentioned that transit will be a key area of concern for her when she officially takes over at Queen’s Park. Now, when asked about what would be on the agenda for a prospective meeting with Mayor Ford, she said that transit would be a huge priority. Let’s hope that it is for Ford too.

The GTA still might get another NHL-sized arena in Markham, as we mentioned yesterday. Last night Markham city council voted to continue on with plans to provide public funds towards the construction of a $325 million arena. That is an expensive arena for what it is currently slated to host: not an NHL team.