Newsstand: August 30, 2013
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Newsstand: August 30, 2013

Last Friday of August! That is, as the kids say, cray. In the news: the SIU director is not pleased with Chief Blair, an Ontario cycling plan is set for release today, Ontario schools might not be ready for full-day kindergarten, and a Beer Store goes rogue.

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The director of the province’s Special Investigations Unit has criticized Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair for ignoring complaints about investigation obstructions by his officers. The SIU has sent more than 100 letters over four and a half years about concerns stemming from a lack of cooperation from officers about investigation, the police watchdog’s director Ian Scott told the Toronto Star, and has received no reply from the chief. Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash countered that the comments are “insulting” and that Scott is overstepping his authority. “Mr. Scott has been told, ‘You have no authority and you should not be making these requests,’” Pugash said. “That is absolutely clear.”

A crackdown by Ontario police on cyclists who flout traffic rules could actually make bike riding more popular, said the province’s new 20-year cycling plan. The strategy, due to be released today and obtained by the Star, aims to increase cycling by encouraging an upping of the number of bike lanes, among other measures, but makes no mention of the funding required to do so. The city of Toronto is considering requiring motorists to leave one metre of space, at minimum, while passing bikes but is waiting on the new plan, called #CycleON.

School boards are skeptical of the Ontario government’s plan to roll out full-day kindergarten across the province by next fall, but the government says it’s staying the course on the plan. “The commitment has been five years,” Jim Grieve, assistant deputy minister of the early learning division, told the Globe and Mail. “I know it’s a struggle for some boards to meet that, and so they’ll have to find ways to accommodate while they’re in the process of building.” Both Peel District School Board and Halton District School Board have said that they can’t guarantee they’ll be ready to offer full-day classes to every kindergarten student by September 2014.

The Beer Store on Gerrard Street East has implemented a one-purchase-a-day policy, depending on the person’s “look.” This is, unsurprisingly, not an official Beer Store policy and the a spokesperson said reports of the rogue rule would be investigated.