Newsstand: January 14, 2014




Newsstand: January 14, 2014

2014 might go down as the year that Jordan Catalano wins an Academy Award. And Rayanne Graff will one day be the Countess of Devon. How do you think all of this makes Angela Chase feel? In real-life news: an update on the inquest into the police shooting deaths of three mentally ill Torontonians, Canada Post's CEO says he's sorry for delivery woes in the GTA, pothole repairs begin, and Rob Ford wasn't drinking this weekend—so says Rob Ford.

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The ongoing inquest into the police shooting deaths of three mentally ill Toronto residents heard from Ontario’s Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall yesterday. Hall stated that police have a duty under the province’s human rights code to accommodate people with mental health issues up until a point of “undue hardship”, or in other words, until a person’s life is at risk. “We would like to see considerations for meeting the needs of the person with the weapon, the person with mental health issues, and doing that in a way that is still safe for the police and the public,” said Hall. This contradicts information previously presented at the inquest that confirms that officers are trained to respond to a person’s behaviour and not their mental state when under direct threat. Hall suggested that police forces could find more effective ways of training officers on how to deal with confrontations involving people experiencing mental illness.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra has finally addressed recent reports that the Crown corporation botched holiday deliveries within the Greater Toronto Area, resulting in delays of nearly two weeks for some residents in areas where relief mail carriers had not been assigned to cover scheduled employee vacations. Until yesterday, Doug Jones, the senior vice president of delivery and customer experience, had been the lone Canada Post mouthpiece addressing the issues publicly. Jones blamed mainly the terrible holiday-season weather for the delivery delays. Chopra went further in his apology, stating that Canada Post goofed by not informing customers that delays would be unavoidable due to the challenging delivery conditions. Chopra also noted that there is a brand new notification system in place to avoid lack of communication with customers in the future; it engages the public through notices to local media, and via website and social media updates.

Yesterday, pothole crews began a blitz to tackle repairs on Toronto streets. The recent cold snap has increased damage to roads—due to contracting pavement—turning some city roads into veritable obstacle courses. If you find yourself navigating through more gaping gouges in the streets than usual, you’re not alone. Four thousand potholes have already been repaired this season, compared to 1,500 at this time in 2013. Last year, roughly 188,000 potholes were repaired at a price tag of $3.6 million, or just over $191 a pop.

And for those of you still keeping a tally of statements that may come back to haunt Mayor Ford in the near or distant future, the Mayor says he was not drinking when he dropped by Muzik nightclub on Saturday night. According to his brother-turned-campaign-manager, Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), Mayor Ford kept hydrated with an alcohol-free and sugar-free energy drink. While he stopped short of saying the Mayor was bigger than Jesus, he did say he was bigger than Justin Bieber. “The managers and owner said over at Muzik, they’ve had rock stars, they’ve had rock stars, they had Bieber and nothing, nothing compared to when the mayor came out there,” said Councillor Ford, the unofficial spokesperson for delusions of grandeur.