Weekend Newsstand: February 1, 2014



Weekend Newsstand: February 1, 2014

SUPERBOWL! TOMORROW! FOOTBALL! EXPENSIVE COMMERCIALS! WOO HOO! In the news: the fired Pan Am Games CEO who got more than $500,000 in severance payments, the ex-con media mogul who was booted from the Order of Canada, the fire that destroyed an old church on Dufferin Street, and the GO Transit fare hike that begins today.

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Ian Troop, the ousted Pan Am Games CEO, has been rewarded more than $500,000 in severance payments. Fired in December, Troop’s severance package includes a cash payment of $478,200, a $27,300 RRSP, and $15,800 for health benefits, in addition to other payments. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where getting fired nets us half a million dollars? Perhaps in our next lives. At any rate, the board of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games organizing committee says that this will come out of its projected budget and not be passed on to taxpayers. What a relief.

Here’s hoping you have not cried all your tears over Ian Troop’s severance package, because Conrad Black would probably want you to shed a couple for him since he was given the boot from both the Order of Canada and the Privy Council of Canada yesterday. Black—the disgraced media mogul who served 37 months in a United States prison following convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007—fought in vain for the opportunity to address the 11-member advisory council that reviewed his membership in the Order of Canada. He was finally stripped of the honours on their recommendation to the Governor General at a meeting yesterday. Black’s honorary position in the Privy Council of Canada was terminated at the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. What does all of this mean for Black? Basically he can no longer use some fancy initials at the end of his name, and he has to return some medals. Cue the crocodile tears.

Yesterday, nearly 100 firefighters worked to contain a two-alarm fire that destroyed an old church located at 1183 Dufferin Street, just north of Bloor Street West. The fire began at around 3 p.m. and officials say there are no deaths or injuries associated with the blaze. The church—formerly the Dufferin Presbyterian Church—was built in 1912 and was undergoing renovations to be converted into loft condos. Still no word yet on what caused the fire, although the Fire Marshall is investigating.

Finally, here is a gentle reminder that GO Transit fares rise by 5 per cent starting today. The fare increase is based on the distance travelled, and ranges from 55 cents for the longest commutes to 35 cents for the shortest. It’s not all bad news, though. Metrolinx—the provincial agency at the helm of GO Transit— says that loyalty discounts for Presto card users will increase, and new services will gradually be rolled out over 2014. So that is something.