Weekend Newsstand: March 22, 2014


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Weekend Newsstand: March 22, 2014

It's Saturday and the freezing rain warning is gone! What could be better? Well, maybe some news: long-serving Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion has a son, and that son is in trouble over his taxes; laneways in Toronto serve as markers of local history; and the Pan Am Games are once again dealing with high-level staff changes.

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Peter McCallion, son of long-serving Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, is coming closer to a trial for the dozens of tax-law violations he’s been accused of committing. The 61-year-old real estate agent’s lawyer appeared in a Brampton courtroom on Friday without McCallion, and the case will return to court on April 25 for a judicial pretrial—a meeting between judge, Crown, and defence in hopes of finding a resolution to avoid a trial. McCallion has been accused of, among other things, failing to file corporate and personal income tax returns since 2004 and of failing to file GST and HST returns. In total, he faces 53 charges.

If you’ve ever seen a small back-alley-type lane bearing a street name, you’re probably looking at a clue to a piece of Toronto’s history. There are around 3,000 laneways in Toronto and many of them are named for people who had an impact in their particular community inside the city. Louie Laki will never have a major street or a downtown building named after him, for instance, but the Yugoslavian immigrant who crushed grapes in his backyard and died in 2002 made enough of an impact on his neighbours that 133 of them asked to name a lane for him. About 10 per cent of the city’s laneways are already named, some for local characters like Laki, others for people like John McIntosh, discoverer of the apple of the same name, or for the Iroquois, the original inhabitants of the area. The Toronto Star story has a helpful guide to naming your own laneway after whatever you want.

The executive for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games is changing once again: vice-presidents of human resources and community affairs, Elaine Roper and Louise Lutgens, have both been let go while Neala Barton has been hired as the executive in charge of public affairs. Barton, who at one time served as communications director to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, most recently worked in the office of Alberta premier Allison Redford, who announced her resignation earlier this week. Pan Am board chair David Peterson said the change was because the two women “were deemed to be surplus to the operations…it’s an efficiency measure, it’s a streamlining measure.” While letting two people go and adding a third may seem like a strange way to “streamline,” The Globe reports that CEO Saad Rafi (who replaced former CEO Ian Troop in late 2013) said Barton has been hired to “pump up the organization’s public image.” Actually, with all these staff changes and the confusion created there, having someone working on the organization’s public image is probably a good idea.