Newsstand: April 4, 2014




Newsstand: April 4, 2014

Rob Ford is in the news again. By now it wouldn't feel like home if he weren't, though, would it? News today: Bill Clinton weighs in on Ford, staggering wealth inequality in Canada, city council approves more food trucks, and Unifor continues to push for car plant unionization.

matt newsstand raccoon

Following Mayor Rob Ford’s embarrassing error in voting “the wrong way” on a motion to honour Nelson Mandela, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and his guest former U.S. President Bill Clinton discussed—and laughed at—Ford. “I will say this: He has absolutely destroyed every stereotype people have about Canadians,” Clinton said. “Everything I ever believed about Canadians, ol’ Rob has proved that you can’t be.” Maybe we should thank him for undermining stereotypes?

American income and wealth inequality are discussed far more often than those same problems in Canada, but a new report sheds light on why that should change. Published by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the report finds that just 86 people in Canada control more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million. For every new dollar of wealth created since 1999, the split in who takes home how much has further compounded this problem: 66 cents goes to the richest 20 per cent of Canadians, leaving 23 cents for the upper-middle class and just 10 cents for the bottom 60 per cent of Canadians.

After a lengthy battle hearing voices supporting all sides of the debate, city council voted in favour of relaxing some rules on food trucks. Trucks will now be allowed to gather in private lots and park in “pay and display” spots on streets. Other regulations were tightened, though: the number of trucks allowed in the city this year is 125 and, contrary to a committee recommendation of five hours, the new rules will only allow trucks to stay in the same place for a maximum of three hours. The trucks will also be prohibited from setting up shop within 50 metres of any restaurants, which may prove difficult in the food-congested downtown areas where food trucks usually flock.

Unifor has withdrawn an application filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to vote on union membership at three southwestern Toyota plants. While the union maintains its commitment to bringing membership to a vote, there are disputes over the number of eligible workers. Unifor president Jerry Dias said the group plans to spend more time getting membership cards signed, which will alleviate the uncertainty over how many employees might be involved. If the drive succeeds, these will be the first Toyota plants in North America to be unionized.