Newsstand: May 26, 2014




Newsstand: May 26, 2014

Someone put the word "the" up for sale on eBay and the bidding has passed $10,000. It's just a word written on a scrap of paper. Back to news that makes some semblance of sense: renovations to the Sony Centre may end up costing Toronto residents, the provincial party leaders' northern debate will happen tonight sans Tim Hudak, and families of people slain by cops protested Sunday.

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The Sony Centre renovation project was supposed to be financed by the sale of development rights for a 57-storey condo building. Costs for the renovation have grown and the money from the condo sales is gone, leaving Toronto residents potentially on the hook for up to $10 million for the renovation project: $4 million in construction costs and a $6.6-million loan. Perhaps more disturbing was Sony Centre CEO Dan Brambilla’s refusal to answer basic questions about the renovations. While all the money is gone, there’s no proper paperwork for much of the spending. When asked about this, Brambilla said he hadn’t been told to keep records.

A debate scheduled tonight for the leaders of the three main political parties in the upcoming provincial election will feature only two: Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath. The PC’s Tim Hudak is unavailable because of a scheduling conflict he says he is unable to change. This refusal is especially serious because tonight’s debate is being held in northern Ontario and will focus on northern issues. Both Wynne and Horwath used Hudak’s upcoming absence to cast aspersion’s on his party’s commitment to northern issues; Hudak and the PCs have yet to tour the northern part of the province during the campaign.

On Sunday, over 200 people marched from Yonge-Dundas Square to the intersection where teenager Sammy Yatim was shot by police nine times and Tasered last August. They were there to express their grief over how common such shootings have become—Michael MacIsaac, whose family was also in attendance, was shot and killed by Durham police two weeks ago after running out of his house naked. Many were also there to register their outrage that Const. James Forcillo, who shot and killed Yatim, is back at work while waiting for his trial to begin. Forcillo has been charged with second-degree murder in Yatim’s death. He is not permitted to carry a gun and is working in an administrative capacity with Crime Stoppers, but for families who have lost someone to the actions of police, this is a powerful demonstration of who matters most in these cases.