Newsstand: June 24, 2014




Newsstand: June 24, 2014

When you think about it, Tuesday is kind of the unsung hero of the week. It props us up after the catastrophes of Monday, and floats us gently into the welcoming arms of the mid-week. In the news: Cabinet shuffles for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, 900 lawn signs are missing from Joe Cressy’s byelection campaign, a record number of complaints for the provincial ombudsman in 2013, and Bell Media will cut 120 jobs in Toronto.

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Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet is set to be sworn in at Queen’s Park today, and it is expected that—while no one will be leaving—there will be quite a game of musical chairs happening within the ranks. According to CBC News, early word is that there will be 18 ministries welcoming new ministers: Deb Matthews (London North Centre) will take on a new role—possibly becoming the president of the treasury board—while Eric Hoskins (St. Paul’s) will replace her as health minister. Michael Chan (Markham-Unionville) will be assuming the role of immigration minister, which means that his previous portfolios with the Pan Am Games and tourism and culture will fall to Michael Coteau (Don Valley East). Glen Murray (Toronto Centre)—Wynne’s transportation and infrastructure minister—will likely become the new environment minister, although the portfolio will officially be renamed “environment and climate change,” because climate change is so hot right now.

Because no federal byelection race would be complete without the sweeping drama of a telenovela, the campaign for New Democrat candidate Joe Cressy says that over 900 lawn signs have disappeared in targeted thefts in the Trinity-Spadina riding. Cressy’s campaign manager Brian Cox says that Toronto Police were contacted after entire streets—including the one Cressy himself lives on—were cleared of support signs. Naturally, Cox believes the campaign was specifically targeted, although the campaign for Liberal candidate Adam Vaughan also says that they have seen a rash of signage thefts, albeit on a less significant level. If the person stealing these signs happens to be reading this right now, be warned: a conviction for removing or defacing campaign signs could mean a $1,000 fine, or a three-month jail term. You would then also be forced to tell people about that one time you were imprisoned for a really lame reason. Don’t be that person.

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin is a pretty busy guy, because it is a universally acknowledged truth that people like to complain. In 2013, the provincial watchdog’s office received a record 26,999 complaints, which represents a 37-per-cent increase from 2012. According to Marin, the number one offender to spark complaints is—drumroll, please!—Hydro One. In his annual report, Marin says that so far he has received 7,900 complaints about the utility provider, which is more than he has ever received about a single government organization. In February, Marin launched an investigation into Hydro One billing practices after a litany of customer complaints over delayed or missing invoices—which prompted the crown corporation to make some immediate changes to alleviate problems.

Bell Media is set to cut 120 jobs—or approximately 5 per cent of its Toronto-area workforce—in its Toronto television operations. While the positions that will be eliminated have yet to be determined, Bell Media president Kevin Crull wrote in an email to staff that restructuring will happen before the end of the summer. The news of layoffs comes on the heels of CTV News Channel’s announcement that Kevin Newman Live will be cancelled after just seven months on television. The cancellation is said to be unrelated to the looming job cuts, which seems legitimate based on the fact that the social media–driven news show was just generally painful to watch.