Newsstand: June 25, 2014




Newsstand: June 25, 2014

A nine-year-old Kansas City boy had his “Little Free Library” stand shut down after it was deemed an illegal structure by city officials. People are the worst. In the news: Possible coyote attacks in Markham, lighting up the Bloor Viaduct will cost over $4.5 million dollars, “taxi widows” say the City is driving them out of business, and Christine Elliott will likely make a bid to become the next leader of the Progressive Conservatives.

matt newsstand gull

York Regional Police and the Ontario SPCA are currently on the hunt for two animals—believed to be coyotes, or feral German Shepherds—suspected in attacks on two women in Markham on Monday. The pair of animals chased several people in the Huntington Park area, fleeing when officers used pepper spray to drive them from a backyard. City-run recreational activities in the community have been cancelled, and residents whose homes are bound by Highway 407, John Street, Bayview Avenue, and Highway 404 are urged to use extra caution when venturing into any wooded areas until the animals have been caught. It’s not a full moon, is it?

Since when is Kanye West the Mayor of Toronto? Because Yeezus’s presiding over our lovely city as if it was his own personal wedding ceremony is the only possible reason why anyone is considering dishing out $4.7 million to light up the Prince Edward Viaduct in time for the Pan Am Games. According to a City staff report, lighting up the bridge will cost nearly that—$3 million more than previously projected. The good news is that most of the City’s 10 Pan Am capital projects are progressing either on or under budget. Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth)—who has been a longtime advocate of the project—said that the initial $1.8-million price tag was never a final assessment, and that it was understood that it would cost a bit more once engineering had been completed. City staff are requesting an additional $1 million to complete the first phase of the project, and say that if the remaining $1.85 million is green-lit by early 2015, the project will still have a fighting chance of being completed in time for the games. According to Pan Am CEO Saad Rafi, the only other project that is currently over budget is a BMX facility in Etobicoke, which will likely cost $4.4 million, despite initial projections that it would cost only $1.5 million.

The widow of a late Toronto taxi driver says recent municipal reforms to taxi licence schemes has put her family’s livelihood at risk. A new licensing system will come into effect on July 1, meaning current licence holders will have to stop leasing out their highly valuable plates over the next 10 years. Nusrat Raana, whose husband was murdered behind the wheel of his taxi in 2006, says the income she receives from leasing out the plates she inherited upon her husband’s death is the only money she has to support her four children. The new rules allow for current licence holders either to sell them or convert them to the new Toronto Taxi Licence, but according to the Toronto Taxi Alliance, the reforms have diminished the resale value of current plates. Six months ago, plates could fetch upwards of $300,000. Now they stand at half their former value, according to some drivers. The Alliance is now seeking a court injunction while they appeal the bylaws.

Christine Elliott, the deputy leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, is expected to announce today that she will make another bid for leadership of the party as current leader Tim Hudak prepares to step down on July 2. Elliott is not the only candidate expected to step up. Conservative MPPs Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) and Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) are just two party members said to be seriously considering a run.