Newsstand: July 9, 2014




Newsstand: July 9, 2014

Oh, Brazil. Poor, sweet Brazil. A 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals yesterday. It's safe to say much of the world pitied the host nation for that spectacular defeat. In the news: Rosedale residents fight over the construction of a woodland path, Wheel-Trans drivers strike for higher wages, and a world-class cricket venue might be coming to the GTA.

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Construction on the Chorley Park switchback came to a grinding halt earlier this year when Rosedale residents became outraged that the City clear-cut more than 120 trees to make room for the path, which would connect Chorley Park to the Don Valley Brick Works. Now there is growing concern that a public consultation on the project will cause further delays and result in additional costs. Members of the North Rosedale Residents Association are hoping for a new, more sensitively designed woodland trail, while members of the Friends of Chorley Park group want a smaller path without any fences or asphalt. With the first public meeting on redesigning the path set to take place in September, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) warns that the completion of the project will be delayed by a year, and will likely require more money. She’s also concerned that residents may be unwilling to compromise on their vision for the redesign, which could result in a mediator being brought in to referee the debates. Who knew nature was such tough business?

A dispute over guaranteed wages for Wheel-Trans drivers has led more than 80 per cent of drivers to go on strike. They want their guaranteed base pay rate be reinstated at $2.86 per kilometre; it was cut to $2.50 per kilometre last weekend. Drivers say the change in pay means they can’t afford to provide their services, given they pay for gas, maintenance, and insurance for their vehicles—costs of business that continue to rise. According to the the Toronto Transit Commission, the new rates still leave drivers with a gross income of roughly $99,000, but drivers say out-of-pocket operational expenses mean their net income would be closer to $30,000. While the TTC says Wheel-Trans services have not been disrupted by the strike, service problems may yet arise, as the impasse shows no sign of clearing up.

If you have a hankering for some professional cricket action, it’s your lucky day. A professional cricket league announced yesterday that it has secured financing to build a new 35,000-seat venue somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area. Roy Singh, the CEO and chairman of the Canadian Premier League T20, says they are actively scouting potential stadium locations in places such as Brampton, Markham, and Milton. The stadium would be built for year-round use, and suitable for international match play. While the venue will likely take four or five years to complete, the league will begin its first season next year. This isn’t the first time, however, that someone has proposed building a cricket stadium in the GTA. In 2012, Cricket Canada tried to secure its own venue, but was ultimately shot down.