Newsstand: September 2, 2014




Newsstand: September 2, 2014

Oh, back to school! Back to school! To prove to Dad that I'm not a fool. In the news: A man is taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after joyriding on a TTC bus, Rob Ford drops out of two debates scheduled for this week, some members of the Bloordale Village BIA want fresh leadership, and Ontario workers begin to embrace getting paid in Bitcoin.

matt newsstand gull

Toronto police say that a man was taken to the hospital on Monday with life-threatening injuries he sustained joyriding on the back of a Toronto Transit Commission bus. The 32-year-old man had been standing on the back bumper of the bus without the driver’s knowledge, and was found laying injured on Eglinton Avenue East near Markham Road after falling into the street. Police say that some of the stunt was caught on video and uploaded to social media networks, and are seeking the cooperation of anyone who may have witnessed the incident.

Mayor Rob Ford has backed out of two upcoming mayoral debates scheduled for this week. According to the Mayor’s director of communications, Jeff Silverstein, scheduling conflicts are to blame for cancelling last-minute his participation in both the Greenwood Community Association debate on Tuesday, and the FilmOntario debate the following day. The former organization took to social media to vent frustration, saying that they found it disrespectful for Mayor Ford’s team to cancel on such short notice. A representative for Greenwood Community Association also confirmed that all three of the mayor’s rival candidates are still scheduled to participate in the debate. As for the FilmOntario debate, we can only suppose that if it doesn’t involve giving unsolicited promotional help to the film industry via appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, then it probably isn’t Mayor Ford’s style.

As the gentrification of Bloordale Village begins to hit its stride, the area is beginning to welcome new business development while seeing property values rise 35 per cent. A debate is also churning as to whether or not longtime BIA leader Spiro Koumoudouros should remain at the helm of the organization if the community wishes to keep growing at the current pace. Koumoudouros, a 27-year member of the BIA, is the owner of the House of Lancaster strip club. It is a brand association that some people think hurts the BIA and keeps new business away. However, Koumoudouros, who has chaired the BIA largely because no one else has ever run for the post, is also argued to be a community builder who has helped advocate for the area at City Hall. Whatever his past contributions have been to the neighbourhood, the newly formed Community Improvement Association thinks that the vision for the area is shifting, and it is a natural time for new leadership. CIA founding member Thomas Balatka says that they are not planning on “launching a junta,” but they hope that Koumoudouros will be defeated when board elections take place in November.

Do you have no clue what a Bitcoin really is? You’re probably not alone. But for those tech-savvy enough to understand the world of virtual currency, a Waterloo-based payroll firm makes it possible for employees to get paid in Bitcoin. Is this the equivalent of getting paid in arcade tokens? Not exactly. According to Wagepoint, the firm offering Bitcoin payroll management, Ontario workers in the tech sector are beginning to dabble in the virtual currency mainly because they are more likely to know how to make it work for them—by either spending it online, or cashing it in for Canadian dollars. So far employees from 10 firms have signed up for the Wagepoint service. Interestingly, the Canada Revenue Agency does not recognize Bitcoin as currency. It considers Bitcoin to be valued as a barter transaction where goods are exchanged for work. This means that taxes are paid on the Canadian dollar-value of the currency.