How Toronto's Papers Covered Wynne's Throne Speech
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered Wynne’s Throne Speech

For the Wynne.

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

The Wynne government tabled its plans for the second half of its term yesterday, in a clear attempt at pivoting for the next provincial election. And this would normally be a top story for Toronto’s papers, but also muscling in to the front pages today is an update on a doomed naval expedition from the nineteenth century. Will the past triumph over the present in today’s Front Page Challenge winner’s circle?


CAN_TGAM
The Globe and Mail


The Globe‘s centrepiece today is the discovery of the HMS Terror, the second of two British navy ships lost in the Franklin Expedition to chart the Northwest Passage in 1846, in the waters of the Arctic. The Canada Revenue Agency may be going after some BC real estate speculators in the wake of an earlier Globe investigation into tax cheating in the real estate market there (newly built homes being marketed as existing personal residences so homebuyers can avoid declaring capital gains on the purchases). There is also coverage of Wynne government’s announcement of an eight per cent subsidy on residential electricity bills, a clear sign that her government is priming itself for the next provincial election after half-a-term of bad optics. Opposition leader Patrick Brown, as you can guess, is not impressed: “This is merely a Band-Aid solution.”


CAN_NP
National Post


The Post puts the news of the Franklin Expedition up top, using the same image of an oil painting depicting the disaster as the Globe, only cropping it. The paper’s focus this morning is on the War on Terror, with Syrian leader Bashir Assad touring recaptured territory in the early hours of a ceasefire brokered in a U.S.-Russian alliance. Although the United States expects this agreement will include Assad eventually relinquishing power as part of the deal, the Syrian president is putting on a determined show that his aim is to drive ISIS forces out of his nation. Like the Globe, the Post sees Wynne’s plan to remove the HST from hydro bills as an attempt to get back into Ontarians’ good books ahead of the 2018 election. And Men With Brooms fans must be overjoyed that the Post has a feature on the sport of curling this morning, detailing new innovations in the design of the broom used in the sport.


CAN_TS
Toronto Star


The Star is also looking at the news of the Wynne hydro bill subsidy as a “glass half-empty” situation in its headline, describing it less of a relief for ratepayers and more as a $1 billion revenue loss for the province to absorb. The HMS Terror discovery in the Arctic also gets an airing, with an inset photo of the Star‘s coverage of the discovery of the first lost Franklin ship back in 2004 (the Star loves to remind everyone of their past front-page coverage of unfolding stories whenever possible). A Canada Post report proposes the crown corporation itself as the ultimate delivery method for next year’s expected legalization of marijuana, even suggesting post offices would make great storefronts for weed sales (they can even supply the envelopes for you to walk out with your purchase). The national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, a man we’ll call Captain Buzzkill, is not a fan: “The idea that selling pot is going to save Canada Post is patently ridiculous,” he says. The Star does some front-page handwringing about the Jays slump, embodied in Josh Donaldson’s recent lack of Rain-Bringing. And it’s the only paper providing Page One TIFF news today with Canada’s own Ryan Gosling posing for Red Carpet selfies at the premiere of La-La Land, the winner of next February’s Academy Award for Best Picture (we’re calling it now).


CAN_TOR
Metro Toronto


“GET ANGRY, TORONTO” urges the front page of today’s Metro, a rare blast of fury from a newspaper that generally provides a lighter, more positive view of life in the 6ix. Now, before you start setting fire to trash cans and overturning police cars, you should first understand what Metro wants you to be angry about. This is no impulsive call for our citizens to go on independent rampages a la the Michael Douglas drama Falling Down or Bane’s speech urging anarchy in the streets from The Dark Knight Rises. Despite the montage of screaming faces to entice the reader, the piece within by Matt Elliott calls for a more principled, non-violent public response against a specific target: City Council, for its lack of action regarding ongoing civic embarrassments such as our sweaty subways and patchwork sidewalk repairs. Elliott wants the people to band together and let John Tory know that we are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore. Their other front-page story this morning reports on an overall decline in sightings of TTC operators texting while driving—but again, considering Metro‘s ongoing commitment to addressing Toronto’s Deadly Streets, they sensibly argue that one incident is too many.


Toronto Sun


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Christina Blizzard’s column makes the front page of the Sun today: “Just Throne Money Around” takes the Premier to the woodshed for creating the mess the government is trying to spend their way out of. “We have a problem,” she writes. “We can’t pay our bills. They didn’t notice because they live in the Queen’s Park bubble. They’re cushioned from these exorbitant costs by fat-cat salaries.” Surprisingly Blizzard fails to mention Wynne is trying “to bribe us with our own money,” or that “government works for the people, not the other way around,” to name but two of her boilerplate lines she deploys whenever heaping scorn on the Ontario Liberals. And while the Star may be frustrated with the downward trajectory the Jays have been in on lately in their hunt for a repeat appearance in the American League playoffs, the Sun was pleased with how it went last night on the field with their tongue-twister headline “Pumped Up Jays Dump Rays”.


This week’s winner: Interestingly Metro steers clear of both the Franklin Expedition and the Wynne Hydro news to keep it local, with a depiction of the city’s collective scream at City Council. Will our municipal government hear this cry for action? Maybe if we award Metro this week’s winner we can help boost the signal!

Newspaper Number of Wins
Toronto Sun 12
Metro 12
Toronto Star 9
Globe and Mail 7
National Post 6


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