How Toronto's Papers Covered Adam Capay, a Judge's Mistake, and a Rumoured Royal Romance
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered Adam Capay, a Judge’s Mistake, and a Rumoured Royal Romance

A real mixed bag of front pages.

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


This week’s Front Page Challenge seems like the calm before next week’s storm, as the U.S. election on November 8 is but mere days away and is expected to dominate the news world. As the city’s leaves change colour and daylight saving time comes to an end on the weekend, which paper will try to capture that extra hour of Front Page Challenge bragging rights for this week?

globe nov 1
The Globe and Mail

Hillary Clinton makes the front page of the Globe this morning, a week out from her likely victory as the first woman elected president of the United States, but this historic achievement seems to have been overshadowed by the nastiest, bitterest campaign in memory, with conspiracy theories about Hillary taken as gospel by large swaths of the American population, and many of her political opponents promising to begin the impeachment process within seconds of her taking the oath of office. Elsewhere on page one the news is almost all Liberal, befitting Hillary’s red pantsuit. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has weighed in on the case of Adam Capay, describing his four years of solitary confinement in a windowless room with the lights on ’round the clock as “extremely disturbing.” Speaking of imprisonment, the federal Liberals are planning on reducing the use of mandatory minimum sentences (a major policy of Stephen Harper’s “tough on crime” agenda in the last Parliament), and continuing coverage of the controversy over “cash-for-access” fundraisers, one of the Globe‘s front-page obsessions of late.

post nov 1
National Post

The Post is all over the place this morning, the top story being a big oopsie from the bench, as an Alberta judge changed a double-murder verdict to the lesser offense of manslaughter to avoid the defendant’s lawyer from seeking a mistrial. Columnist John Ivison detects a partisan bias in Trudeau’s recent senate appointments, describing them pejoratively as “fellow travellers“: “human rights activists, women’s issues experts, social workers.” Hillary Clinton also makes the Post this morning, on the bottom right corner of the page, playing up her innocence concerning the “latest email revelations.” And the financial section profiles Air Canada’s Calin Rovinescu, selected as the nation’s “CEO Of The Year” – in your face, Elon Musk!

star nov 1
Toronto Star

The Star has a longstanding love affair with British royalty and any connection (however tenuous) it may have to Canada, and this morning they are all over the rumoured star-crossed romance between Prince Harry and actor Meghan Markle, who may sound Canadian with a last name like Markle but is actually American. The Canadian connection is that she’s working on the show Suits, which is filmed in Toronto, so that’s good enough for the Star to lead with it this morning. They also report on the collapse of Mayor John Tory’s promised SmartTrack plan, with the revelation that the city’s taxpayers are on the hook for unexpected costs for operation and maintenance of the three LRT lines already under construction. How does Tory pull this off without breaking his pledge to not raise property taxes and possibly incur a Doug Ford mayoral rematch in 2018? The Star also reports on the quashing of a sexual assault conviction after the jury foreman in the trial made homophobic jokes about figures in the case on the Dean Blundell radio show, while serving as the program’s producer. And the Star is the only one of the city’s papers covering Toronto FC’s playoff run, with Damien Cox hailing the team for scaling past the Argos on the city’s “sports ladder.”

metro nov 1
Metro Toronto

Metro is all about the urban issues this morning, putting the spotlight on city planning expert Gail Dexter Lord, who proposes an imaginative solution for the City’s money troubles: capitalize on condo developments that boast of their promised views of the city’s parks and cultural institutions by taxing them. Metro also features the City’s proposed plans to regulate landlords for buildings with three or more storeys and ten or more units, though tenant advocates say these measures don’t actually address the changes they’ve been calling for. Metro reports on a group of Manitoba women who are heading down to Florida to work to elect the Clinton/Kaine ticket in the crucial swing state. And Metro urges citizens to get over to High Park to take in the fall colours before it’s too late.

Toronto Sun

sun nov 1

The Sun turns 45 years old today, borne from the ashes of the demise of the conservative broadsheet The Toronto Telegram, which folded under threat of a labour strike in 1971. Mike Strobel’s supposedly commemorative birthday column devotes a lot of space to grousing about how little has changed in Toronto over the Sun‘s tenure, writing: “Way back in 1971, effete elite activists ruled the roost, browbeating the silent majority, throttling the city (the Spadina Expressway was quashed that June, leaving the Allen as a thruway to nowhere), threatening to turn Lake Shore into a bicycle route, busily building Nannyville. Construction was everywhere. Traffic was a mess. Politicians at all levels folded like cheap suits.” In tribute to the Sun‘s legacy of take-no-prisoners front page muckraking, Sue-Ann Levy lands the cover today with “You’ve Got Mail,” a shot across the bow at Ward 43 councillor Paul Ainslie, who got into a war of words with a constituent. After the ward denizen wrote Ainslie an email to say “shame on you” for voting for a slight increase to the number of city councillors, thereby “adding more people to the public trough,” Ainslie’s snarky response (excerpted in the column) is described by Levy as “nasty and seemingly unprofessional.” the Sun drives the point home by using the most unflattering photo of Ainslie available.

This week’s winner: With no clear standout cover this week, the Front Page Challenge jury is awarding the Tuesday trophy to the Globe and Mail, for at least acknowledging the world history that is about to be made in a few days. With this victory, there’s no longer a tie for last place, with the Post now sitting at the bottom of this column’s weekly standings.

Newspaper Number of Wins
Toronto Sun 14
Metro 14
Toronto Star 10
Globe and Mail 8
National Post 7

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