Forum poll gives Tory a 14 point lead along with Toronto Star endorsement. Province to stiffen laws on distracted driving and “drug driving”. GTA cops launch Operation Shield today, cracking down on distracted driving. Malala Yousafzai to get honourary Canadian citizenship today. Iconic El Mocambo sign is up for sale.
FORUM POLL GIVERS TORY 14 POINT LEAD
As we head down the homestretch of the Toronto mayoral race, a new Forum Research poll suggests John Tory is making like a “northern dancer” and pulling away from the field. The poll has Tory out front with a 14 point lead over Doug Ford, who just two-weeks ago was 2-points behind. Tory has 43% support while Doug Ford has fallen back to 29% and Olivia Chow has closed the gap on Ford and she sits at 25%. John Tory is also getting some love from another one of the dailies. the Toronto Star editorial board is joining with the Globe And Mail and the Toronto Sun in backing Tory for mayor. Today Olivia Chow is expected to release her list of campaign donors, Ford and Tory say they will follow suit before election day.
PROVINCE TO STIFFEN LAWS ON DISTRACTED DRIVING & DRUG DRIVING
Only two days into the new session at Queen’s Park, the majority Liberals have re-introduced legislation that aims to keep the province’s roads safe. The original plan to boost safety died when the election was called in June, however on Tuesday, the Transportation Minister tabled legislation that targets distracted driving, along with cyclist and pedestrian safety. If passed, the new law would drastically increase the fine paid out by drivers charged with texting or talking while behind the wheel, to a maximum of $1,000, along with 3 demerit points. The provincial plan to crackdown on unsafe driving is also targeting “drug drivers”, people who are stoned behind the wheel. Under the plan, drivers who are impaired by drugs will face the same kind of penalties as those impaired by alcohol, including roadside licence suspension of between 3-days and 3-months. They’re working on drug detecting technology that would be similar to a breathalyzer, but for now all that an officer would need is to suspect drug impairment. The province will also require that vehicles yield the entire roadway to pedestrians at crossovers and in school zones, while increasing the fines for motorists that door cyclists. Bikes would also be permitted to utilize paved shoulders on highways not considered “controlled access”, like 400 series roadways.
GTA COPS LAUNCH OPERATION SHIELD TODAY
A joint blitz by GTA police forces kicks off today. Operation Shield will kick-off in the Fairview Mall parking lot this morning. The OPP, Toronto and York Regional police will conduct a 4 day education and enforcement traffic safety blitz. This initiative will focus on drivers in the GTA who engage in aggressive, distracted and impaired driving along with those who don’t wear seatbelts. The blitz runs for 4 days and will see officers out in force on Wednesday and Friday for the next 2 weeks. The officers will be concentrating on rush hours along both directions of Highway 404 from 16th Avenue in the town of Markham to Highway 401 and on HOV lanes.
MALALA YOUSAFZAI TO GET HONOURARY CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP TODAY
The youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be in Toronto today. Malala Yousafzai will be made an honorary Canadian citizen at a downtown hotel this afternoon. The 17-year-old Pakistani girl, shot by the taliban 2-years ago while campaigning for girls education, was a co-winner of the award this year and MPs and senators unanimously voted to approve a motion. Yousafzai will be attending an event on women’s rights. called “Strong Girls, Strong World” at central tech this afternoon and will later receive her citizenship at the Fairmont Royal York at 4:30 p.m, only the 6th person to ever receive the symbolic honour. Prime Minister Harper and his wife Laureen will attend along with Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Kellie Leitch.
ICONIC EL MOCAMBO SIGN UP FOR SALE
The iconic neon El Mocambo Tavern sign is up for sale on E-bay and almost 50 people have already placed bids. Co-owner Sam Grosso unexpectedly put up the sign on Monday afternoon and the bid for neon palm tree sign is now over $4,000. People can continue to place bids until 2:03 p.m. on October 31. Grosso had hoped to keep the sign on the building where it has been since 1948 but the new owners of the building wanted it removed. The details on the conditional sale of the building is expected to be finalized tomorrow. November 6 will be the day the EL MO hosts its final show.