5 Things To Know Today
GTA malls and stores open early for Black Friday, retailers say they have competitive sales with the US. Gas prices to drop around $1/litre across Canada. John Tory will sit on Toronto Police Service Board. OPP launch ”Lock It or Lose It” campaign. Doug Ford will not run for PC leadership.
GTA MALLS AND STORES OPEN EARLY FOR BLACK FRIDAY
Americans today are celebrating their made-up holiday: Black Friday. It’s the day sandwiched in-between Thanksgiving Thursday and the weekend, and in recent years, has become the busiest shopping day of the year. Many retailers got the jump on things early this morning but it was far from peaceful: at one store near Los Angeles, a fist fight broke out over a barbie doll…. Here in Canada, retailers have been bitten by the Black Friday bug too. Shoppers will be out in full force around the GTA today as Black Friday kicks-off, with Toronto retailers suggesting they’ve got good enough deals to compete with their American counterparts. The official start to the holiday shopping season has several malls and stores opening up their doors in the wee hours of the morning. Yorkdale Mall, Fairview Mall and Sherway Gardens are expecting thousands to come rushing in when they open up at 7 a.m. For those looking to get out and shop and little earlier, the Eaton Centre, Target and Futureshop will be opening at 6 a.m. Canadian shoppers were also given the opportunity to start their shopping early with special online deals in advance of Black Friday. Canadian poll numbers from the 2013 Black Friday event indicate far fewer shoppers actually bought something versus the number who said they planned to. Only 27 per cent of surveyed Canadians made a purchase during Black Friday 2013, in contrast to nearly half saying they planned to.
GAS PRICES TO DROP AROUND $1/LITRE ACROSS CANADA
It looks like the pumps are participating in Black Friday, as many parts of the city will see the gas price drop to its lowest in five years. Drivers are expected to see a two-cent drop in gas price by Sunday, according to Dan McTeague of Gasbuddy.com, and will continue to decline in the weeks ahead. The plunging price is primarly because of a growing glut of oil flooding the global market place, driving crude prices down towards $70 USD per barrel. On Thursday, OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said they would not cut oil production, despite sliding oil prices. “Mostly a battle between new oil producers in the US and Canada vs OPEC, global economy is over supply by some two million barrels of oil a day” McTeague explains, “And that is not about to end with OPEC’s decision to ignore the obvious and decide to continue output at what appears to be record levels.” He also believes prices won’t spike anytime soon. “I don’t see anything that would indicate prices would drive back to a $1.20-$1.30, what you see is pretty much what you’re going to get within 5 cents of a litre.” Heading into the weekend, Toronto will see the price of gas drop another 3 cents, with the average price around $1.10 a liter.
JOHN TORY WILL SIT ON POLICE SERVICES BOARD
The biggest part of the city’s budget is the Toronto Police Force. It’s a big seat on a big board, and it appears to be going to the mayor-elect. The Toronto Star is reporting that John Tory will find himself with a seat on the Toronto Police Services Board, after a four year absence from a mayor being in the position. The paper also claims that Tory will drop councillors Frances Nunziata and Michael Thompson from the board, Thompson also sits as vice-chair, after citing some internal conflicts among the seven members who currently hold seats. No information is available as to who will take the soon-to-be vacated seats, nor on who will replace outgoing councillor Mike Del Grande, who didn’t run in the October election. Del Grande will however find himself a new seat on the Toronto Catholic District School Board with reports suggesting he has been chosen as the new Chair. Tory has also been meeting with City Manager Joe Pennachetti and TTC CEO Andy Byford, brushing up on the issues the city faces. On Thursday afternoon he spoke to the media at length about his state of the city report. On the topic of transit Tory says the TTC is suffering thanks to decisions made by the previous council. “The TTC system is still reeling from operating cuts imposed by council in 2011 and again in 2012,” said Tory, “Which resulted in service on 41 bus routes across the city being significantly reduced, a further reduction of service along 63 other routes, loading standards which were rolled back to 2004 levels contributing significantly to the over crowding that plagues the system today.” Tory says his administration will look at restoring service where the budget allows. When it comes to housing Tory says an increasing number of Toronto Community Housing units are unlivable. Part of the problem, as Tory sees it, is a breakdown of partnerships with the other levels of government. “Dialogue with the other governments in a focused way, on housing, at the political leadership level has been basically non existent for the last number of years and I will be moving to change that,” said Tory. Tory says congestion is at a “crisis” level in the city. When talking about the bumper to bumper commute Tory says it affects people’s personal lives, the economy, and “environmental degradation.” He also touched on the Pan Am Games, calling on Torontonians to get behind the “crucially important” event for the city.
OPP LAUNCH ”LOCK IT OR LOSE IT” CAMPAIGN
Ontario Provincial Police are encouraging drivers to Lock it or Lose it! As the holiday season approaches and stores and malls get busier with packed parking lots, theft from vehicles is an ongoing crime, which directly impacts victims with the dangers of property and identity theft resulting from unlocked vehicles and leaving valuables in plain view. ” Lock it or Lose it” is an award winning crime prevention initiative developed with the support of Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), focused on encouraging drivers to take strict precautions to help prevent crime and victimization. Lock it or Lose it started In September 2007. The program was professionally enhanced and re-packaged and launched by the OPP across Ontario.
DOUG FORD WILL NOT RUN FOR PC LEADERSHIP
Doug Ford says he’s taking a “little break” from politics. He announced Thursday morning he will not be entering the Progressive Conservative Leadership race. Outside the family business, Deco Labels and Tags, Ford says his top priority is his family and their business. Ford says he will be on the campaign trail supporting MPP Christine Elliott in her leadership bid, but says all of the candidates would be “fabulous leaders.” MPP’s Lisa MacLeod, Vic Fedeli, Monte McNaughton, along with Conservative MP Patrick Brown are also vying for the PC leadership. Elliott thanked Ford for his support on Twitter. Voting will take place May 3 and 7 and the new leader will be named on Saturday, May 9. Ford says his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, was not happy with the decision, but says he hasn’t ruled out running to be an MPP in the future. He claims he would bring new votes to the PC party. “Over 80% of the 330,000 votes that I ended up receiving would never and have never voted PC before.”