5 Things To Know Today
Police charge last night’s Leafs jersey tossers. Tory breaks campaign promise, raising TTC fares March 1st. TDSB agrees to follow all provincial recommendations. POLL: majority of Brampton residents want to see Susan Fennel charged. Labour experts say laid off Target workers expected to face grim job prospects.
POLICE CHARGE LEAFS JERSEY TOSSERS
A few years ago it was waffles, now disappointed Leafs fans are throwing jerseys on the ice and it’s not just a one-off. Four Leafs sweaters rained down during last night’s awful 4-1 loss to Carolina at the ACC and twice the jerseys landed on the ice. Air Canada Centre security says they removed three people from the building who threw jerseys on the ice and two of them are now facing charges of with public mischief by police. That stretch of games in November when the Leafs were 9-1-1 seems like a distant memory now. They have now lost 13 of 16 games, including the last 5 games straight. Over the past 5 games, the Leafs have been outscored 16-2 and interim coach Peter Horachek has only 1 win in his 7 starts behind the bench. Toronto will face the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night before the All-Star break.
TORY SAYS BUDGET WILL KEEP TAXES BELOW OR AT RATE OF INFLATION
Toronto taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief. Mayor John Tory says his proposed 2015 budget will keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation, sitting at 1.95%. The budget will be put to the public today and no specifics have leaked out, however, Tory has made promises to restore cuts to transit service, invest more in the homeless and to spend more on major roadwork projects:
– Restoration of all day, everyday bus service that was cut in 2011
– Ten-minute or better bus and streetcar service on key routes from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. six days a week (9 a.m. on Sundays)
– Reduced wait times and crowding at off-peak times
– Reduced wait times and crowding on 21 of the busiest routes during morning and afternoon rush hours
– Proof-of-payment and all-door boarding on all streetcar routes
– Expansion of the Express Bus network, adding four new routes to a network that serves 34 million rides annually
– Expanding the Blue Night Network, adding 12 routes to the 22-route network that serves 4 million rides annually
– Adding up to two additional subway trains on Lines 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hours
– Route management improvements designed to reduce short-turns, bunching and gapping of bus and streetcar routes
– Additional resources to focus on subway reliability around signals, track and communications systems
Timing of the introduction of additional service, as well as the restoration of service, is currently being dealt with by city staff.
The mayor has also officially backpedaled on a campaign promise. In the months leading up to the October election, John Tory pledged to the people that if he won, TTC riders would not be hit with a fare increase, however on Monday the opposite was announced. Speaking at a North York school, the Mayor first announced that starting in March, children under the age of 12 would be able to ride the TTC for free, a move that would cost the agency about $7 million per year. Only minutes later, John Tory then announced that those aged 13 and up would be hit with a 10 cent proportional fare increase for all fare media except cash, to help generate an added $43 million in revenues, with cash to go to a number of new services.
TDSB AGREES TO FOLLOW ALL PROVINCIAL RECOMMENDATIONS
In an emergency meeting on Monday the TDSB has voted to implement all changes recommended by Ontario’s Education Minister. The 13 recommendations come after a scathing review uncovered a culture of fear and dysfunction with trustees afraid to use their work emails in a belief they maybe hacked. Some of the 13 accepted changes include a cut to the salary of board director Donna Quan by 1$7,000, from $289,000 to $272,000. The board will also close trustees’ offices at the school board’s headquarters – with the exception of the chair – and clearly define the responsibilities of trustees and senior staff.
POLL: MAJORITY OF BRAMPTON RESIDENTS WANT SUSAN FENNEL CHARGED
It looks like Brampton residents aren’t ready to forgive and forget their former mayor. A new poll finds that 70% of Brampton voters think former mayor Susan Fennell should be charged with municipal fraud for her role in the spending scandal. The OPP continues to investigate the spending scandal after a forensic audit by Deloitte Canada that found Fennell and her staff broke the city spending rules 266 times over 7 years. The Forum research poll found that only 17% thought she shouldn’t be charged while 13% had no opinion. The same poll didn’t see respondents give an overwhelming vote of confidence that new Mayor Linda Jeffrey will clean up the mess at Brampton City Hall, 47% thought she could clean things up, 28% think she’ll fail and 25% didn’t know.
LAID OFF TARGET WORKERS TO FACE GRIM JOB PROSPECTS
The liquidation of Target’s Canadian stores will begin in the next 2-3 weeks. The company is pulling out of Canada, closing all 133 stores and leaving more than 17,000 employees out of work. Sears is encouraging the Target workers to check out its job fairs as they face grim job prospects, dusting off their resumes and start looking for work, according to labour experts.