5 Things To Know Today
Jobs and transit on agenda as 19 big city mayors meet today in Toronto. TDSB trustee’s vote on recommendations, reviewing sales of under-used schools. Former Brampton mayor allegedly seeking $450,000 from city. Target Canada to officially begin liquidation process today. Ontario sells GM shares for $1.1B to invest in infrastructure.
JOBS & TRANSIT ON AGENDA AS 19 BIG CITY MAYORS MEET TODAY IN TORONTO
Nineteen mayors of Canada’s largest cities, including Toronto’s John Tory, Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson and Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi – who was recently named World’s Best Mayor by the World Mayor Project – will be gathering in Toronto for the Big Cities Summit today. The event will see the leaders discussing and gathering information with business leaders and experts in labour and economics, while hammering out solutions to Canada’s economic challenges. “At a time when Canada is facing economic uncertainty, the Big City Mayors’ Summit is an exciting opportunity to envision and highlight how our cities can provide a path to stable, long-term economic growth and prosperity,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, and chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus said in a statement. The summit will be happening from 8:15am – 5pm at the St. Andrews Club and Conference Centre at 150 King Street West. Here’s the full list of mayor’s who will be in Toronto for the summit:
– Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey
– Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
– Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson
– Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin
– Halifax Mayor Mike Savage
– Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger
– Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic
– Laval Mayor Marc Demers
– Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie
– Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre
– Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
– Regina Mayor Michael Fougere
– Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison
– St John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe
– Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
– Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (caucus chair)
– Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens
– Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman
TRUSTEE’S VOTE ON RECOMMENDATIONS, REVIEWING SALES OF UNDER-USED SCHOOLS
The Toronto District School Board has wrapped up its latest meeting, discussing the implementation of 13 new recommendations from the Ministry of Education following a scathing review earlier this month. Among the things accomplished, trustees voted in favour of relinquishing their head offices to move to a shared work space at 5050 Yonge street. They also voted in favour of reducing their budgets for discretionary spending to just over $11,780, limiting their power to the hiring of senior staff, as well as rolling back director Donna Quan’s salary. However, the fate of Toronto under-utilized schools will have to wait until Tuesday, Feb. 10th. The TDSB released a list of 60 public schools in nine different neighborhoods that are to be included in the review, recommending selling off four that are already closed: Whitfield, Old Orchard, CB Parsons, and Bridgeport. Trustees are reviewing 31 schools currently operating under capacity, and as many as nine could eventually be closed. Mayor John Tory has said that he and the city would like a say in the discussion, as the closure of schools has sparked a large debate around the city. The Elementary Teachers of Toronto say they’re planning a rally on the day of the meeting, protesting the closures.The board must present a plan to Minister of Education Liz Sandals by Feb. 13th.
Trustees vote to reduce their budgets for discretionary expenses to $11,780, in line with TCDSB trustees.— TDSB Media Relations (@TDSB_Media) February 5, 2015
FORMER BRAMPTON MAYOR ALLEGEDLY SEEKING $450,000
Reports say the former Mayor of Brampton, Susan Fennell, is seeking $450,000 from the city, saying she was wrongfully punished when she lost 90 days of pay for spending violations. The Toronto Star says Fennel is also looking to fight a council resolution to claw back the amount of $144,150 spent on limo rides. Fennel apparently filed an application for judicial review, naming Brampton and integrity commissioner Robert Swayze as respondents. The move follows a long back-and-forth between Fennell and the city. In November 2014, Fennel was docked three months pay under, saying she broke spending rules 266 times. She was also ordered to repay $144,000 for the limo service, unless she could provide documents showing it was used for city business. Fennell argued the claims, saying an arbitrator found she broke the rules twice and should only have to repay $3,500. Fennel was ousted from office in October, after losing to Mayor-elect Linda Jeffrey.
TARGET CANADA TO OFFICIALLY BEGIN LIQUIDATION PROCESS TODAY
The red and white bullseye is officially set to start its withdrawal from the Canadian market. Lackluster sales figures prompted Target to announce earlier this year that it would vacate its stores by mid-2015, with a firestorm sale to take place beforehand. On Wednesday afternoon, a judge with the Ontario Superior Court approved a liquidation of assets, which will begin today. Stock will be priced from 5-30% off, with the company to then start selling off its fixtures once distribution centres have been cleared out. Target has already started to dwindle its perishable stock, no longer carrying things like eggs and milk, while its staffing totals have also begun to drop. The company says about 80 of 770 people remain at its Toronto headquarters; 17,000 staff members will be released in total.
ONTARIO SELLS GM SHARES FOR $1.1B TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE
The Ontario government has sold its remaining shares in General Motors for $1.1 billion. Finance minister Charles Sousa confirmed the sale and says the money will be used to help build public infrastructure. The government says the gain on the sale of the shares exceeds the $900 million target included in the 2014 budget. The federal and provincial governments both acquired GM shares in 2009 after providing about $10.6 billion in financial aid to the automaker.