5 Things To Know Today
Some York U classes back in session today but some students are refusing to go. City council approves 3.2% property tax increase. Enbridge Gas proposes rate cuts of 10%. CBC names rapper Shad as new host of Q. A jury has ruled Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye to create the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.”
SOME YORK U CLASSES BACK IN SESSION, SOME STUDENTS REFUSE TO GO
Many York students will be back at it Wednesday morning after one unit of CUPE 3903 members representing the contract faculty ratified a new three year contract on Monday night. While teaching assistants and graduate assistants are still on strike after rejecting the latest offer, the school says officials are still working to have all classes resumed as soon as possible. Engineering, business and nursing plus some courses in liberal arts and professional studies are among the courses lifted from suspension for Wednesday. However, a number of undergrads say they will be protesting as well – by refusing to go to class. A petition started on change.org says “We, the undergraduate student body of York University, resolve to stand in solidarity with our mentors, our colleagues, and our friends by refusing to cross the picket line established by CUPE 3903 should academic activity resume amid the ongoing labour disruption.” As of 6am on Wednesday, the petition had reached nearly 3,931 supporters. “We pay tuition with the expectation of a quality, in-class education. Should York resume classes, they will be forcing undergraduates to compromise their dignity by crossing CUPE3903 picket lines or their education by not doing so. This is a form of Bullying and it is unacceptable.” reads a statement on the website. The walkout was called on March 3rd, when contract workers and TA’s hit the picket lines demanding better pay and better job security. University vice-president Rhonda Lenton says university officials will be meeting tomorrow to discuss plans aimed at resuming the balance of courses for Monday.
COUNCIL APPROVES PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
Later this morning, round two of budget talks will get underway at City Hall. Toronto City council approved a 2.75% property tax increase On Tuesday. The increase includes the already approved 0.5% levy for the Scarborough subway and comes to a total of 3.2% when adjustments for the current value of property is factored in. All in all, the increase will result in the average increase of $83 dollars per household per annum. There were differing opinions on the chamber floor however regarding the tax hike, with Councillor Gordon Perks calling for an even greater increase to prevent the city from having to borrow from itself to cover the deficit caused by the withdrawal of provincial funding. While former Mayor Rob Ford sought a reduction in the proposed tax, calling for an increase of 1.99% only. At the end of Tuesday, the council voted by a majority of 38 – 6 to stick to the original plan and introduce the increase of 3.2%. Mayor Tory’s executive committee already approved the almost $10 Billion operating budget last week. Prior to the budget debate, The Mayor also spoke on his first 100 days in office and talked of his accomplishments like cracking down on traffic congestion, securing sponsorship to keep skating rinks open until March break and allowing kids under 12 to ride the TTC for free.
ENBRIDGE GAS PROPOSES RATE CUTS OF 10%
Enbridge is announcing that a drop in natural gas prices could save Ontarian’s money. In a statement released Tuesday, the company said it was submitting an application to the Ontario Energy Board to decrease rates ” due to lower natural gas prices. Gas supply costs are passed through to customers without any mark-up – they pay what we pay.” If approved, the rates would go into effect April 1, 2015. According to the release, the average customer could save around $100/year. For more information, click here.
CBC NAMES RAPPER SHAD AS NEW HOST OF Q
The CBC is announcing Jian Ghomeshi’s replacement for its arts and culture radio show Q. The broadcaster announced late Tuesday night that Juno Award-winning Shadrach Kabango, better known as MC Shad, will be the show’s new host when it re-launches mid-April. In an announcement on its website, CBC says the 32-year-old was picked after reviewing more than 200 people. The search started four months in October after Ghomeshi was fired amid allegations of sexual assault. Shad was born in Kenya, raised in Canada where he earned a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a masters from Simon Fraser University. As a performer, Shad has four albums to his name, his latest, Flying Colours, was nominated for a Polaris Prize. Ghomeshi is currently facing seven counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance chocking dating between 2002-2008. His legal team is pleading not guilty to all charges, and will be back in court March 27th.
JURY SAYS, PHARRELL, THICKE COPIED MARVIN GAYE FOR ‘BLURRED LINES’
Victory for the family of the late Marvin Gaye. A jury has awarded them $7.4 million after finding the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines,” by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, was copied from Gaye’s hit “Got To Give It Up.” A lawyer for Gaye’s estate tells Rolling Stone he’s going to try to block all sales of “Blurred Lines” until an agreement is reached.