5 Things To Know Today
Two officers shot during protests in Ferguson, Missouri. TDSB cutting over 250 teaching jobs. 2015 budget passed by Toronto city council / Ford files complaint with integrity commissioner against Tory. Man accused of plotting to blow up U.S. consulate, buildings in Toronto pending deportation. Plans for new 80-storey building at Yonge and Bloor will be Canada’s tallest.
WATCH: TWO OFFICERS SHOT DURING PROTESTS IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI
Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri where two officers were shot during protests outside the police department early Thursday morning. One was shot in the face, the other in the shoulder and they’re both in serious condition. The chief of police in St. Louis county believes his members were targeted simply because they are police officers. This shooting came shortly after the city’s mayor James Knowles announced the resignation of police chief Thomas Jackson. Jackson is now the sixth employee to hand in his resignation or to be fired after a Justice Department report cleared white former officer Darren Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson back in August 2014. However, they also found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the city police department. Both officers are in serious condition with reports that one was shot in the face.
WARNING: eyewitness video of shooting contains graphic language
TDSB CUTTING OVER 250 TEACHING POSITIONS
The TDSB has voted to cut over 250 teaching jobs. Positions that will be affected and placed on the chopping block include special needs, ESL, elementary and high school teachers. The last minute move comes as the board looks to balance the budget by making these reductions, as it deals with a $16.5 million deficit. Special education support staff will see 23 positions cut, although 10 were saved. Other cuts include 36 special education positions, 88 elementary and 116 secondary teaching spots. The board hopes that they can eliminate most of these positions through attrition and retirement.
2015 BUDGET PASSED BY TORONTO CITY COUNCIL
Following two days of discussions at City Hall, Toronto city council has approved its capital and operating budgets for 2015. It passed on a vote of 42 – 2, with Councillors Rob Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti the only two to oppose John Tory’s first budget as Mayor. More than 40 motions were voted upon over the two days spend debating the budget before final approval was granted shortly after 8pm on Wednesday. On Tuesday the council voted to approve a 2.75% property tax increase. 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. While earlier on Wednesday, the council voted in favour of a solid waste budget which will result in the cost of garbage bins rising by an average of 58 per cent.
Councillor Rob Ford’s executive assistant has filed a complaint with the integrity commissioner against Mayor John Tory over remarks made by the mayor during Wednesday’s budget debate. The former mayor isn’t happy with Tory’s plan to boost the budget by $300,000. Tory’s response to the complaint is that it’s in an effort to repair the professional relationship with the public service, which he says has been lacking for the past four years. Ford is asking for an apology claiming that Mayor Tory’s comments were disrespectful. Both went head –to-head in the final moments of the 2015 budget debate at City Hall on Wednesday.
SUSPECT IN TORONTO BOMBING PLOT ARRESTED PENDING DEPORTATION
The Canadian Border Service Agency has arrested a Pakistani man, planning a terror plot to bomb the U.S. consulate, buildings in Toronto’s financial district and videotape the attacks. The suspect in custody allegedly was an ISIS sympathizer and is now pending deportation. No criminal charges have been laid yet. The man has been identified as 34 year old Jahanzeb Malik and is being held as the government begins a deportation hearing. Reports say the man came to Canada in 2004 on a student Visa to attend York University. He then married and got permanent residence status in 2009. It’s believed Malik told an undercover officer that he wanted to explode a bomb at the U.S. consulate or in Toronto’s financial district. It’s still not clear why they have decided to deport him rather than charge him with terrorism offences but the Canadian Border Service Agency is expected to provide an update later today. Malik is set to appear for another detention hearing on Monday. He’s currently at the Lindsay superjail.
NEW YONGE AND BLOOR TOWER WOULD BE TORONTO’S TALLEST
A local businessman, who purchased the historic southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor streets, has unveiled his vision of the promising building that will bring the intersection to world-wide fame. The proposed 80-storey building will tower over Toronto and would also become the tallest in Canada. The billion dollar structure will stand over a thousand feet and would be the second tallest next to the CN Tower. Included in the plan will be 72 levels of apartments and condos above an eight-level shopping mall. That’s close to a million square feet of residential and commercial space. The One retail and residential development received a huge round of applause at the Hyatt hotel on Avenue Road on Wednesday. Developer Sam Mizrahi had the building designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster.