5 Things To Know Today
Parliament supports mission against ISIS, vote passes. York-U teaching assistants to vote on new deal today. Rob Ford to apologize at city council meeting. Jay Z, Madonna, Jack White among owners of new music streaming service. Average commuter spent 84 hours stuck in Toronto traffic in 2014 / Toronto 2nd worst city for driving in Canada.
PARLIAMENT SUPPORTS MISSION AGAINST ISIS, VOTE PASSES
Canada will officially be extending and expanding its military mission in the fight against the Islamic State. On Monday, Federal MPs voted 142-129 in favour of extending the mission for up to a full year while authorizing bombing runs in Syria against targets in both Iraq and Syria. The extended timeline was set so a renewal would not conflict with the fall’s federal election. The original mission sent six CF-18 fighter jets, one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refueling aircraft, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft into the area. Around 600 aircrew and other personnel are currently deployed. Up to 69 special forces advisers will stay in the region to assist and advise Kurdish peshmerga forces. Both opposition parties opposed the original mission, as well as the extension, saying the government had not justified the original six-month mission well enough. They also argued that Canada lacks the legal basis to expand the strikes into Syria without the country’s expressed consent. Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists the mission is justified, saying “While the coalition has succeeded in stopping ISIL’s territorial spread, the global threat that ISIL poses remains – we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL continues to promote terrorism in Canada as well as against our allies and partners, nor can we allow ISIL to have a safe haven in Syria.” The NDP says that should they form government, they would immediately pull out of the bombing campaign. The Liberals would do the same, however, they would increase the number of soldiers sent to train Iraqis on the ground.
YORK U TEACHING ASSISTANTS TO VOTE ON TENTATIVE DEAL TODAY
Striking teachers assistants and graduate assistants at York University will be voting on Tuesday whether or not the want to ratify the latest contract offer. A tentative agreement was reached between the school and the union on Sunday. The changes include a wage increase and a tuition-wage tie, meaning if tuition were to increase, wages would increase as well. CUPE 3903 chairman Faiz Ahmed told reporters the new deal is a major one that would set new standards for the academic sector. Ahmed also says he feels confident members will vote in favour of the agreement. A prior tentative deal was rejected by two of three units, putting contract faculty back to work. The other units have been on strike for nearly a month. Voting will take place between 2pm-6pm at the Rexall Centre.
ROB FORD TO APOLOGIZE FOR RACIAL SLURS TODAY AT COUNCIL MEETING
Councillor Rob Ford is expected to publicly apologize at Tuesday’s council meeting for racial slurs that were uttered during his term as mayor. The apology comes following a report by Toronto’s integrity commissioner, saying Ford’s actions violated the code of conduct. Ford has admitted to the incident, where the then-mayor called a taxi-driver by a racial slur. He also used “fake language sounds” to imitate the driver. The incident has been backed by a civilian complaint. In the report, City Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson also found Ford used “offensive racially abusive words” on March 5, 2014. “I have concluded that the conduct was contrary to the Code of Conduct.” a statement from the report reads. It also says no further action is needed following the apology. Council will also be discussing temporary traffic-bylaw amendments during the Pam Am games, expanded gaming at Woodbine, and the future of the Bay-Bloor scramble at city hall on Tuesday.
JAY Z, BEYONCE, JACK WHITE AMONG OWNERS OF NEW MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE
Tidal, a new music streaming service is being billed as the first artist-owned platform for music and video. Madonna, Jay Z, Beyonce and Rihanna are among the A-List musicians who are co-owners of the company. Similar to Spotify, Tidal will provide music and video content that users can stream on computers, tablets and smartphones or listen to offline. The membership-based service is offered at 2 price points: $10 for standard sound quality & $20 for “lossless high fidelity sound quality.” Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj also were among the artists who announced at a New York City event Monday that they are co-owners of the service that quietly launched in October.
TORONTO 2ND WORST CITY FOR DRIVING IN CANADA
It’s not startling for most Torontonians, but the city has been named second-worst city for driving in Canada, just behind Vancouver. According to TomTom’s Traffic Index, the average commuter in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver loses around 84 hours a year from being delayed in traffic. Across Canada, the average time lost to traffic amounts to around 79 hours. The study also found that overall congestion in Canada had increased two percent over the past year, and that traffic had worsened in five out of seven major cities measured, with Calgary and Vancouver’s traffic congestion rate staying the same. It was also found that across the country, Thursday’s ride home from work is the worst, except for in Edmonton, Quebec and Calgary, where it’s Wednesday or Friday.
Here’s the country’s top ranked worst cities to drive in: