5 Things To Know Today
Future options for Gardiner to be unveiled today. Wine sales in Ontario grocery stores on hold. Carbon monoxide detectors now mandatory in Ontario. Indian PM and Harper to visit Toronto. Ikea Monkey in search of a new home. City’s five golf courses open Wednesday.
FUTURE OPTIONS FOR GARDINER EXPRESSWAY TO BE RELEASED TODAY
“It is a once in a lifetime decision and we need to get it right.” That was the message from Toronto’s Chair of Public Works Jaye Robinson who says the next phase of public consultations into what to do with the Gardiner Expressway between Jarvis and Logan get under way Wednesday. There are three options according to Robinson: remove and replace with a bloulevard – the cheapest option, but risks slowing down drivers. The second is to maintain it as is, a move some critics call useless, as it’s near the end of its lifespan. The third, and most costly, is a “hybrid approach” that will maintain the linkage between the Don Valley parkway. The EA Team will release a preliminary report with more detail on all three options to facilitate the public consultations. Following the public consultations, city staff will prepare a final report with a recommendation that will go to public works for debate in May. However, Robinson said a “final” report will not be made until June. “Any decision we make will be with an eye to minimizing the impact on how we get around while ensuring we unlock the incredible opportunities on (Toronto’s) Waterfront. Robinson said.
COULD TAKE SOME TIME BEFORE GROCERS GET WINE
Buying beer in around 300 Ontario grocery stores is well on the way, but it looks like wine sales could be a bit delayed, according to the Toronto Star. The publication says international trade agreements, including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement are among the challenges that could create some problems on getting vino flowing. However, sales of suds seems to be shaping up. Finance Minister Charles Sousa will be unveiling more about the new anticipated beer plans when he releases the provincial budget on April 23rd. The Liberal government will be allowing beer to be sold in many supermarkets across the province, putting an end to the monopoly previously held by the Beer Store, operated by international parents of Labatt, Molson, and Sleeman. The Beer Store will continue to operate and serve as a distributor to the grocery stores, however, it will have to pay an annual franchise fee of around $100 million to Queens Park. The company is also expected to make shelf space for 150 Ontario craft brewers. As for wine, the government is allegedly looking into re-purposing licences currently held by American-owned Wine Rack and Canadian-owned Wine Shop. Vintages sold at the privately-operated stores are excepted from a 66.5% mark up, something the LCBO must pay, and are only required to pay a 16% per tax on the blended wines they sell – meaning they rake in a larger profit on the same products.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS NOW MANDATORY IN ONTARIO
Beginning Wednesday, carbon monoxide alarm will be required for any homes with fuel-burning appliances, a fireplace or an attached garage. Residential buildings with more than six units have until October 15th to get carbon monoxide. Toronto Fire says failure to comply could result in fines up to $50,000 for people and $100,000 for corporations. The new rules comes as part of Bill 77, the Hawkins Gignac Act, was passed by the Ontario government in December 2013. The act was named after OPP Constable Laurie Hawkins, who died, along with her husband and two children, from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008. Carbon monoxide poisoning has been called the “silent killer,” as it has no smell or taste. New rules also say apartment buildings with less than six units are required to attach smoke detectors outside of all sleeping areas. Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poising in Ontario, with more than 80% of carbon monoxide deaths occurring in the home. According to Toronto Fire there have been no carbon monoxide related deaths in Toronto in the last year.
INDIAN PRIME MINISTER & HARPER TO VISIT TORONTO TODAY
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be stopping in Toronto on Wednesday as part of a three day visit to Canada. 64-year-old Modi will be starting the day in Ottawa, where he will be meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The leader will then fly to Toronto, where he will be meeting with Mayor John Tory shortly after 3pm. Both Harper and Modi are expected to speak to a crowd of over 8,000 people at the Ricoh Coliseum later on in the evening. The event is being called an opportunity to reach out to the the Indian diaspora community. It’s the first time India’s prime minister has visited Canada since 1973. Modi himself has been previously denied a visa to Canada, among other countries, for the past 12 years. Modi’s ban came from accusations of his participation in the 2002 religious riots, when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. Over 1,000 people died in communal riots, most of them Muslim. However, Modi has denied involvement in the conflict, and India’s Supreme Court has said there was no case to bring against him. Still, some members of the Sikh community say they plan on protesting his visit. An organization called Sikhs for Justice say they will be holding a rally Wednesday evening at Ricoh.odi will also be stopping in Vancouver.
IKEA MONKEY IN SEARCH OF NEW HOME AGAIN
It looks like Darwin, the Ikea monkey, could be re-located yet again. Darwin is among 20 primates currently living at the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, however, the sanctuary has been given an eviction date of June 30th after the landlord decided to sell the property. Story Book Farm recently started up a second crowd funding campaign on tilt.com, saying “Story Book Farm is out of options and out of money. It is the only sanctuary of its kind in Canada and if it ceases to operate, it is no exaggeration to say that the monkeys’ lives will be in danger. They have nowhere to go.” Chimpanzee expert Dr. Jane Goodall is among those soliciting donations for the sanctuary, saying also issued a statement to save the sanctuary, saying “The monkeys need a new home. Even more important, they need money for a new home… Primates are our closest animal relatives. They deserve our help. We’ve saved these monkeys’ lives once. Now we need to save them again.” The campaign has raised $1,333 of its $250,000 goal.
For those who caught “Master fever” watching Justin Spieth win the PGA event over the weekend, it’s time to get your clubs out. Toronto’s 5 public golf course have opened for business this morning with the first tee-times at 7:30am