5 Things To Know Today
DVP closed Friday-Sunday for maintenance. Gas prices going up this weekend. Toronto police chief Bill Blair honoured at retirement gala. Liberal budget no “slash and burn” says Finance Minister. Ports Toronto looking to invest in indoor arena. +*Hubble Space Telescope celebrated 25 years*
DVP CLOSED FRIDAY-SUNDAY FOR SPRING MAINTENANCE
The Don Valley Parkway will be completely closed between the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 this weekend. It’s for spring maintenance, as crews will be cleaning catch basins along with working on light and sign repairs. It will close in both directions at 8 p.m. and reopen on Sunday at 6 a.m. Motorists are advised to use Bayview Avenue, Don Mills Road, Victoria Park, Kingston Road or Leslie Street as alternate routes. The Gardiner Expressway will also be closing May 1st for spring maintenance.
GAS PRICES GOING UP THIS WEEKEND
Motorists will not only have to do deal with traffic headaches on the Don Valley Parkway this weekend, but also at the pumps, as the price of gas is going up by two cents a litre. According to Dan McTeague with gasbuddy.com, the price of gas is set to go up to 110.9 per litre. Gas went up early this morning by two cents and it currently sits at 108.9 per litre.
TORONTO POLICE CHIEF BILL BLAIR HONOURED AT RETIREMENT GALA
After 10 years on the job, the chief of the Toronto Police force is calling it a career, as the city’s top cop. A retirement gala was held in Bill Blair’s honour at the Metro Convention Centre. The chief looked back, citing that it was inspired by his father, who was on the force for 39-years, which is also the length of his own career. Bill Blair’s regime was one that oversaw the Eaton Centre and Danzig shootings, as well as the G20 Summit, which was held back in the summer of 2010. Mayor Tory and Premier Wynne were both on hand to pay tribute to an emotional night for the city’s ninth chief. Incoming chief Mark Saunders will take over on Sunday, April 26th.
PROVINCIAL BUDGET BIDS TO GET ONTARIO BACK IN BLACK
Finance Minister Charles Sousa stood on Thursday evening to deliver a Provincial budget which won’t include slashing and burning a path back to black. The $131.9 billion budget pledges to balance the books through a combination of targeted savings, through mostly minor program cuts, and a dependence on a steady economic growth, with Sousa saying Ontario’s economy is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent this year. Ontario is forecasting that the deficit will drop to $8.5 billion in 2015-16, falling further to $4.8 billion in 2016-17 before returning to balance the following year. Only one new tax was included, a penny a beer bottle which is expected to generate $100 million. Among the winners were drivers who benefited from the one surprise in the budget , a promised discount for motorists who use winter tires, however Sousa couldn’t say how much of a discount drivers would get from using winter tires, and the government will not mandate their use. Students will also benefit, they will now be eligible for more money from the Ontario Student Assistance Program starting this fall, but they’ll also have to pay back more of their loans. The province will also no longer deduct earnings from a part-time job or the value of a student’s car from their loan, which could mean thousands more dollars each year for some. The government will also prohibit premium increases for minor at-fault accidents where no one is injured, will hike the deductible for comprehensive coverage to 500 dollars from 300, and cut the standard duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to five for everyone but children. Infrastructure also featured heavily with 11.9-billion-dollars for infrastructure projects in 2015-16 including roads, bridges and public transit, part of a 130-billion-dollar, 10-year plan announced last year. It details specific highway expansion and public transit projects that will be funded in eastern and northern Ontario and the heavily congested Greater Toronto area, including improved GO service. Speaking at City Hall shortly after the announcement – Toronto Mayor John Tory praised the Budget saying the document proves the province is committed to helping Toronto build Smart Track. The budget was not without it’s critics however with the contentious issue of the majority sale of Hydro One once again dividing opinions and leading opposition parties to accuse the Liberals of playing “shell games” with Ontario’s finances. The Progressive Conservatives say the Liberals will use billions of dollars raised by the sale of Hydro One to reduce the deficit, and won’t put it into transit and infrastructure programs as the government claims. The New Democrats warn the privatization of Hydro One will drive up rates for Ontario consumers, who are already paying some of the highest electricity prices in the country. While N-D-P Leader Andrea Horwath says instead of closing tax loopholes for big corporations, the Liberals are making families and small businesses “pay the price.”
PORTS TORONTO LOOKING TO GET AN ICE RINK
The city of Toronto could be getting a new indoor arena and this one would be located at the base of Cherry Street in the Port Lands. Ports Toronto is making a bid to supply the land and is willing to invest in the project, which they hope could be developed within the next three years and the arena would be 75,000 square feet. There are currently 50 indoor facilities in Toronto.
Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 25 years
25-years ago today, the Hubble Space telescope was launched into space from the space shuttle Discovery. With it, scientists have discovered almost 2000 planets that orbit around stars other than our own sun. But they’ve not found life anywhere, disappointing but not unexpected, according to astronomy experts.