5 Things To Know
Council will begin debating fate of Gardiner Expressway. Honda Indy closing roads Wednesday through Sunday. CBC ‘Ends Relationship’ with host Evan Solomon. Auditor General calls for third party oversight of senate spending. Rogers shuts down Zoocasa, its online real estate brokerage.
COUNCIL BEGINS DEBATING FATE OF GARDINER TODAY
We’ll find out over the next day or so just how much control Mayor John Tory really has over council. The final debate on the future of the east-end of the Gardiner begins today and Tory’s preference for a hybrid option is running neck-and-neck with the full tear down option among decided councillors. Now it comes down to the undecided dozen or so councillors, including Michael Thompson, Glenn De-Baeremaeker, John Campbell and Giorgio Mammoliti.
Perhaps the results of two new polls on the Gardiner will help sway the undecided. Over 2,000 residents were polled in Wards 4, 18, 22, 23, 38 and 43. A campaign research study of the 6-wards around the city found the hybrid option was backed by more than 50% of those asked in ward 3 and close to 50% in another 3 wards. The removal option has more than 38% support in any of the ridings. Another poll, this one from Fourm Research, pegs support for the hybrid option at 46% and the removal plan at 42%.
HONDA INDY CLOSING ROADS WEDNESDAY – SUNDAY
Heads up to drivers: the weekend road closures will be starting early due to Honda Indy Toronto. Starting today at noon, southbound Strachan Avenue will be closed from Fleet Street to Lake Shore Boulevard West. Come 8 p.m., Lake Shore Boulevard West from Strachan Avenue to British Columbia Drive will also be closed off. The streets will not be re-opening until Sunday at 11 p.m. Police are strongly advising drivers to plan routes ahead of time, or opt for public transit. GO and TTC will both be increasing service to Exhibition Place during the closure.
CBC ‘ENDS RELATIONSHIP’ WITH HOST EVAN SOLOMON
The CBC says it is ending its relationship with Power and Politics host Evan Solomon. The announcement comes on the heels of a Toronto Star report, published on Tuesday night, alleging Solomon collected commission on “lucrative art deals” with people he dealt with through his job. According to the Star, Solomon had been secretly brokering the sale of “paintings and masks owned by a flamboyant Toronto-area art collector to rich and famous buyers.” They allege in one case, he collected around $300,000 in commission, without disclosing to the buyer he was collecting any fee’s for introducing the buyer to the seller. The Star says CBC pulled Solomon off the air Monday pending an investigation into the allegations, which breach the broadcasters code of ethics. The paper says Solomon told them he had been involved in an art business, and that it was “all disclosed to the CBC.” An emailed statement from CBC News’ editor in chief Jennifer McGuire said, “I regret to inform you that CBC News has ended its relationship with Evan Solomon host of Power and Politics and The House. We will be making announcements about the interim hosting of these programs in the next few days.” Solomon has since released a statement:
In 2013, I formed a private business partnership with a friend to broker Canadian art. The business involved only two clients. I disclosed this business to the CBC earlier this year. This month, following a difficult dispute with my partner, I took steps to end our business relationship. I did not view the art business as a conflict with my political journalism at the CBC and never intentionally used my position at the CBC to promote business. I am deeply sorry for the damage that my activities have done to the trust that the CBC and its viewers and listeners have put in me. I have the utmost respect for the CBC and what it stands for.
AUDITOR GENERAL CALLS FOR THIRD PARTY OVERSIGHT OF SENATE SPENDING
Canada’s auditor General admits it might seem odd to have spent $23.5M investigating the senate spending scandal and coming up with less than a million dollars in questionable expenses. But Michael Ferguson says it’s about changing the senate’s ways for the future. Ferguson is pushing for a “transformational change” to do away with a sense of entitlement in the upper chamber. On Tuesday, Ferguson released a 116 page report, detailing a litany of expense claims ranging from fishing trips to hockey games and cell phone roaming charges, as well as family funerals. Ferguson says senators should not be policing their own spending. He’s calling for an independent oversight to teach the upper chamber respect for the public purse, citing examples where senators charged taxi’s and holiday greeting cards to the taxpayer. He says in once case, he found out a senator’s cellphone was being used by another person in another location, with another staffer in the same office was sending personal text messages. The combined cost came to over $1,500 for the taxpayer. Nine files have been referred to the RCMP for possible criminal investigation, including two sitting senators, Conservative Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu and Liberal Colin Kenny.
ROGERS SHUTS DOWN ZOOCASSA, ITS ONLINE REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE
The discount real estate brokerage Zoocasa is going out of business. Rogers Communications says it’ll officially wrap-up Zoocasa’s business on June 22 as the media giant gets out of the real estate game. Zoocasa has been losing roughly $1 million a month for the 2 years it has been in business.