5 Things To Know
Toronto to crack down on UberX, work on new bylaw. City council votes in favor of Woodbine gambling expansion. Driver caught with mannequins in vehicle in HOV lane. Rob Ford admits to using HOV lanes when alone in the car / Trio charged for looking at Ford’s medical records. Brampton to put of decision to fun LRT. +**Canada tobacco companies to fight billion dollar settlements. **Price of gas going back up.**
TORONTO COUNCIL VOTES IN FAVOR OF UBERX REGULATIONS
Toronto city councillors voted unanimously in favour of going ahead with regulations for ride-share services and the taxi industry. The vote comes after an Ontario judge dismissed an application for injunction filed by the City of Toronto. Toronto cab drivers have been protesting Uber for the last while, threatening action during the Pan Am Games. They’ve since retracted any action following a meeting with Mayor John Tory and representatives with Uber, where they all discusses possible options going forward. Tory announced earlier this week his desire to create a new bylaw to make a level playing field for cab drivers and Uber drivers. Taxi drivers were upset with the fact Uber doesn’t pay the same fee’s required by them to operate in the city. Uber is allowed to operate in the city outside of the rules as an app, not a cab company.
CITY COUNCIL VOTES IN FAVOR OF WOODBINE GAMBLING EXPANSION
After a long day of debating, city councillors voted 25-19 in favour of expanding gaming at Woodbine Racetrack. The vote happened on Wednesday, meaning the complex in Rexdale is one step closer to becoming a full-fledged casino. Mayor John Tory was vocal about his support, saying it’s not about increased gambling, but increasing jobs. “My own interest will diminish if the level of investment and jobs that goes beyond the gaming activities is very small, and as that decreases so will my interests in seeing us having any expansion of gaming,” Tory mentioned during the debate. Tory has spoke up about it in the past, saying he supports the expansion of the site becoming a large entertainment complex, which council approved as well. Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, and councillor James Pasternak were among those who voted against the expansion. “The weightless conditions that are being attached to the reports almost signify that something is going to change, that this is going to make it better. I’m pretty sure that it’s not going to make it better,” councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said during the debate. The motion to limit gambling at Woodbine to 18 hours a day did not pass. A staff report found that with the addition of 2,000 slot machines and 300 gaming tables at Woodbine would bring in $12.5 million in revenue every year, in addition to the $15 million it already receives.
There’s also talk that if Toronto does scores a casino, an NFL stadium may show up next door to Woodbine shortly after. Citing “very good sources” that Councillor Rob Ford didn’t reveal, Ford said he’s heard the casino could lead to an NFL stadium being built on the massive Etobicoke property in his ward. “If they’re going to have an NFL team here, Woodbine is a site that they’d consider building an 80,000-seat stadium, which you’d need to have an NFL team,” he said. “An NFL team would be great.”
DRIVER CAUGHT WITH MANNEQUINS IN VEHICLE IN HOV LANE
Police say they’re charging a man caught misusing the designated HOV lanes. The man was pulled over around 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday near the Gardiner Expressway, just east of Kipling. Officers say they noticed the occupants did not appear to be “life-like,” and pulling over the driver to inspect. They noticed that, in fact, his “passengers” were not human, but mannequins. The driver was charged with the appropriate HOV offence. However, police was to say on a positive note, at least everyone in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt.
FORD ADMITS TO DRIVING ALONE IN HOV LANES
Former mayor and current Councillor Rob Ford says he’s illegally used the new HOV lanes put in place for the Pan Am Games. Speaking to reporters at City Hall on Wednesday, Ford said “Those HOV lanes are a complete disaster.. a lot of people I saw, they’re by themselves.” When asked if he’d driven in them alone, Ford responded, “I’ve gone on the HOV lanes… I’ll just go in and out, obviously, but you know, you gotta watch the cops over your shoulder… those things are a pain in the rear end, those HOV lanes.” According to the Highway Traffic Act, if the government has designated a lane for high-occupancy vehicles, it’s an offence when motorists drive alone in them. The 3+ passenger HOV lanes went into effect on June 29th, going until July 27th. Come July 28th, the lanes will only require 2+ occupants.
Trio charged for looking at Ford’s medical records
Three hospital workers are in trouble after allegedly snooping into Rob Ford’s medical records. In March, Ontario’s privacy commissioner recommended that two people from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre face prosecution for gaining access to Ford’s records. By law, patients records are protected under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which came into effect in 1988. The accused, now a trio, will appear in court August 20th. To date, no one has ever been successfully prosecuted under FIPPA.
BRAMPTON TO PUT OFF DECISION ON LRT FUNDING
Brampton City council has put off a decision on whether to accept 386 million dollars in LRT funding offered by the province. The debate on Wednesday night at times became emotional as more than 130 residents registered to speak. The $1.6 Billion project which would travel through the city’s historic main street downtown, divided the community. Many felt the issue too important to leave to a regular council meeting, with a large group believing there is not enough projected growth along the northern half of the proposed Brampton route to support an LRT. Five council members are looking for an alteration in the plan.
Canadian tobacco companies to fight billion dollar settlements
Canada’s largest tobacco companies in court today to fight a ruling which is forcing them to pay out more than a billion dollars in settlements. A Quebec court ruled that four tobacco companies Imperial, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald have to cough up about 15.6 billion to smokers who fell ill or became addicted and could not quit. Compensation of more than 1.1 billion was to be paid within the first 60 days after the judgement, regardless of whether they appealed. Two 1998 suits that were consolidated are the primary catalysts in the judgement. It was believed to be the biggest class-action lawsuit ever seen in Canada.
Price of gas going back up
The price of gas is set rise again at midnight. Dan McTeague from GasBuddy. com says drivers can expect a 3 cents jump on Friday morning. That will bring the average price to 122.9 a litre. McTeague says reasons for the increase include a shortage of gasoline, the weak loonie and financial uncertainty in Greece.
Rolling Road Closures on Thursday for Pan Am Torch Relay
The Pan Am Games are drawing near, and more rolling road closures will be happening on Thursday for the Torch Relay.
The closures will behin at 10:30 a.m. following an event at the Mount Dennis Public Library, at 1123 Weston Road. The torch will be making all these scheduled stops:
– Mount Dennis Public Library, 1123 Weston Road, from 10:20 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
– CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West, from 12:09 p.m. to 12:14 p.m.
– Toronto West End YMCA, 931 College Street, 1:42 p.m. to 1:47 p.m.
– Christie Pits, 779 Crawford Street, from 2:14 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
– Varsity Stadium, 299 Bloor Street West, from 3:35 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.
– Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 111 Wellesley Street West, from 4:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
– Ryerson University, 60 Carlton Street, from 4:47 p.m. to 5:22 p.m.
– CIBC, 436 Church Street, from 4:47 p.m. to 5:22 p.m.
– Athletes Village, Canary District, 6:04 p.m. to 6:24 p.m.
– Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The torch will be carried though a vehicle convoy, closing the following roads:
– southeast on Weston Road from Eglinton Avenue West to Rogers Road
– eastbound Rogers Road continuing onto Old Weston Road
– westbound St. Clair Avenue West to Keele Street
– southbound Keele from St Clair Avenue West to Dundas Street West
– eastbound Dundas Street West from Keele Street to Roncesvalles Avenue
– southbound Roncesvalles Avenue to Queen Street West
– eastbound Queen Street West to McCaul Street
– northbound McCaul Street to Dundas Street West
– westbound Dundas Street West to Augusta Avenue
– northbound Augusta Avenue to College Street
– westbound College Street from Augusta Avenue to Dufferin Street
– northbound Dufferin Street from College Street to Bloor Street West
– eastbound Bloor Street to Devonshire Place
– southbound Queen’s Park Circle West to Wellesley Street
– eastbound Wellesley Street from Queen’s Park Crescent East to Church Street
– southbound Church Street to Carlton Street
– southbound Yonge Street from Carlton Street to Queen Street
– eastbound Queen Street East from Yonge Street to Sumach Street
– southbound Sumach Street from Queen Street East to Front Street
– westbound Front Street from Sumach Street continuing onto Wellington Street East to Bay Street
– northbound Bay Street to Queen Street
All of the roads are expected to re-open around 7 p.m.
For more information on the event, click here.