Photo by City Of Toronto
SAM THE RECORD MAN, THE GOOD NEWS A plan to hang the kitschy marquee that once brightened the entrance to Sam's over Yonge-Dundas Square appears to be a go.
THE BAD NEWS It may only be a temporary solution. The Victoria Street building on which the sign will be perched sits on prime downtown real estate, and the city intends to sell or redevelop it in the next few years.
29-8 Vote in council last week to look into creating a U.S.-style municipal ID card so undocumented immigrants can access city services. But not before Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong reprised his odious speech about undocumented workers getting off the plane at Pearson and heading straight to the welfare office.
$850,000 The amount set aside by council to renovate a vacant Toronto Community Housing property to use as transitional housing for sex trafficking victims. Hey, it's not always bad news out of City Hall.
SONY CENTRE IN SHAMBLES What T.O.'s latest spending scandal lacks in scale it makes up for in absurdity. Among the latest revelations in the city-owned Sony Centre controversy are that Dan Brambilla, the ousted CEO, was paid nearly $8,000 to hold his own wedding at the theatre, charged the public $572,000 in consulting fees - even though he was an employee - and was regularly reimbursed for meals at the Sony Centre cafeteria. The theatre's management has since explained that he was performing "quality-control testing" on the food.
NEW FORD PREVENTION OFFICERS Council appointed a new integrity commissioner and auditor general last week, but couldn't reach an agreement on whether to re-appoint Ombudsman Fiona Crean, who has ruffled a lot of feathers since she took the job in 2008. The debate about whether to reappoint her to another five-year term happened behind closed doors and reportedly got so ugly that councillors voted to defer the issue for a month so they could cool down.
PROUD GLOW Fortunately, the question of Pride funding didn't fall into the soul-sucking morass of another debate about Queers Against Israeli Apartheid - maybe because Toronto will host the biggest LGBTQ event in the world later this month and no one wants to mess with those optics. Pride Toronto will get its $161,000 funding, but it's a pittance compared to the benefits of WorldPride.
RANKED, POSSIBLY DELAYED BALLOTS There is a very good chance that in 2018 voters will elect councillors using a ranked ballot system. But there's a catch: the city is in the process of upgrading its voting equipment. And the province has yet to change the voting law after agreeing to do so last June.
Councillor Paul Ainslie introduced a motion asking staff to make sure the new machines are ranked-ballot-compatible, but it didn't get enough support to be debated at council and was instead referred to committee next month. This raises the mind-boggling possibility that four years from now we will have fixed our voting system, but not our voting machines.
Cheol Joon Baek
JUNE 30 The date Mayor Rob Ford has set for his return from rehab, which unleashed a flurry of jokes on Twitter on Tuesday, June 17, including about those locks changed on his office door after he took his leave of absence.
Compiled by NOW staff, with files from Ben Spurr