Lac Megantic Remembered
What Vigil to mark the first anniversary of the Lac Megantic train derailment and explosion.
Where Bartlett Avenue rail crossing at Dufferin and Dupont.
Why Before the accident in Quebec, the doomed train rolled through mid-town Toronto on the same Canadian Pacific line.
HARPERcons cruel to refugees
Another week, another loss for the HarperCons' right-wing agenda. The Federal Court rules Ottawa's cuts to health care services for refugees are "cruel and unusual" and gives the government four months to make changes to the legislation. Not surprisingly, the government announces it will appeal the decision.
Andrea Horwath for Mayor
Under pressure to step down, NDP leader Andrea Horwath hasn't ruled out a run for Hamilton's mayoralty. Is a petition started by the party's socialist caucus and signed by riding association presidents and former candidates causing her to rethink leaving Queen's Park and taking up the reins in her hometown? Horwath hasn't put those rumours to rest, declaring that in politics "you never say never."
Fare is fair
Council voted 35-3 Tuesday, July 8, to look into fare discounts for low-income riders and price breaks for senior citizens. The idea of special low-income transit fares has been brought up at various city committees this term, but this is the first time its won widespread support. The proposed discounts won't go into effect until 2017 at the earliest. A report to council on the matter warns that plans to expand the transit system will fail unless everyone can afford to get on. It also notes that the new buses, trains and LRVs already approved under expansion plans are set to run through 15 of the city's 31 economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Read more at nowtoronto.com.
"That's a ridiculous question. I'm not going to answer it."
Newly appointed Ward 5 interim councillor James Maloney's non-response to a query from NOW's Jonathan Goldsbie about one drunken St. Patrick's Day night at the Old Sod in Etobicoke in 2011. Yes, it turns out Maloney is the same James Maloney who was with Councillor Mark Grimes on the night in question when the latter drunkenly berated a journalist at the Royal York pub. Story at nowtoronto.com.
The lowdown on sewage
We have heat alerts and cold alerts, so why not sewage bypass alerts? Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is calling on the city to start warning residents about the health risks associated with sewage system bypasses into the lake. Such events happen about three times a month, during rainstorms, causing high levels of E. coli and toxins to be released into the lake. Ottawa and Kingston both issue public alerts during sewer bypasses; Toronto, however, informs the Ministry of Environment but not the public. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper says paddlers, surfers, swimmers and boaters should be advised of the health risks associated with using the water after a storm. The problem was so bad after the massive rainstorm one year ago this week that untreated sewage flowed into Lake Ontario for 28 hours.
Layton legacy lives on
The inaugural Jack Layton School for Youth Leadership "to make things better" kicked off at Ryerson this week. Organizer Myer Siemiatycki says the one-week program named after the late NDP leader "is intended to enrich the knowledge, skills and networking of youth engaged in social justice activity." Some 21 young people, from the labour movement and advocacy organizations from Montreal, Hamilton, Sudbury, Guelph, Brockville and across the GTA are participating. Layton's son, Toronto councillor Mike Layton, will take part in a panel discussion Friday, July 11, on advancing progressive politics inside government. Among the lighter topics on the agenda: healthy eating for political activists. Layton was a professor in the poli-sci department at Ryerson in the 1970s and 80s.
Bottles of water to be distributed by relief agencies in the GTA starting this week during the annual Project Water for the Homeless. More homeless people die from dehydration during the summer months than freeze to death in winter.
Amount the Darlington nuclear reactor rebuild is already over budget before actual work has begun. Signalling another disaster for Ontario's electricity system?