What Duelling demos: the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid vs the Jewish Defense League.
When Friday, July 11, outside the Israeli Consulate at Bloor and Avenue Road.
Why Escalating violence in Gaza.
Photo gallery at nowtoronto.com
Rob Ford again
After two months of quiet, we picked up where we left off on Tuesday, July 15, as the five leading candidates for mayor went head-to-head in an occasionally ugly debate at a mega-church in Scarborough. Some of them brought cheering sections that also functioned as jeering sections. Even Olivia Chow's vows to "create jobs for young people" and "expand after-school activities for our kids" were met by boos from hardcore partisans. Outside on Markham Road, a Ford supporter picked a fight with an anti-Ford protester that nearly came to blows.
Read Jonathan Goldsbie's story at nowtoronto.com.
Here's to you, John A!
It's always fun when council wades into a debate it's completely unqualified to handle. This week's burning question: is it okay to honour historical figures who did some great things but, let's face it, were pretty racist? A while ago some councillors proposed renaming Union Station after John A. Macdonald, but others argued that doing so would be a slap in the face to the descendants of the Chinese immigrants who actually built the railroad Macdonald always gets credit for. In a report to council, staff recommended a square outside the station instead. Say hello to John A. Macdonald Plaza!
Over the objections of activists and the concerns of city staff, council voted 22-14 last week to allow Metrolinx to erect eight huge electronic billboards along Highways 401 and 427. The signs would be four to six times larger and two times taller than city bylaws permit, and they would also violate provincial policy. Billboard companies deploy aggressive lobbyists at city hall. The decision was so maddening that normally mild-mannered public space activist Dave Meslin was moved to shout in the chamber. He walked out in a rage.
Handgun ban call backfires
Olivia Chow's call for a ban on handguns this week (good idea, btw) created some unexpected blowback when this image tweeted July 5 by Chow operative Warren Kinsella (that's his partner, Lisa Kirbie, apparently packin') started making the rounds.
Update: Lisa Kirbie says the gun in question is a toy gun. Here is an email on the subject that she posted on her website Tuesday, July 15. http://lisakirbie.com/2014/07/my-email-to-shawn-jeffords
Council's vote last week to look into discounts for low-income riders aswell as additional price breaks for seniors. Five reasons why it's a great idea.
1. To quote Linsey MacPhee, manager of the Toronto Drop-in Network, "Access to transit is as important as access to food and housing and employment."
2. Homeless people and others who visit drop-in centres are often referred to other agencies for help, which is useless if they can't keep appointments.
3. It's prudent. A report co-written by the TTC and the city warns that the economic and societal benefits of expanded transit "will not be realized if [it's] too costly for the people it is built to serve."
4. Other Canadian cities are doing it. Calgary, Hamilton and York Region already give price breaks that are about half the cost of regular passes.
5. It shouldn't cost the TTC a dime if, as Councillor Joe Mihevc suggests, the TTC is to provide discounts during off-peak hours, when many vehicles run half-empty.
Paula fletcher files
"Our emphasis has to be serving the people of our wards, not spending 25 per cent of our term focused on re-election." Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher explains why she waited until this week to file for re-election in what promises to be one of the city's most hotly contested races. In May, urban advocate Jane Farrow filed to run against Fletcher.
Compiled by NOW staff with files by Ben Spurr.