DENZIL MINNAN-WONG GETS MEMED
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong inadvertently made himself the target of online jokers Thursday, July 17, when he allowed the Toronto Sun to photograph him earnestly holding up a sign protesting the cost of a public washroom on the waterfront. How much should a toilet built on remediated industrial land not serviced by the city sewer system cost? About $600K according to Waterfront Toronto and local Councillor Paula Fletcher, who says the specially built facility is hooked up to a large septic system.
FORD FEST QUESTIONS
So how did Rob Ford cop a permit for his annual Ford Fest at Thomson Memorial Park on Friday (July 25)? Toronto's policy on use of city resources during an election quite clearly states that "no permits, licenses, leases, or any other agreement for the use of [city] facilities, including civic squares and parks, will be issued for the use or promotion of a particular candidate [or] political party." According to city spokesperson Jackie DeSouza, the application submitted by the Fords meets "the requirements of the policy," but "it would be up to the mayor and Councillor Ford to ensure the policy [of no campaigning] is adhered to at the event." Didn't stop Ford last time. In robocalls inviting guests Tuesday, in fact, the mayor asks if he can count on their support.
TRANS MEMORIAL FOR T.O.?
Veronica Diaz marched down Yonge in the WorldPride Trans March on June 27. One week later, she was in free-fall down the side of her high-rise apartment building. Diaz became the first name added to a makeshift trans memorial chalked on a brick wall facing the AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Park last week, but city staff wiped it off July 16 while cleaning the park in preparation for a ceremony renaming it after former mayor Barbara Hall. Local councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam immediately acknowledged that it had been "accidentally removed" and promised to work with the community "to hopefully build a more permanent memorial."
#TAKEOFFJUSTLOGO PROTEST TO HIT YORKVILLE
Worldwide protests targeting Roberto Cavalli's use of a Sufi Muslim religious symbol in "snake bite" ads promoting the designer's latest clothing and perfume line are coming to the Mink Mile on Bloor Saturday (July 26) from 2 pm. Organizers say the use of the trademarked symbol in Cavalli ads is illegal and offensive. Cavalli upset Hindus in 2004 when he designed bikinis printed with images of Hindu gods. sufirights.org
PEN CANADA FACES FEDERAL AUDIT
Add PEN Canada to the list of charities to officially come under the Canada Revenue Agency's scrutiny. The org committed to free expression was visited Monday by federal auditors reportedly requesting access to a "wide range of documents," according to the Canadian Press. Under rules passed in 2003, charities are allowed to spend only 10 per cent of their efforts on political activities. Other organizations targeted by the CRA in what critics call politically motivated audits include Amnesty International, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the David Suzuki Foundation.
Compiled by NOW staff with files by Jonathan Goldsbie, Ben Spurr and Zach Ruiter