Gerald Herbert/CP Photo
Newsmaker of the week
On the eve of Tuesday's historic inauguration, President-?elect Barack Obama sent Canuck hearts soaring when it was announced that the Great Black Hope's first official state visit will be to the Great White North. We're honoured but left wondering if Obama's main reason for coming is to squeeze an all-?too-?willing PM Stephen Harper to extend our already overstretched military commitment in Afghanistan. The president-?elect has invested much political capital in a promise to renew America's efforts in a war most have forgotten in the long shadow cast by Iraq. The pressure's on.
Whispers at Winterlicious
After the squawks raised last year about the downtown-?centric focus of the annual prix fixe food fest, good that two eateries in Scarborough and two in Mississauga have been added to this year's roster of 150 participants. Prices are higher with some menus topping $45, but restos like Supermarket, which has applied several times to both Summer and Winterlicious, have been told theirs - mains $10 to $15 - are too low to participate.
CITY HALL WATCH
VoteToronto.ca outed a few hypocrites among council's great unwashed when it released its tome on political donations this week. Turns out self-styled defender of the little guy Rob Ford receives more than half his contributions from big biz.The biggest corporate suck-up? Frances Nunziata, followed closely by Giorgio Mammoliti, Case Ootes, Denzil Minnan-Wong and Peter Milczyn.
Decrease in greenhouse-gas-?causing coal-?fired electricity generation in Ontario last year. Good news, except for the fact that almost half the coal-?fired power we're producing, some 47 per cent, isn't even used here. It's exported.
Bottle of polluted water from Athabasca tar sands on sale on eBay. The Sierra Youth Coalition says toxic H2O from mining and bitumen extraction in northern Alberta has been linked to a sudden surge in rare cancers in affected communities. Last bid: $60 (Cdn). Read the label. Not recommended for human consumption.
ON THE SCENE
Pro-?Israel rally at Beth Tzedec Synagogue Some 5,000 Canadian Jews and "like-?minded lovers of democracy" gathered Thursday, January 8, in a "statement of solidarity" with Israel and to "express disdain for the failure of the world to recognize that Israel is the lead rampart against Islam's attack on democratic rights and freedoms." Well, that's one take.