Saturday Brew: Burke Family Tragedy, Racial Profiling, Toronto's Financial Crisis, TTC Vows to Get Better, Ruby Dhalla for Mayor?, Parking Ticket Losses
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has lost his youngest son to a car accident in Indiana. Whatever one's feelings about the state of our loved and loathed hockey team, a tragedy of this nature transcends the ice. My thoughts and wishes go out to the Burke family at this most difficult time.
Through a freedom of information request, the Toronto Star has found that black people across the GTA are three times more likely to be stopped by the police. I suppose this isn't groundbreaking information -- many have speculated that racial profiling is a police tactic -- but the confirmation is unsettling. Also unsettling is the ridiculous lead photo the paper has run with the article, which depicts two black men, one deemed to be good and the other bad. For a piece that barely hides its moral superiority, this image selection is an embarrassment.
A York University professor argues that the financial mess facing Toronto is downright scary. Citing the $500-million hole in the city's 2010 operating budget, he predicts Toronto's capital debt will skyrocket from $803-million (last year) to a projected $4.69-billion in 2019. Who's to blame? Well, David Miller for one. But, according to Professor Schwartz, Mike Harris and his downloading ways were also critical contributors to our gloomy economy.
The Toronto Sun just can't stop talking about the TTC and its woes. Today's installment, however, throws the Commission a bone by giving spokesperson, Brad Ross, a little paper-space to pledge that things will get better. I know I've been hard on the TTC too, but amidst Ross's promising, the article rejoices in revealing other foolish/lazy behavior on the part of our transit employees. I guess they deserve it, but I'm getting tired of talking about it.
To be fair, the Globe is also capitalizing on the bad buzz, but with an editorial that underscores just how important public transportation is to the life of our city.
Please read this article about the "possibility" that Ruby Dhalla will run for mayor and tell me if it's as bad journalism as I think it is. Yikes.
Mayor Miller is blaming the province for letting parking offenders get away with their offences, and it sounds like he has good reason. More than 100,000 motorists drive away before the officer can hand over the ticket or place it under the windshield wiper each year, but because of an Ontario law, the City doesn't have the power to mail them a ticket. As such, they get off scott-free, costing Toronto almost $5 million in lost revenue.
I don't want to write much about it, but last night's Leaf loss was f-cked!
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