Shark Fin Ban

Morning Brew: Councillors seek shark fin ban, more on the Union Station facelift, taxpayers on hook for arena bailout, and Air Canada employees go on strike

Following the lead of a similar ban in Brantford, three Toronto councillors launched a campaign Monday against the sale and consumption of shark fins in the city. Councillors John Parker, Glenn De Baeremaeker and Kristyn Wong-Tam hope to gather 1,000 signatures for their cause, while De Baeremaeker will introduce a motion at council on Tuesday, with hopes that the ban will be implemented by next year. According to WildAid, about 75 million sharks are killed for their fins and they estimate some shark species will be close to extinction in the next decade.

The revitalization has been underway for the past year, but yesterday was the first time the media got the chance to witness Union Station's $640-million renovation plans that include two new GO Transit concourses on York St. and Bay St., and another retail level below them. More renovations are being done over at GO's train sheds, including a new glass atrium that will be Canada's largest green roof when it's completed in 2016. The city expects all construction to be finished by early 2016, but there is a push to get it all done for the 2015 Pan-Am Games. I wonder if Union Station will still be called Union Station then...maybe General Motors Union Station?

Torontonians must really love our hockey. Not only are we not vying for the Stanley Cup, but now we're on the hook to bailing out our beloved teams. The Lakeshore Lions Arena, a $43-million facility that even attracted (ahem) corporate sponsorship (it's also known as the Mastercard Centre of Hockey Excellence), opened three years ago, but can't seem to stay afloat. The centre, which is also the practice arena for both the Leafs and Marlies, is on the brink of bankruptcy and the city is planning a bailout before it defaults on its loans. A new city services corporation called Lakeshore Arena Corporation would assume all of the arena's debts.

Traveller alert: Air Canada employees walked off the job at 12.01 a.m. this morning. Although the airline claims that flights won't be delayed/cancelled on account of the strike, passengers should expect longer wait times and would be well advised to put all their luggage in carry-ons if at all possible.


Photo by DdotG in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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