By Christopher Hume Star Columnist Mon., May 6, 2019 By the time Ontario Premier Doug Ford is finished with Toronto, the city will be lucky if it’s allowed to hire a dogcatcher without Queen’s Park first passing enabling legislation. Mayor John Tory will want to keep his short pants close at hand. Forget about governing by disruption, Ford’s gleeful politics of destruction have wreaked havoc across the province, nowhere more so than in its largest city, which he is remaking as fast as the legislative process will allow. Last week alone he cleared the way for the province to “upload” Toronto’s subway system, undid Ontario Municipal Board reform and, to add insult to injury, brought back old developer-friendly rules, and then withdrew funding that supports more than 6,000 subsidized daycare spots in Toronto. Last fall, Ford cut Toronto city council in half, seemingly on a whim, and again made a point of adding insult to injury … [Read more...] about Booze, speed and dangerous cuts — is this what Ontarians want?
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By David Zarnett Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 In January 2019, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the regulator for private cannabis retail, announced the winners of its lottery for 25 cannabis retail store licences. The lottery is part of the Ford government’s strategy to privatize the sale of non-medical cannabis. Since the announcement of the lottery winners, the process has been marred in controversy as there were no pre-qualifications for lottery applicants, only 25 licences were provided for the entire province that has approximately two million cannabis users, and the overwhelming majority of licence winners had no prior experience in cannabis retail. What has received far less attention is that the government sold the licences for well below their market value, leaving more than $200 million on the table at a time when it is making significant cuts to essential social services. The winners of the lottery paid $10,075 for their licence, which … [Read more...] about Cannabis licences sold well below market value
By Mike Adler Toronto.com Mon., April 29, 2019 They want to take on one of Scarborough’s biggest problems — a lack of affordable places to live. They also face the problem of their own extinction. Their solution to both: tear down St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church and rise again as a church with a new, diversified community right on top of it. If governments agree to fund the $39-million project, St. Stephen’s can keep up and build upon good work it does already. The modest Lawrence Ave. church, east of Markham Rd., houses a weekly food bank, after-school programs and activities from karate classes to Al-Anon, a group for families and friends of alcoholics. Article Continued Below It’s occupied seven days a week, says Ron Lackner, a congregation member for 42 years and food bank co-coordinator. “We need a new building, but our spirit is very strong,” Lackner said. “We asked people, ‘If we didn’t … [Read more...] about A Scarborough Presbyterian church is launching a bid to build affordable housing
By Armina Ligaya The Canadian Press Sun., April 28, 2019 Ontario’s government-run cannabis distributor has cancelled its tender for couriers to make same-day pot deliveries. The provincial corporation tasked with the online sale and distribution of recreational cannabis posted a cancellation notice on Friday via the Ontario government’s tender portal. The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, which conducts e-commerce as the Ontario Cannabis Store, did not cite a specific reason for why it decided not to proceed, and the OCS was not immediately available for comment. The corporation first posted the tender in January, calling for “expedited same-day delivery” for OCS orders. The project was set to begin as early as March in the Greater Toronto Area. The OCS was the only way to legally buy recreational pot in Ontario until April 1, when the province’s first bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores opened their doors. Article Continued Below … [Read more...] about Ontario cannabis distributor cancels tender for same-day pot deliveries