G8

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

Evidence of Tony Clement’s involvement in alleged G8 pork fest mounts

(Image: World Economic Forum)

The Toronto Star, bless its heart, can’t let the G20 go, and we’re more than a little glad, because the story keeps getting more and more interesting. Federal officials have repeatedly claimed that the spreading of the wealth for G8 “legacy fund” projects was all above board, but things are looking increasingly dodgy. The latest news is that Tony Clement personally directed the funding, taking a much more active role than previously believed.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

Repealed laws, unreleased reports and plea bargains? Thursday is apparently G8/G20 news dump day

The infamous fence (Image: Yeshwant from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

We’re only a few months away from the one-year anniversary of the G8/G20 summits that were ever so much fun for this city. In case anyone needs a hand remembering what kind of festivities we put up with last year, the provincial government and the news media have conspired to remind us all with a trio of stories that involve that magical weekend last summer.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

2 Comments

Five things Torontonians should look for in the federal election debates

This week, Canadians get to watch two debates among the leaders of the four official parties in the House of Commons—the English one is tomorrow night, and the French one the night after (apparently there’s a sporting event of some kind on, so the French debate was moved up a day). As with the last several English-language debates, Steve Paikin will be moderating the showdown, but unlike in 2008 this will be an entirely Green-free event. What can we look forward to when four white men get onstage and redefine “diversity” to mean “Jack Layton’s moustache”? Some ideas, tailored for Torontonians:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

2 Comments

Auditor general: Stephen Harper and Tony Clement lied to Parliament and may have broken laws before G8/G20

Barack Obama, Abdoulaye Wade and Nicolas Sarkozy at the G8 conference in Huntsville last June (Image: seneweb)

This morning the Canadian Press is pushing a hot story  that may influence the outcome of the federal election: a report from Auditor General Sheila Fraser says that Stephen Harper and Tony Clement may have broken the law while they were busy burying Huntsville under fresh new highways, airports and money. The run-down was supposed to have been tabled in Parliament, but the election call shut official Ottawa down, leaving it to be released mid-campaign.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

11 Comments

30 Rock comes to Toronto: what they got right, what they got wrong

We can pretend Alec Baldwin’s at the Convention Centre too

Last night’s jaunt to Toronto by 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Avery Jessop (Elizabeth Banks) continued the long-standing tradition of American sitcoms making jokes about Canada, ranging from the obvious to the factually incorrect to the just plain weird. In the episode, a pregnant Avery goes into labour while the couple is visiting Toronto, raising the spectre that the child will be born Canadian.

We like to laugh at ourselves, so here are our favourite jokes at Canada’s expense. We like to laugh at Americans, too, though, so we’re throwing in a list of all the things 30 Rock got wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

1 Comment

Canadian Taxpayers Federation hands out awards for most wasteful politicians, but misses the most obvious ones

Who can be trusted with money?

Yesterday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation had a fun little event where the organization handed out Teddies—that is, recognition awards for government waste at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. There was also a “lifetime achievement” award given to a special politician, one David Miller. Only one problem: there are just as wasteful politicians out there, who blew through taxpayer cash faster than Toronto’s former mayor.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

2 Comments

2010 Lexicon: 11 new words that entered our vocabulary this past year

1. true belieber \troo bih-leeb-er\ n. (2010): Self-designative term adopted by mega-fans of Canadian entertainer Justin Bieber. Males identifiable by side-swept haircuts, high tops and hoodies. Females known for fierce loyalty and pathological bouts of hysteria. Natural habitat: Twitter. (See also: Bieber Fever)


2. Giambroner \jam-brohn-er\ n. (2010): Any scandal of a sexual nature that involves a couch. Named after former mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone, whose campaign for mayor of Toronto was thwarted after it was discovered that he had been engaging in horizontal activity on his office sofa with a woman who was not his live-in girlfriend. (See also: Clintonastrophe)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

Comments

Conservatives’ love-hate relationship with immigrants continues with cuts to settlement funding

Over the past several years (and elections), the Conservative Party has been trying hard to wrest the votes of new Canadians from the Liberal Party, and doing a lot of bridge building for it. The problem? They’re still conservatives. This means doing things like cutting budgets to programs they do not think are worthwhile. So today, a handful of Toronto-area Liberals are trying to shine a spotlight on the Tories’ new $53-million cut to immigrant settlement centres.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

Comments

The job report: explaining Canada’s post-recession bounce

We keep hearing about the amazing Canadian economic rebound—some 300,000 new jobs in the past year. Is Bay Street paving the way for a new economic world order?

Photo Illustration of job line-ups

(Image: Lindsay Page)

America’s financial sector makes a tasty carcass, and Bay Street is tucking into the feast, gobbling up staff and tearing off divisions from hobbled U.S. counterparts. CIBC recently purchased Citigroup’s Canadian MasterCard division. RBC has been hiring big guns away from New York’s investment banks. And those two banks aren’t even taking the biggest bites.

TD, the second largest bank in Canada, is on a mission to crack the American market. Earlier this year, it swallowed up three troubled Florida banks, then purchased South Carolina’s South Financial Group, adding 176 branches to its network for the bargain price of $191.6 million—just over $1 million per branch. All told, TD, which has introduced a jolly-eyeballed green foam‑rubber mascot specifically for its American operations, now has 1,300 branches in the States, 200 more than it has in Canada.

The country’s entire economy appears to be working its way up the global food chain. Our GDP grew by 6.1 per cent in the first three months of 2010. Among the 31 market-oriented democracies that make up the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only South Korea’s economy grew faster. The United States economy, according to OECD numbers, grew only three per cent, while the median growth within the group stood at approximately two per cent. Canada’s economy has also created 215,000 jobs since the start of the year, 109,000 of them in April alone.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

26 Comments

Officer Bubbles takes Toronto

This G20 thing just isn’t going away. A video by Real News that went viral on YouTube last week shows a young woman blowing bubbles being threatened with arrest for assault. “If the bubble touches me, you’re going to be arrested for assault,” Constable Adam Josephs tells Courtney Winkels, who was, in all fairness, blowing multiple bubbles. In further justifying his reaction, Josephs explains that there’s detergent in the bubbles that could get into a policeman’s eyes. Another cop in the video seems both perplexed and amused by the whole exchange.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Random Stuff

Comments

Shafted by the G20, 40 Toronto street food vendors are seeking compensation for lost revenue

G20 fallout: street food vendors join the chorus of the screwed (Image: Rashomon, from the torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Street food vendors in Toronto are not a happy bunch. First, there was the whole A La Cart debacle that saw enterprising entrepreneurs stymied by bureaucracy and weird financing rules. Now, 40 street vendors, who were forced to leave their spots around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for 19 days as a result of the G20, are seeking compensation from the government.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

Comments

Downtown restaurants look to recoup G8/G20 losses with special menus

In a response to losing more than half of her restaurant’s revenue due to the G20 last weekend, Church Street’s Wine Bar co-owner Mary McGugan has initiated G-Ate, a campaign meant to encourage customers to eat downtown again after the G8/G20 summit. “It’s pretty devastating,” McGugan tells us. “This is our high season, [and the G20 summit] has gutted a week out of that when we’re still paying rent downtown. I immediately thought this was not just us—having come from Joy Bistro, which was very community oriented—that if we put out this promotion, we should ask others to join us.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

2 Comments

Hogtown versus the world: how does Toronto’s G20 compare with previous summits?

"Do-little summit": Stephen Harper delivers his opening remarks while other world leaders presumably listen to World Cup coverage

The G20 summit has mostly wound down, and the result is pretty mediocre: for billions in spending and a few torched police cars, we got a statement that’s almost Zen in its blandness. The G20 leaders agree to work toward financial stability—but each one gets to decide what that means. They’re committed to economic growth—but different countries need different strategies. They agree on a bank tax—except for Stephen Harper and a few others, so not every country will have one. Reuters calls it a “do-little summit.”

Given that so little of importance has been settled, how does Toronto stack up against previous summits and global meetings?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

1 Comment

Bleeding ink: a roundup of G20 reactions from home and around the world

It’s been a pretty wild 74 hours for Toronto. We’ve had world leaders, riots and some questionable police tactics, all for—well, it’s not entirely clear. Either way, the press the world over has weighed in with reactions to Toronto’s weekend of G20 bedlam. We present some of the highlights.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

1 Comment

Welcome, G20 leaders! Now, spend some money here

Yes, you can spend money in Toronto (Image: Sweet One)

The long-anticipated G20 summit has arrived in Toronto and has not been an unblemished joy for the people who live here. Between expensive security and shuttered businesses and Karl Rove and riots, many Torontonians now wish the summit had gone elsewhere. What would soothe the city’s irritation at having to play host to the world’s rich and powerful? How about if the foreign delegates spent some fat cash while they’re in town partying?  For the leaders of the G20, here is our guide to where they should leave their money as they breeze through Toronto.

Read the rest of this entry »