Minimum-wage-boost defenders marched on Tim Hortons at dawn. A decade of playing Canadian-identity politics continues to backfire on the chain, amid protests over employee benefit cuts and wage clawbacks. The #NoTimmiesTuesday movement preceded a round of activists getting creative:

“Why does it take so long to fax papers and why do you think it's okay to give $10.5 million to a person that killed a soldier?" This question for Justin Trudeau at a Halifax town hall curiously came from a young girl—who may or may not personally know what a fax is. The prime minister waved the first half of the query away, but shared his frustration with having to pay $10.5 million to Omar Khadr. Trudeau was also asked what it feels like to be the very first PM to “commit a crime.”

Government gives headline writers plenty of options for pot puns. Weed stock fortunes are wafting all over the place. Rosie DiManno is certain that the government will screw things up, although media outlets are grateful that Google and Facebook won’t accept cannabis ads.  Meanwhile, federal bureaucrats—who were stuck with the spelling “marihuana” until not long ago—get hip with the terms “errl,” “purp,” “keef,” “gangster” and “dank or dank trippy” in a pre-legalization guide:

Stouffville’s mayor wants his wall struck from the record. The deadline for Justin Altmann to apologize for his CSI-style weirdness came and went, with his lawyer arguing that the “mind map” was justified. Moreover, a related tiff with a local company resulted in Altmann pointedly boycotting the town's New Year's celebration, thereby foregoing a chance to justify wearing his actual chain of office, rather than his ridiculous personal replica.

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Over the Rainbow will be eclipsed by some modern mews. The very 1978 retail complex at 101 Yorkville was marked for death when the site sold for an estimated $35 million. The central Rainbow jeans store will soon move to the Manulife Centre. The mini-mall's proposed replacement would be topped off by what’s being described as a floating version of the Yorkville rocks that lie behind it.

Mammoliti misses half of council's votes. Stephen Holyday, Frances Nunziata and Gord Perks showed up for every clamshell yea or nay in 2017—while Sarah Doucette, Michael Ford and three mid-term newcomers missed next to none. The most absent were Michelle Holland—who says her truancy was related to her role as advocate for the innovation economy— and Giorgio Mammoliti, who recently told the Toronto Star to “bite me, Mammo-style." When asked for comment this time, though, he explained that he gets more done by staying away:

The city has more cat and rabbit cuddlers than it can handle. Mayor John Tory shared the news that more than 900 people responded to a call for "Rabbit/Cat Cuddling Volunteers," creating a wait list for the gigs with Toronto Animal Services. Creature cuddling has evidently overshadowed interest in the human kind, as the Canadian Association of Professional Cuddlers failed to get off the ground.

Word of the moment


The saga of Marisa Lazo ended with an absolute discharge after she pleaded guilty to two charges of mischief under $5,000. (But she has to pay a $100 victim surcharge.)

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