Doug Ford will lock up whatever points he can get from Kathleen Wynne. The first provincial election debate, hosted by black community groups, proceeded without the Ontario PC leader. (Ford was stumping in the elusive north, where he made no promises.) Meanwhile, the four-month jailing of David Livingston, the hard-drive-wiping former chief of staff to Dalton McGuinty, is certain to provide sufficient fodder for future discussion:

Springtime means disputing whether raccoon-proof green bins really work. The newfangled organic waste bins debuted in April 2016 and were quickly chewed through by hungry backyard beasts. Last year, the Toronto Star rounded up more claims of raccoon ransacking—although the city continued to assert that there was no definite proof. The seasons must be changing now, because it’s time for the annual green bin complaints, this time with video proof of a trash panda chomping into one.

Second Cup hopes to be boosted by legal weed. The long-suffering coffee chain signed a deal with National Access Cannabis to develop a network of private pot shops. (The stores would be confined to Western Canada, where such things will be legal.) Around here, the first four of the 40 initial locations of the Ontario Cannabis Store were announced: Kingston, Guelph and Thunder Bay will be getting one each. Also on the list: a Toronto strip mall at Gerrard and Victoria Park—in pot czar Bill Blair’s own Scarborough Southwest riding—adjacent to a Tim Hortons with a sign that reads “Freshly Baked.”

“The idea of tolerating this type of noise is frankly ludicrous, and completely incongruent with this, or any other, residential corner in this city.” A proposed daycare in a vacant heritage building in Cabbagetown brought out enough opposition to nix the proposal, ostensibly because of traffic concerns, but with a whiff of anti-kid sentiment. The city has been less swift in dealing with sex trafficking in city-licensed spas. The issue was sent back for review.

The surreal new world of Justin Altmann. Stouffville’s mayor now appears to spend much of his time sharing things on Facebook—his main public outlet ever since he was barred from doing his job because of circumstances surrounding that bathroom wall mind map. His restricted access to town staff and services will continue for five more months. Altmann is currently working on his resume in order to find a job that pays:

Anndore House has to wait for its neighbourhood to look equally boutiquey. The transformation of Yonge and Bloor now includes an overhaul of a former Comfort Hotel. The previously undistinguished 1955 building has been remade as a black-painted boutique inn with complimentary vinyl records and $9.99 snacks. Because the surroundings are largely now a patchwork of construction sites and ungentrified downtown blight, the marketing department had to walk halfway to Wellesley in order to score an appealing enough shot:

The truth about federal Fake News. While governments everywhere fret about Facebook, records found by Blacklock’s Reporter reveal that Ottawa paid $576,623 to News Canada, a company that generates copyright-free fodder with headlines like “Teaching your kids to make healthy choices.” The material commissioned by government agencies padded some weekly newspapers across the country, which didn't bother disclosing the source of the copy. News Canada isn’t new at this, though: it has been scoring comparable content contracts since at least 2004.

Word of the moment


The name of a new book by Jocelyn Coulon, a former advisor to Stéphane Dion, focused on the PM's laissez-faire approach to foreign affairs.

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