DAVE AGAR

Tuesday, April 1 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 4/1/2014 12:00:00 AM

Supermarkets in Ontario will get the green light today to request LCBO Express outlets in their stores owned and operated by the LCBO.

Provincial Finance Minister Charles Sousa has an LCBO announcement at 1 this afternoon and the Globe and Mail has been told that he'll put out Requests for Proposals to the supermarkets.

Skeptics would suggest the Liberals are just trying to flash shiny objects in front of your eyes to distract you from the latest coverup allegations in the gas plant scandal.

If that's the motivation, it won't work.   The Liberals dropped a grenade into the gas plant story yesterday regarding Peter Faist the outside IT expert who allegedly scrubbed clean the hard drives of 24 computers inside the offices of the Premier in the waning days of the McGuinty Administration.   The PC's have said this scrubbing also occurred after Premier Wynne came to power.  She flatly says that is not true.    

While Wynne was in northern Ontario yesterday, the Government House leader John Milloy revealed that this same IT guy had separate contracts with the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario Liberal caucus at Queen's Park.   The party contract was terminated on Sunday, after his name first surfaced in court documents.   The contract with the Liberal Caucus was, according to Premier Wynne, it was terminated in January of last year, a month before she assumed office.

I have no doubt Tim Hudak has his PC staffers digging deeper into this and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he pulls the pin on another political grenade today.   If the evidence is there Mr. Hudak bring it forward, by all means,  but if is a tenuous as that which you proffered last week don't bother unless you want another threatening letter from Kathleen Wynne's lawyer.

PORTER AIRLINES

It's been kicked around for months now but the full Toronto city council is expected to decide today whether to forge ahead with expansion of the Island Airport so it can handle jets or to follow a staff recommendation to go slow and wait for more information.

There are counter offers to handle as well including...why not give a conditional green light...conditional in that if the necessary requirements are not met, Porter Airlines request would be denied.

There are a lot of politics here...especially in an election year so this vote could go off in any direction.

RECALL

Also at city council, but probably not until tomorrow...a motion by councillors Chin Lee and Mike Del Grande to ask the Ontario legislature to approve a private members bill about voter recall and to expand it to include recalling municipal politicians not just provincial pols.

This private members bill was introduced last November by maverick Conservative MPP Randy Hillier.  It says that if 25 percent of voters in a riding sign a recall petition, it would trigger a byelection and the recalled candidate would be eligible to run again.   The person or group who launched the recall drive would be on the hook for three-quarters of the cost of the byelection.

Hillier has already shown a willingness to amend the private members bill to include municipal politicians.

That has caught Toronto councillor Mike Del Grande's eye...telling the Sun he has a disdain for all levels of government and that people tend to vote for "beauty contests as opposed to policy issues."  That he insists is why we're in the mess we're in.

If we had recall, Del Grande says maybe we would have less one Stephen Harper, one Kathleen Wynne and one Rob Ford.

I worry about recall legislation, especially when the threshold is so low at 25 percent of voters.  Besides we already have recall.  It's called the next election.  That's when voters decide if a politician should stay or go.   If you want to discuss shortening the term of office, that would be worth considering.

BRAMPTON GUNMAN

The gunman who shot and wounded a Peel Police Constable at the Brampton courthouse Friday was apparently targeting someone else.

The Sun quotes sources as saying police don't know who Sonny Bassi was targeting...just "someone he believed would be in the courthouse at the that time."   There's also still a question about whether anyone else was behind the plot.

Investigators won't publicly discuss Bassi's pass but varying reports say he was heavily involved in the drug trade...and had previous convictions for weapons offences, aggravated assault and credit card fraud.

FRUITS & VEGGIES

Depending on your age and physical activity, experts suggest a specified daily intake of fruit and vegetables to help you stay healthy.

Now there's some new research out of University College London which shows that if you consume seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables daily, you would be even healthier.

The BBC online story on this study shows the risk of death by any cause was reduced by 14 percent by eating one to three portions of fruits and veggies a day. 29 percent lower eating 3 to 5 portions. From 7 to 10 portions a day, these researchers found the risk of death falls 42 percent.

Some FYI's on this.  Fruit juice does not reduce the risk at all.  Canned fruit increases the risk...the researchers say likely because it often comes in sugary syrup.   And overall the strongest protection comes from the veggies instead of the fruit.

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