Daily Archives: November 5, 2007

$60M South Asian-themed mall to be built in Markham

The building a $60-mill. South Asian-themed mall, in what will be the largest development of its kind in North America, will start soon. I remember the complaints / issues old Markham residents brought to the table in the past, when the Pacific Mall was built. Toronto is changing, as it should. It should be interesting to see what they have to say. Andy MJ

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New Etobicoke arts school will join TDSB this fall

The Toronto District School Board will add a specialized middle school for the arts to its list of public institutions. The announcement comes at a time when the board is trying to sell or rent 100 surplus properties.

The board voted last week to open the new school in Etobicoke this September at a facility the TDSB vacated 20 years ago. The property is currently being rented by a private Montessori school.

Ejecting the current tenants from the property will cause the school board to lose money, when the middle school could easily be placed somewhere else, said Trustee Scott Harrison, a critic of the plan.

“I think we could find another facility — maybe somewhere in the same area — that is 50-60% enrollment and can be housed within existing space,” he said. “So in other words you don’t have to have another principle, secretary or caretaker in the system.”

Enrollment in public schools is dwindling and the board is finding it doesn’t have enough students to fill up their properties.

Over the years, the public school system has lost 30,000 students, leaving the board with 100 properties that are either vacant or leased. It costs about $40 million to maintain.


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Mr. Stelmach may have failed to consider larger issues such as the environment

Preston Manning launched a broadside yesterday against Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, attacking the Progressive Conservative leader’s competence and predicting his electoral demise.

The former Reform Party leader – whose father Ernest was Alberta’s longest-serving premier, as part of the Social Credit dynasty in the mid-20th century – said Mr. Stelmach failed to consider larger issues such as the environment and energy security last month in deciding to raise oil royalties.

“I think he’s a sincere and honest man,” Mr. Manning said yesterday on CTV’s Question Period. “I think the bigger question with Premier Stelmach and the administration is one of its competence. Does it have the competence to deal with these big-picture issues?”

Mr. Manning said the opposition Liberals and New Democrats display even less understanding of Alberta’s potential leadership role, but predicted they could benefit from Tory failings.

The Progressive Conservatives have been in power since 1971, but Mr. Manning cast doubt on whether Mr. Stelmach will win the next election.

“I think it’s becoming increasingly unlikely unless, say, the government demonstrates a capacity that it hasn’t shown thus far,” he said.

“I don’t see votes going to the Liberals or the NDP. I think their biggest danger is another 150,000 people staying home who voted Conservative the last time and then that puts

dozens and dozens of seats up for grabs.”

Tom Olsen, Mr. Stelmach’s spokesman, said that the Premier wouldn’t be “rattled” by Mr. Manning’s comments, and that he remains focused on achieving a number of goals before calling the next election.

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