Toronto city staff reviewing lease tied to WE founders’ parents


Mayor John Tory said Friday he sees nothing unusual in deal for use of Carlton St. building as a homeless shelter. However, concerns have been raised that the city’s lease and renovation costs far exceed the site’s 2004 purchase price.
Load more
Read full article on: thestar.com
Political parties comparing election year highs to pandemic lows to justify wage subsidy
OTTAWA – Some of the political parties claiming the federal government’s wage subsidy are comparing their lows of 2020 to election-year highs of 2019 in order to justify getting the taxpayer cash to pay their employees. The Liberals, Conservatives, Greens and NDP all claimed the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy (CEWS), citing major drops in donations due to the pandemic. But financial reports released last week show the drops aren’t that unusual, as parties often take in less money when an election isn’t on the horizon. According to the Elections Canada filings, the NDP took in $1.3 million in donations in the second quarter of 2020, which encompasses April, May and June, the same time frame as the initial federal wage subsidy. In 2019, the party took in $1.4 million, meaning their revenues were only slightly lower than they were a year ago. The federal wage subsidy requires employers to show a 30 per cent drop in revenues to qualify for the taxpayer money to supplement up to 75 per cent of their payroll. The NDP’s national director Anne McGrath said the wage subsidy is about helping workers stay employed, which is exactly what they are doing with it. “This program isn’t about any one business or organization. It’s about making sure that workers are able to keep their jobs during these tough times,” she said in an email to the National Post. “Our numbers are still clearly down from where they would otherwise have been and all of our staff have been able to keep their jobs and keep providing for their families.” Party officials said despite the results for the end of the quarter, donations dropped considerably in the early months of the pandemic, but rebounded later, which they attribute to the party’s performance in the House of Commons. As Trudeau defends political parties using wage subsidy, Tory leadership hopefuls slam their own party Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats all apply for COVID-19 wage subsidy to pay their workers Parties normally take in more money in an election year and the NDP is no different. The $1.3 million they brought in during the pandemic in 2020 is actually higher than the roughly $872,000 they collected in the same time frame in 2018. The Liberals saw their revenues fall by roughly half this year after bringing in $5 million in the second quarter of 2019, just ahead of the fall campaign. They brought in $2.6 million this year. But when that $2.6 million is compared with the $3.1 million they received in 2018, a non-election year, it’s a much smaller drop, not enough to qualify for the wage subsidy. According to the party, the Liberals have received $842,856 in financial assistance, helping cover the salaries of more than 80 people. “The party has not been forced to lay anyone off due to the impacts of COVID-19 at this time, which ensures that team members like translators, IT professionals, and local field organizers can continue to support vital democratic engagement work and their own families through this difficult time,” said Braeden Caley in an email to the Post . The party has suspended in-person events and said March and April were its lowest months for donations since 2014. The Green Party would also be unlikely to qualify for the wage subsidy if their 2020 totals were compared against a normal year instead of an election year. The party raised $626,000 in the second quarter of 2020, down from the same time in 2019 when they raised $1.4 million, but actually higher than the $572,000 they garnered in 2018. Rosie Emery, the party’s press secretary, said they stopped taking the subsidy in July, but the party intends to keep an eye on donations in case there is a drop. “We will continue to monitor our revenues from month to month, and are open to applying again if we are eligible.” The Conservatives are the only party who would have been eligible for the subsidy if their donations were compared to a non-election year. The party took in $3.5 million in the second quarter of this year, compared with $8.5 million in 2019 and $6 million in 2018. The Conservatives are currently in a leadership race, an event that normally siphons funds away from a party’s main operations, with dollars now going to leadership contenders Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan. In the second quarter of 2017, when the party’s last leadership race was underway it raised $4 million. This year’s total is a historic low for the Conservative party, and spokesperson Cory Hann said the wage subsidy has allowed them to cover approximately 60 full-time and part-time total staff across Canada during a difficult time. The eligibility spanned from March 15th until July 4th, and Hann said the party hasn’t yet decided if it will apply again. “No decision has been taken yet whether we will re-apply – the timing of the next application isn’t for several more weeks.” Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said this is further proof political parties should not have been eligible for the wage subsidy. “I don’t think anyone envisioned when they came up with this program that it was for political parties,” he said. He said they also shouldn’t be basing their eligibility by comparing revenue declines this year to 2019. “Everyone knows, and it has always been historically the case, that parties raise more money in an election year.” Parties receive rebates on election campaign expenses and political donations are eligible for generous tax write-offs, Wudrick said. “They are already subsidized up the wazoo and yet now they are coming back for another form of subsidy,” he said. “It does not seem reasonable to me that they wouldn’t have the resources to tie themselves over for six months.” • Email: rtumilty@postmedia.com | Twitter: ryantumilty
National Post | Canadian News, Financial...
Long weekend COVID-19 cases prompt calls for more guidance, information from Manitoba government
"I know that in the discussions that happened today we'll be rethinking what it would take to flex up to more briefings."
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
5 things to know for Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Canada has had more than 117,700 total cases of COVID-19, with more than 102,000 cases considered recovered.
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Canadian company urges human trials after COVID-19 vaccine in mice blocked virus
A Canadian company is telling the government today that its trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on animals completely blocked the virus, but it must conduct human trials to know whether it has found a possible cure for the pandemic.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Nearly half of Canadians support new election if WE probe finds Trudeau broke ethics law: poll
Trudeau was previously found to have broken the Conflict of Interest Act for accepting paid family vacations from the Aga Khan and for improperly pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Suspect sought after man sprayed with ‘noxious substance,’ robbed in west London: police
Investigators said it happened around 8:15 p.m. on July 22 near Oxford Street West and Platt's Lane.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Beirut explosion: Lebanese confront devastation as scores of people still missing 
Residents of Beirut awoke to a scene of utter devastation on Wednesday, a day after a massive explosion at the port sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Montreal weather: The rest of the storm
The last remnants of hurricane Isaias are expected to pass through the city on Wednesday.
1 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Can Montreal's food courts survive? Time Out Market is banking on it
The way CEO Didier Souillat tells it, Time Out has what it takes to ride out the COVID-19 storm until the spring.
1 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
These new homes in Pickering are Canada’s first to recycle water using a locally-developed system
Bathwater treated by the Greyter system will flush toilets in 21 detached houses underway in Geranium’s Edgewood community
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
How do I handle my flirty ex who is texting me suggestively? Ask Ellie
Tell your ex that you are happily married and the flirty texts were just responses-in-kind for fun, which you assume was her intent, too, writes advice columnist Ellie
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Today’s coronavirus news: Study suggests Canadians will face potentially explosive increase in mental illness for years after pandemic ends; Canadian company urging human trials after vaccine results
Nearly half of Canadians would support an election being called if the federal watchdog finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have violated the Conflict of Interest Act again over the WE charity affair, a new poll suggests.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Cyclists should warn pedestrians when they’re approaching, readers agree — mostly
But one cyclist says the Fixer promoted “crash porn,” in the first column, and that it “stunk.”
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Horoscope for Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020
Daily horoscope
3 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Lebanese survey devastation after massive Beirut explosion; at least 100 dead
Residents of Beirut awoke to a scene of utter devastation on Wednesday, a day after a massive explosion at the port sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands.
5 h
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Coronavirus: Emergency department at Devon hospital to reopen in phases beginning this month
Alberta Health Services says the emergency department at Devon General Hospital will reopen in phases beginning later this month.
7 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Stage 3 couldn’t come fast enough for my family
The reopening of city playgrounds like a ‘homecoming,’ a grateful mother of two young boys writes
7 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Worried about your kids returning to school? Look abroad to countries that got it right
Planning and preparation is key — Thailand’s example might be one to follow
7 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Ottawa must acknowledge its role in atomic bombings of Japan and sign ban
The Trudeau government says it supports disarmament, but its policy and actions say otherwise, Biana Mugyenyi writes
7 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Let reason guide our actions in Atomic Age
It is folly to believe today’s nuclear stand-off can endure for the rest of time, U of T Nobel laureate John C. Polanyi writes.
7 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
No need to rush back to the classroom
Ontario should put the health and safety of kids, parents and teachers first and not hurry to embrace back-to-schools plans made up on the fly, a child psychologist writes
7 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...