Star news to know on Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hello. This is the Wednesday, November 30 edition of First Up, the Star’s daily morning digest. Sign up to get it earlier every day, in your inbox.

Pressed for answers, Ontario’s housing minister refused to deny that developers had been notified of other Greenbelt land openings for housing. Here’s what we know.

Read on to learn more about Doug Ford’s controversial Bill 124, Alberta’s new « sovereignty » bill, and the challenges facing tenants in Toronto.


Doug Ford’s controversial salary cap law ruled unconstitutional

Bill 124, which limited most Ontario public sector workers to 1% annual wage increases and has been blamed for an exodus of health care workers throughout the pandemic, has been struck down by a court after a judge found that it violated charter rights to collective bargaining. “I declare the act null and void,” Judge Markus Koehnen wrote in his decision. « In my view of the evidence, Ontario was not faced with a situation in 2019 that warranted a violation of Charter rights. » Kristin Rushowy and Rob Ferguson report on the impacts the legislation has had on workers and what could be next for the province.

  • To watch: The Ontario government is considering appealing the decision, a press secretary to the attorney general said. Unions and opposition parties, however, say it could worsen the shortage of healthcare workers and lead to longer waits in already overwhelmed hospitals.

Danielle Smith’s Alberta ‘sovereignty’ law introduces sweeping new powers to resist Ottawa

In its first bill to reach the Legislative Assembly since becoming premier, Smith’s government is proposing new powers that would allow Alberta to declare federal laws unconstitutional, make unilateral changes to provincial legislation and to order provincial entities to ignore « harmful » federal policies. Critics call the controversial Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act not dangerously close to separatism, an attack on the rule of law and a power grab. Kieran Leavitt explains how the new powers would work and why critics are sounding the alarm.

  • After: Smith said the bill would be constitutional and strengthen the Confederacy.
  • Word from the opposition: Alberta NDP MP Sarah Hoffman said the law would effectively give Smith « dictatorial powers to ram through whatever legislation she wants. »
  • The following : Former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney resigned as MP just an hour after Smith’s bill was introduced. Here’s what he had to say.

As rents soar, more Toronto landlords are evicting ‘for personal use’

New figures show tenants in Toronto are becoming increasingly frail as more tenants face “personal use” eviction applications that seek to return landlords to their rental units. From January to October, the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario received 1,269 such eviction requests – a drastic increase from the last two years of the pandemic which is on track to surpass the high number of 1 274 applications from 2019. As tenants are evicted and pushed into a competitive and expensive market, Victoria Gibson explains why tenant advocates believe some landlords are using the move to circumvent rent control.

  • The context: The data does not include cases where tenants do not dispute an eviction notice or request. A landlord filing a formal complaint with the commission also does not guarantee an eviction, but begins a process that leads to a hearing.
  • Go further: In October, the average two-bedroom on costs $3,353. And a waiting list for subsidized housing for one-bedroom accommodation can be as long as 37 years. Moderately affordable rentals, meanwhile, are rare: A lottery in one building saw 200 winners out of more than 3,800 hopefuls. Here’s a look at the hunt for affordable housing today.


  • The Auditor General of Ontario has sent undercover agents to test safeguards against money laundering in casinos. Here is what happened.
  • A penthouse condo has gone on the market for $32 million in what may be Toronto’s tallest building. Take a peek inside.

Point of view :

Edward Keenan writes about West Island of Ontario Place.

Ontario Place is still a beautiful urban park. Once Doug Ford donates it to build a private luxury spa, it will be gone for good.


The CP Holiday Train passes through Toronto on Tuesday evening for the first time since 2019, as it continues west through Canada. November 29, 2022

TORONTO: The CP Holiday Train passes through the city on Tuesday evening for the first time since 2019, as it continues west through Canada.

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